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 66-38 win over New Mexico State!
1st Down: Offensive Explosion Led By Nunez
Last Monday on Sportschat, Cajuns head coach Billy Napier talked about how he thinks this team is capable of putting up 800 yards of offense (yes he did, and you can listen to it right here). I love a head coach with confidence and they proved just how capable they are in doing that with a record-breaking 759 yards of total offense and the bulk of it was done through the air thanks to a big performance by Andre Nunez.
The senior had himself a homecoming performance for the ages with 315 yards and a record-tying five touchdowns. For a frame of reference, that record has stood since 1996 when Jake Delhomme went off for five touchdowns against Northern Illinois. The Cajuns offense for the last several seasons has predicated on having a strong running game, the Cajuns have a few more tricks up their sleeves in the Napier era and we saw that on Saturday.
2nd Down: Corey Turner Breaks Out
Corey Turner had himself one heck of a day on the offensive side of the ball with four tackles, a sack, and an interception. The senior out of New Orleans has shown the capability of being one of the best defensive players and he built upon that case on Saturday with what he did.
The defensive back seems poised to finish his career in a big way much like Tracy Walker did last year.
3rd Down: Poor Kickoffs
This might be splitting hairs, but the Cajuns kicking game was a little off on Saturday. Some of that is not entirely their fault due to the wind blowing in during the Cajuns kickoffs in the first quarter, including one that Jason Huntley took to the house from the 13-yard line of New Mexico State. There were some other issues though, including a kickoff that went out of bounds in the first quarter that led to the Aggies getting on the board.
I’m nitpicking here, but at the end of the day, this may be the worst thing that happened for the Cajuns over the weekend.
4th Down: Efficient Afternoon
The Cajuns were phenomenal on third down on Saturday, converting on 12 of their 14 attempts. If you can even come close to duplicating those kind of numbers, nine times out of ten you’re winning ballgames and it was the most efficient performance the program has had all season.
They’ve got a tough gauntlet of games in the next few weeks, but if they can be as efficient as they were on Saturday, they have a chance to pull off some sizable upsets.
Extra Point: Baller Status in the Postgame
Jarrod Jackson had himself one heck of an afternoon, with four receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns. With that kind of performance, you’re undoubtedly going to get some questions during the postgame scrum.
Typically, the players come out wearing a collared shirt to the presser. However, Jackson decided to throw on the suit that he wore for the Cajun Walk earlier in the day and become the center of the conversation.Great stuff.
Jarrod Jackson gets two touchdowns on the evening and brings the suit game to the postgame presser. That's how you do it. pic.twitter.com/lIuKgsUaMl