A look ahead at Tuesday's conference battle against Louisiana. Winner takes first place in the Sun…
A Look Back at the Western Kentucky Win
What went right?
The Cajuns were +3 in turnovers— The percentages say anytime a team wins the turnover battle by +3 or more, that team wins the game over 80% of the time. Al Riles 99 yards interception td return of a Brandon Doughty pass was a huge momentum changer after the WKU offense scores 10 quick points in the first quarter. MLB Justin Anderson's two fumble strip's sealed Western Kentucky's fate.
Defense Conversion Rate- Another important stat was the 3rd and 4th downs conversion rates. The Cajuns defense held the Topper's offense to (2-10) 20% on 3rd down and (0-4) 0% on fourth down. The defense gave some, but came away with some big stops during the game.
Offensive Conversion Rate Once the Cajun's offense got started, they weren't stopped very often on 3rd down. UL's offense was an amazing (8-13) 62% on third down. A team with that percentage seldom looses the game.
Ragin' Cajuns Rushing Game While the Cajuns offense struggled in the first half, the offensive line took over in the second half, rushing for 198 of the team's 254 total rushing yards. The Cajuns had the ball for 14 minutes in the 3rd quarter and 9 minutes in the 4th quarter. That is a winning formula!
UL Defensive Pass Rush The Cajun's defensive front had its most productive night of the season putting pressure on the quarterback (4 sacks for -26 yards) and making several tackles for loss in the running game. The Cajuns defensive line accomplished this in spite losing starter Chris Ringo early in the game and playing without injured freshman Blain Winston in the rotation.
What went wrong?
The Passing Game Terrance Broadway and the Cajuns offense struggled in the first half after having a breakout game against Texas State. Broadway was 0-1 in the first quarter and was sacked on his only other attempt at the end of the quarter. Broadway finished the first half 2-7 for 18 yards and if not for the turnovers created by the Cajuns defense, Western Kentucky could have easily shut UL completely out during the first half of the game.
Defense gave up the big play While the defense was advantageous in creating turnovers, pressuring the quarterback and stopping the Western Kentucky on some crucial 3rd downs, they gave up six plays of 20+ yards resulting in 191 yards of the Hilltoppers total offensive 471 yards. That is entirely too many big plays and will cost you eventually in any game.
Penalties While 89 yards in total penalties doesn't seem like a large amount, two personal foul penalties committed by Justin Hamilton and Trev Patt accounted for 60 yards of the total penalties at inopportune times. Hamilton's roughing the passer personal foul eliminated an interception by the Cajun's defense and Patt's foul gave Western Kentucky a first down after the defense had stopped them on 3rd down. Both are upper classmen and those types of penalties will cost you in close games.
The Pass Defense While the Cajuns played well on defense at times, when Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty was being sacked or throwing interceptions, he was ripping UL with big plays. In spite of the interceptions, Doughty finished the game 18-of-23 for 260 yards and hit 5 plays of 20 plus yards. That is entirely too many big plays allowed by the UL pass defense and again will cost you in most games.
The win over Western Kentucky was far from a thing of beauty Tuesday night, but it certainly was a huge win for the Ragin' Cajuns aspirations for a Sun Belt regular season championship!
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