#72 Louisiana Football 2013 Preview

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Overall Rank: #72

#1 Sun Belt

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If it seemed like the Louisiana football team experienced déjà vu this season, that is exactly what happened. The Ragin Cajuns not only topped the Sun Belt Conference field, they went back to the New Orleans Bowl and showed the home-state fans that some of the best football in the state comes not just from Baton Rouge. Another season of great football should be on the horizon for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

2012 Record: (9-4, 6-2)
2012 Bowl: New Orleans Bowl vs. East Carolina (W 43-34)
Coach: Mark Hudspeth (18-8 at Louisiana, 84-29 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jay Johnson
Defensive Coordinator: James Willis
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Alonzo Harris, RB, 881 yards
Passing: Terrence Broadway, QB, 2.842 yards
Receiving: Jamal Robinson, WR, 630 yards
Tackles: Justin Anderson, LB, 105
Sacks: Christian Ringo, DT, 7.0
Interceptions: Rodney Gillis, S, 5

Other Key Returnees: RB Effrem Reed, WR Darryl Surgent, WR Bradley Brown, TE Jacob Maxwell, WR Ricky Johnson, C Andre Huval, DL Dominique Tovell, LB Trae Johnson, LB Boris Anyama

Key Losses: QB Blaine Gautier, WR Harry Peoples, RB Yobes Walker, WR Javone Lawson, OT Leonardo Bates, OT Jaron Odom, CB Jemarious Moten, CB Melvin White, K/P Brett Baer


Broadway did a fine job in taking over for the injured Gautier early in the season and Broadway did so well Gautier lost his job. All Broadway did was throw for close to 3,000 yards and utilize a solid cast of characters like Harris and Robinson to ride to a nine-win season. Louisiana’s offense was so productive it ranked as the 34th best in the nation, well above some solid programs from stronger conferences. Three running backs and four receivers return, meaning the Cajuns’ offense should be stronger than ever. Having this much diversity should give the Cajuns pause to keep the ball on the ground or in the air, and that should help Louisiana’s average of 35.5 points per game stay strong. Ringo is one of the more solid tackles in the Sun Belt, with seven sacks and three fumbles (two forced and one recovered).


Two of Louisiana’s top secondary members are gone, Melvin White and Jermarious Moten, and with them go several interceptions. That leaves Rodney Gillis, who was granted a 6th year on a medical waiver, as the only returning member of the defense that have more than one interception to their credit. The Cajuns will need to develop a better way of reading offenses to be in place for interceptions down the road. The loss of linemen Emeka Onyenekwu and Cordian Hagans means 11.5 sacks are gone. Enough talent remains so the line shouldn’t be too affected, but when you lose that much talent to rush the quarterback you need to regroup quickly. Leonardo Bates and Jared Odom, who each had 36 career starts, are also gone on the offensive line so two key members need to be plugged in here.

The Bottom Line:

Hudspeth should have enough to work with so that a pronounced fall does not happen any time soon. Louisiana has enough returning at the skill spots, along the lines and in the linebacking corps, with the secondary’s absences about the only glaring weak spot that could cause issues. Otherwise, another Sun Belt title should be in this team’s future.

Projected Bowl: New Orleans Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 193.46 (94th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 261.85 (42, 3)
Total Offense: 455.31 (29, 3)
Scoring Offense: 35.46 (24, 1)
Rushing Defense: 144.62 (42, 4)
Pass Defense: 283.46 (112, 9)
Total Defense: 428.08 (86, 7)
Scoring Defense: 28.08 (63, 5)
Turnover Margin: -0.08 (63, 5)
Sacks: 2.08 (55, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (13, 3)


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