Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs breaking down the Cajuns win over South Alabama.
1st Down: Run Defense Looked Stellar
The Ragin Cajuns kept the ground game for the Jaguars at a season low, allowing only 74 yards with the longest run going 15 yards from Xavier Johnson. But the most notable stat in terms of rush defense has to be the fact that they shut down star quarterback Dallas Davis who stunned fans with a Top 10 worthy hurdle over a defender in week one against Mississippi State. The Cajuns kept him behind the line with -18 yards on the ground and it’s looking more and more like the defense is improving little by little and keeping the big plays to a minimum with only three plays of 30 yards or more on the night.
2nd Down: Special Teams Woes
The Ragin Cajuns were snake bit all night against South Alabama on special teams, especially when it came to kicks. Sophomore Stevie Artigue couldn’t get things going starting off with a extra point bouncing off the left upright early and a couple of misses later in the game. He accounted for at least seven points being left off the board on Saturday and it led to a change at kicker on the point after that led to getting the desired result: getting one through the uprights. It’s beginning to look like a battle at kicker will be brewing during practice this week for who will be the new kicker. Also, the punt return game was atrocious as Gary Haynes doesn’t know when to just call fair catch and live to fight another day. Late in the game, it pushed the Cajuns deep in their own territory. You can’t have that when you’re trying to put the game away late.
3rd Down: Cajuns Offense Explodes
The Cajuns looked to be en fuego on Saturday night offensively with 512 yards of offense and showed a lot of promise that this team can be a big play machine in 2016. With weapons like Al Riles, true freshmen Michael Jacquet and Ja’Marcus Bradley being thrown to by Anthony Jennings and an indispensable back like Eli McGuire firing on all cylinders, this team can be a high-powered offense that can make a run in the Sun Belt. Jennings really showed what he can do against a Sun Belt team with three touchdowns through the air and even did a little bit on the ground to help this team get another win to start off the season at 2-1.
4th Down: Secondary Leaves A Lot to be Desired
The Cajuns didn’t look good in terms of pass defense, allowing Davis to carve up the Cajuns secondary for 264 yards and two scores. The Cajuns did lose a big time player at that position with Savion Brown being suspended indefinitely due to conduct unbecoming of a Ragin Cajun according to Mark Hudspeth. There was a lot of busted coverages that saw the Jags capitalize on it and made them look silly on Saturday. Thankfully, they have Tulane next week who is in the middle of a QB identity crisis as freshman Johnathan Brantley had an underwhelming performance against Navy, going 3-for-12 for 21 yards. Fritz says he it’s too early to tell if he remains starting QB. This could be a good thing for the Cajuns due to the Green Wave having a conundrum with who they will start.