1st Down: Relatively Clean Game
I have to say that considering the opponent that they were facing, there weren’t a whole of penalties for Louisiana against Mississippi State. In fact, there were only seven total accepted penalties with none of them resulting in a first down.
You can also be glad that the Cajuns came out of the game relatively healthy with Kevin Dotson having a minor injury on his foot, but he should be back in time for the conference opener against Coastal Carolina.
2nd Down: Good First Defensive Drive
The defense may have allowed 56 points, but I have to give these defense a ton of credit on that first drive. The Bulldogs had to earn that first touchdown on a 13 play drive that ended on a 4th and goal one-yard run by Nick Fitzgerald.
I mentioned during the Grambling matchup that they were a bend, but don’t break offense and that first drive showed that it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. The other 10 drives on the evening? I’ll get to that in a little while.
3rd Down: Nunez Showed Tons of Promise in Loss
It wasn’t a great night overall for the offense as they only put up 310 yards of total offense, but we did see another solid performance by Andre Nunez. The senior had set the record for completion percentage in a single game against Grambling two weeks ago and had another solid performance on Saturday, going 21-for-29 for 224 yards.
Even with that interception in the third quarter, he showed a ton of promise and will be key during that stretch run in conference play.
4th Down: Run Defense Virtually Nonexistent
While that opening drive defensively showed some promise, the run defense was virtually nonexistent with Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams both racking up a combined 208 yards and five of their eight touchdowns on the ground. At times, Fitzgerald had wide open spaces to run and you saw a defense that was outmatched in terms of the speed.
The good thing is that there’s a ton of film now that Napier, his coaching staff, and the team can sit around and dissect.
Extra Point: Turnover Spiked Pads
I don’t think there’s anything more that needs to be said. I saw these early on in the ballgame and loved seeing it. Sure the whole “turnover ___” has started to get played out, but it’s still nice to see that the Cajuns have something similar. Add the fact that the #cULture was seen on national TV is a very good thing for this program.