Thoughts on Lousiana vs. Boise State – From the Bird’s Nest
Last week, even though the Cajuns were blown out by Ole Miss, I thought there were some things Louisiana did better than they did in their loss to Louisiana Tech.
I didn't see much for the Cajuns to hang their hats on Saturday night.
Well, actually there were a couple of things. The Cajuns did the best job they've done all year putting pressure on the quarterback. And, it's not like he was taking all night to throw the football. In addition, the shuffling in the defensive backfield, moving Trev Patt to corner and inserting T. J. Worthy was a good move.
That's the good news. Yeah, I know. It's not much.
I'm not a knee jerk reaction guy. I don't think anyone needs to be benched, fired, or lynched. But it's becoming obvious this team has some issues.
I'm going to give credit to the Boise State front seven. They were every bit as good as advertised. There's a reason why they were second in the nation in rush defense. The Cajuns got absolutely nothing done between the tackles. The offensive line, which had done such a good job against Ole MIss, wasn't able to get the job done. While that wasn't a shock, I think most of us expected the Cajuns to be able to run the ball a little better than they did.
As I said, no knee-jerk reaction. But there's a pattern in a facet of the Cajuns offense that can't be denied: This team misses Jamal Robinson. Badly. The underbelly of Boise State's defense was supposed to be their secondary. Against the Cajuns, their secondary played mostly man defense, allowing their linebackers to be active against the run. The Cajuns' wide receivers could not get any separation at all. Terrance Broadway did not complete a single pass to a wide receiver (slot man Al Riles caught two.) Right now, the Cajuns leading receiver is a running back. Their second leading receiver is a tight end.
I'm sure there are many pointing fingers at Terrance Broadway, but this isn't all on him. Granted, Broadway hasn't played as well as we expected. But the loss of Robinson has a lot to do with that. He really looks like someone who doesn't have a lot of confidence in his receivers right now. Broadway is better than what he's shown, even without Robinson. But he simply hasn't been as sharp. Not even close.
Robinson will hopefully be back for the game against Arkansas State. I'd be surprised if he were back sooner. In the meantime, the Cajuns offense has questions that need answers. Louisiana coach Mark Hudspeth will be even more "hands on" with the offense than usual. And, that's a lot. Louisiana has two weeks to get some things figured out before they open Sun Belt play on October 4th against an improved Georgia State club.
Right now, even that game won't be easy to win. Not unless this team gets better. In a hurry..