The Eagles host the 3-5 UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns for Homecoming, and while the Cajuns don’t have the best record, they are fighting for a bowl berth and will get a GS team who’s on a short week.
Two of ULL’s losses came in 2OT and 4OT, which began a stretch where they’ve dropped four of their last five games. ULL is also coming off a short week, and like GS, are working to get prepared and rested with just five days’ rest. It presents an extra for the Cajuns, who have to prepare for a option-offense that they haven’t seen much of this season.
“We’re scrambling, as you might guess, with the short week,” ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth said in his weekly press conference earlier this week. “It’s hard enough to prepare for the option, and having the short week makes it even more difficult.”
Hudspeth is trying to prepare a defense for an option offense that may have just found its mojo last week. The Eagles put together arguably their best offensive performance in the 37-27 loss to Ole Miss.
A lot of that responsibility will fall on the shoulder pads of senior linebackers Tre’maine Lightfoot and Otha Peters. The duo have combined for 139 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and a few forced fumbles. Up front, Joe Dillon will look to get into the backfield and wreak havoc as he has all season; he has 10.5 tackles for loss to go along with six sacks, both of which are team-highs.
Offensively, the majority of the rushing production has come from Elijah McGuire. He’s the only player on the roster with more than 120 yards on the season, and will look to run on a GS defense that has shown gaps in the middle of the defense in the past few weeks.
“They are another tempo-minded team,” GS head coach Tyson Summers said.
ULL quarterback Anthony Jennings will be responsible for getting the offense going. He’s thrown for almost 1500 yards and five touchdowns this season, and added another three scores on the ground. His main target will be 6’ 3” sophomore Keenan Barnes. Barnes has hauled in five touchdowns this season and ULL will look to get him the ball if they get into the red zone.
Both teams come into this game on a short week and needing a win to stay in the hunt for bowl eligibility. While GS has the more talented team, they still need to play well if they want to defend their home turf in front of a big Homecoming crowd.
Photo courtesy of Mick Miller.