The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns are on the verge of something special. This Saturday, the Cajuns have a chance to do something they haven’t done in the history of the program when they take on UL Monroe and that’s getting ten wins.
With that in mind, they’ll have to deal with an in-state foe who might want to play spoiler after how last year’s game ended. However, head coach Billy Napier doesn’t think that what happened last year in Monroe will have anything to do with what happens inside the friendly confines of Cajun Field.
“Regardless of what happened in the past, this will always be an important game for both programs,” Napier said during his press conference on Monday, “They’re in our division and certainly there’s tons of relationship here. These kids know each other, the staff knows each other, the alumni know each other. There’s a lot at stake and I’m happy it’s that way because it gets the attention of the players and that’s what matters the most at this point.
You can throw all the statistics out the window and when toe meets leather at 6:30 pm, it’ll be a sixty-minute battle between two programs that are different points. The Cajuns are riding high on a five-game win streak, including a 53-3 drubbing of the Troy Trojans while the Warhawks are coming off of a nail-biting game against Coastal Carolina where they came away with a 45-42 win. One thing the players are expecting is that UL Monroe will be playing hard in the regular-season finale.
“They’re going to come out and play hard,” Shane Vallot said on Monday, “They don’t like us so they’re going to play hard and do some crazy things to get us off our momentum. If we just keep the momentum from last week, no one can stop us.”
Sending the Seniors Off the Right Way
This senior class of the Cajuns has been through a lot. From the ups-and-downs of the end of the Mark Hudspeth era to embracing the culture that Billy Napier has been talking about for years, they’ve seen a lot and now they are preparing for the final game of their careers in Cajun Field. If there’s one thing that the Cajuns head coach wants to do is just send these seniors off the right way and that’s getting a win over their in-state rival.
“This group of seniors will have a lot of success regardless of what they do in life and I’m very proud,” Napier said, “Even last year at the core of our team were some of these guys that had maturity and saw the big picture. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly relative to their four or five years here. It’s a unique group and one that I have a tremendous amount of respect for and want to see them go out the right way.”
Keys to the City
About thirty minutes after the Cajuns head coach finished talking with the media, he made his way over the Cajuns Quarterback Club meeting down the hall and he received a surprise from outgoing Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. The second-year head coach was named an Honorary Cajun on Monday and also received the key to the city.
Napier mentioned that he was humbled by the honor and mentions that they’re just getting started. He also gave credit to his coaching staff, mentioning that they are the best staff that he’s even been on. When you remember some of the programs he’s been a part of, that’s a ringing endorsement for what kind of culture that the program has built.