Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down every Cajuns game! This week, I look into the Cajuns loss against Tulane.
1st Down: Improvement at Special Teams
What a difference a week makes. Last week, Stevie Artigue had one of the worst performances of his career against South Alabama. Fast forward to Saturday night, he was locked in nailing every kick he attempted. The word from head coach Mark Hudspeth was that the competition at that position was being opened up and that gave the sophomore kicker out of Lafayette High the motivation needed to get back to form and do his job.
2nd Down: Fast Offensive Start, Lackluster Finish
The Ragin Cajuns offense looked to be firing on all cylinders after one quarter of play, but the flame looked to have petered out after that. The offense had 181 yards of total offense after one quarter of play, but only three points on the board. After that quarter is why the game was like it was. Two interceptions thrown by Jennings translated into six points for the Wave and it didn’t get any easier as the struggles continued. In the first quarter, the Cajuns had 10 first downs but only had five the rest of regulation and went 1-for-18 on third down after starting 4-of-6. Not a good look for this team that seemed to be turning the corner with a great game the week before.
3rd Down: Cajuns D Shutdown Tulane in Regulation
Tulane could have ran away with this one on Saturday if not for the Cajuns defense forcing them to settle for three points on those turnovers. The biggest reason why was because of the defense on third down, allowing zero conversions on third down. In most cases, this would give the Cajuns a win because that means you have shut them down and forced them to give you the ball right back. If the Cajuns could have had the same shutdown defense in the overtime periods, it would’ve been a win, but the defense looked gassed late and that wound up causing receivers to be wide open. The defense was giving the Cajuns all the opportunities to win, but it didn’t look good late.
4th Down: Running Down McGuire
The old saying is that you have to play the hot hand and roll with that, but sometimes in the game of football, adjustments need to be made moving forward to avoid making McGuire the workhorse. After the last touchdown that was a reception by the senior running back, it showed that the Cajuns need to look around for someone else rather than using their top player till he can’t go anymore. You’ve got players like Raymond Calais, Darius Hoggins, and Jordan Wright who can have breakout plays against teams. It’s just a bad look for the Cajuns that they are using one back as the workhorse. Hopefully, McGuire is okay after that hit and can play next week.