After Louisiana's opening week 45-6 win over Southern, here are a few of my observations, mostly off the field related.

First of all, it was everyone's first game.  Both teams, game management, the scoreboard guy, the sound person, the concession people.  I'm guessing no one got it perfectly.  Just as a football team improves from week one to week two, so will everyone else.

I didn't get to pay attention much to the new video board.  I will say, the clarity is pretty impressive.  I saw a couple of replays, but as I said, when you go on the air two hours before kickoff there isn't a lot of chance to do scoreboard watching.  I liked what I saw.

The sound system needs to be dialed down a notch...well, actually, several notches. I guess with the big crowd they figured they had to make it louder.  It was wayyy too much.  Hans has a great voice.  That doesn't mean we need to hear him quite so loudly.

The additions to Cajun Field look great.  The seats in the end zone and the restrooms and concessions on top makes Cajun Field look "big time."  Congratulations to the university and the contractor for getting it done on time.

A pat on the back to the staff at UL for being able to hit a curve ball.  The rain meant the area behind the HIlton Garden Inn wasn't usable for parking.  That was a big issue.  But the university had several alternate areas for parking and provided shuttle service to ease the inconvenience.

By the way, if you noticed anything that was out of whack and want to bring it to anyone's attention, John Dugas is the guy (  Believe it or not, he likes stuff like that.

The Human Jukebox is as good as I remembered from last time.  A band is supposed to compliment the college football experience.  Southern's band does just that.  They're rocking rendition of Blondie's "Call Me" had me rockin in the press box.  And, if you left early and didn't hear them play Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," you missed one of the highlights of the night.

Southern's band is almost all horns and drums and as a result, their volume was and is much louder than the UL band.  I thought the Pride of Acadiana made great strides a year ago but last night pointed out the biggest flaw.

Song selection.

I remember last time Southern came, they played Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" and I could hear people singing.  Loudly.  A band is supposed to be fun and what they play is a lot more important to fans than whether or not their lines are straight when they're in formation.

Now, I like Frankie Valli and much as anyone.  Seeing Jersey Boys on Broadway should attest to that.  But a Frankie Valli ballad and some Dionne Warwick is anything but fun.  Not as bad as the year they did a tribute to Michael Buble' and played "Hakuna Matata."  But not by much.

Cajun fans are finally starting to get it.  It's ok to go to a football game when the weather is less than ideal.  Southern fans obviously got that message a long time ago.  They all were dressed for the occasion and were prepared for bad weather.  But kudos to the Cajuns' fans.  Yes, there were thousands dressed in Blue and Gold, but we're still talking about a crowd of over 36,000.  Nice job, fans.

Southern didn't get to Cajun Field until 45 minutes before kickoff.  There were some clearing house issues they were trying to take care of.  It's my understanding there were a lot of football players (most of them newcomers) that never got to get on the bus.  That meant that Southern was warming up at a time when most teams would be in the locker room.  Wish they would have stopped during the national anthem, though.

I liked the new Cajuns uniforms.  Very understated and traditional, complete with an absence of stripes.  But if you're going to put the names of the players in black on a red jersey you might as well save yourself the expense.  There should be a rule about not being able to read numbers.  Southern's gold and blue combination on white was a broadcasters' nightmare.  At least I only had to see it once.  I've never used binoculars so much during a game.

I'm not really good with this number change thing I saw from the Cajuns.  Fans get used to identifying players by number (me too) and it was disappointing to see so many changes.  I counted at least a dozen and there might have been more.  C'mon man.

Not much disappointing, football wise.  You want to know how good Terrance Broadway is?  The guy completes two of every three passes, throws for three touchdowns and,  rushes for another, and, up in the booth, we didn't think he played all that well.  On nights when he's really good, the Cajuns will be really, really good.  Louisiana had only four penalties in the game.  Jamal Robinson and the prophet Elijah are studs.  Liked the play of the tight ends a lot, and liked the fact eleven different receivers caught a pass.  Didn't like the fact the defense did not collect a turnover.  There will be games when they'll absolutely need to to that.  But I understand both the offense and defense were vanilla.  And, there's nothing wrong with vanilla.

But I'm looking forward to chocolate chip cookie dough next week.



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