After an extended road trip for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns, they make their return to Cajun Field for their homecoming matchup against a former conference opponent in New Mexico State. After the win last week, the Cajuns are looking to get to .500 before the conference gauntlet of App State, Troy, and Arkansas State.
Without further ado, let’s get to the preview!
Last Time Out:
The last time the Cajuns took the field, they dominated over in San Marcos, Texas with a 42-27 win over the Bobcats. Meanwhile, the Aggies were able to just get past Liberty with a 49-41 victory thanks to a clutch performance by the defense in the final 2:10 ballgame.
The last time these two faced off, the Cajuns came away with a 47-34 win inside Cajun Field. The series, which dates back to 1975 is knotted up at five matchups a piece, but the Aggies have won two of the last three matchups
Storylines to Watch:
When you look up and down at the numbers for both teams, there are some similarities with both allowing between 35 and 40 points per game. Yes, some of those numbers for the Cajuns are a little inflated with lopsided losses to Mississippi State and Alabama respectively, but the defense has had a tendency of allowing these chunk plays like they did against Coastal Carolina.
While the Cajuns numbers are inflated, seeing the Aggies allow the Liberty Flames score 41 points last week and Utah State blowing them out by the score of 60-13. If the Cajuns can do what they did last weekend in San Marcos, a win is definitely within reach.
Establishing the Run Early and Often
Speaking of what they did last week against Texas State, they ran it down their throats and it’s safe to say that they might need to revisit that strategy, especially after Elijah Mitchell racked up almost 200 yards on the ground.
I mentioned it in the #4Downs about how good his performance was and that perhaps the Cajuns have something similar to what the Saints have in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. It may not be apples to apples in terms of the competition, but there is some truth to the comparison especially when you think about how Trey Ragas and Mitchell have been used in the past. Of course, Raymond Calais is still going to be a part of the run game, but will likely be a smaller part of the proverbial pie in comparison to the other two running backs.
Can Lewis Continue to Make a Case for Starting QB?
This isn’t to say that Andre Nunez is in danger of losing the starting job, but Levi Lewis has slowly been building a case for it. He had a really good ballgame against the Bobcats albeit in a limited role during some pre-planned drives, but going 5-for-5 in that limited of a role is still pretty impressive and if he can build upon that all week during practice and against the Aggies, head coach Billy Napier might give him a little more than just these pre-planned drives.
Louisiana Will Win If:
The Cajuns can get a big win at home before going through a gauntlet of Sun Belt opponents if they can get the run game firing off on all cylinders. New Mexico State has allowed an average of about 243 yards per game and 19 touchdowns at the halfway mark of the season. That’s something that the Cajuns players are licking their chops at and that could mean a big blowout if we see the run game do what we expect it to do.
New Mexico State Will Win If:
The Aggies can spoil homecoming weekend if the passing game can tear up the Cajuns secondary. The Cajuns secondary showed some positives last week against Texas State, but they have had a tendency to allowing a big pass play leading to six points. It’ll be an uphill climb for the Cajuns if Josh Adkins or Matt Romero can get things going through the air.