This isn’t the Ragin’ Cajuns defense we’ve become accustomed to watching.
Before head coach Billy Napier took over the program, the University of Louisiana gave up 40 points per game in the 2017 season.
Napier and UL defensive coordinator Ron Roberts slightly improved UL’s defense in their first season with the program. The Ragin’ Cajuns gave up 34.2 points per game in 2018.
But there has been a significant leap in the Ragin’ Cajuns defense throughout the 2019 season and their 53-3 win over Troy showed all the ways UL’s defense has taken the spotlight.
It’s weird to say the defense takes the spotlight on a night UL scored 53 points.
However, the Ragin’ Cajuns held Troy to just three points. The Trojans entered the game averaging 39 points per game. Troy’s quarterback Kaleb Barker was averaging 315.2 passing yards per game and had already thrown for 30 touchdowns through the first 10 games.
UL came out with multiple pass breakups in the first few drives. The pass breakups all led up into the Ragin’ Cajuns first interception of the night by Asjlin Washington. And then UL forced a fumble on the Trojans first drive of the second half before Jayrin Wilson picked off Barker later in the third quarter.
The Ragin’ Cajuns also sacked Barker four times and even forced their first defensive safety since 2014 to bring their lead to 36-3.
Look at the Ragin’ Cajuns 26-16 loss to Troy last season. They gave up 427 total yards, only had one sack and they allowed the Trojans backup quarterback Sawyer Smith to throw for 317 yards.
This year is different. UL made Barker uncomfortable with tight coverage by the defensive backs and pressure from the defensive line. Barker only completed 15-of-32 passes for 178 yards and zero touchdowns.
This is a UL defense that has managed to erase the narrative two seasons ago and ,even some of last year, that it wasn’t good enough to win games.
While the Ragin’ Cajuns and quarterback Levi Lewis were impressive in their win over Troy, the defense cemented their dominance they have displayed during the course of the season.
UL has gone from giving up 34 points per game just a season ago to only allowing 16.7 points through 11 games this season.
The UL defense is no longer flying under the radar as they have played a big role in the reason the Ragin’ Cajuns have tied their single season win total at nine and have a chance to win 10 games in a season for the first time in program history.