Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns! This week, I look at the Cajuns 27-17 loss to the Appalachian State Mountaineers!
1st Down: Missed Opportunities Early
One thing that stuck out to me from the Cajuns loss was failing to capitalize on an early opportunity. The Mountaineers were able to march down to the field all the way to the Louisiana 28-yard line before being stifled on fourth and three.
What followed was the definition of a blown opportunity with an incomplete pass followed up by a fumble recovered by App State, leading to the first points of the afternoon. The same could be said in the second quarter after Eric Garror picked off Zac Thomas right after tying things up. It was more of the same: three-and-out and went three yards backwards.
When you play some of the premier teams in the conference, you have to capitalize on whatever opportunities are in front of you and that was a huge reason why the end result was another loss in Boone, North Carolina
2nd Down: Ragas and Mitchell Stifled
The Cajuns offense the last few weeks has been predicated on Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell. The offense was stifled largely because of these two combining for 118 yards on the ground. They both fell well below that mark that they’ve hit with a lot of consistency since the Alabama game and perhaps a lot of credit has to go to defensive coordinator Bryan Brown for keying in on them in his game prep.
3rd Down: Secondary Has Solid Day
While the run defense was suspect, the secondary had a really good day. You had Garror’s interception in the second quarter along with a big game for Corey Turner, who had 11 total tackles including half a tackle for loss.
You can also put a gold star for the defense allowing only 106 yards through the air from Zac Thomas. If there was any bright spot for the Cajuns in a tough loss, this has to be it.
4th Down: Rough Afternoon for Cajuns QBs
Things just weren’t clicking for the Cajuns offense throughout their matchup against App State. You had Nunez complete 60.8% of his passes and most of them went for less than ten yards. Levi Lewis on the other hand had a solid afternoon with all three of his completions going for 20 or more yards.
Yes the sample size for Lewis is much smaller, but it’s another feather in the cap for their backup quarterback that is starting to get the job done in his pre-planned drives.
Extra Point: Step in Right Direction for Cajuns
You take one look at the series between these two teams, the Cajuns have gotten housed in most of the matchups since the Mountaineers joined the conference in 2014. I mean, last year was a 63-14 drubbing at The Rock. Less than a year later, we saw a Cajuns team keep it competitive against the gold standard of the Sun Belt and while not getting the win sucks, you have to like the direction this program is going even in a loss.