The Billy Napier era officially got kickstarted on Saturday night with over 28,000 fans watching the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns take down the Grambling Tigers 49-17. While there was some celebration after the ballgame, the Cajuns head coach is aware that there’s some things that they need to improve upon during the bye week.
“You know, I think there was a lot of positives out there tonight and I think there’s tons of opportunities to learn.” Napier said after the Cajuns win, “We were able to play a lot of players tonight which I think will benefit our team in the long run. I do think that maybe we were a little anxious early.”
That anxiety was clear in the opening minutes of the ballgame with the Cajuns going three and out, then allowing a 52-yard pass from Geremy Hickbottom connecting with Quintin Guice on the first play from scrimmage. After that big play though, they were able to slow the ballgame down and take control, especially on the offensive side of the ball thanks to Andre Nunez connecting on 14 straight completions. The senior quarterback mentioned after the ballgame that it was good to stay within the system and that was a big reason why he was able to get things done the rest of the first half.
Even with all of the positives on both sides of the ball, Napier pushed a message to his team after the win that they need to improve.
“We need to improve and that’s the message. We need to keep that chip on our shoulder and show up every day and work to improve.” Napier said in his opening statement, “We’ve got to make the most of this open date because we’ll play better teams down the road. Big message to our team is that this is what we should expect.”
Even he admitted that he made a lot of mistakes against the Tigers saying that his call sheet looked like something his little daughter drew all over. He then mentioned that he was pleased with the intangibles today.
Now armed with film against another team, the Ragin Cajuns can now start finetuning their gameplan during the bye week and execute it when they take on Mississippi State in Starkville on the 15th.