#67 Louisiana Football 2014 Preview

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Overall Rank: #67
#1 Sun Belt

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For three seasons in a row, Louisiana has won nine games. In 2014, winning nine games is towards the lower end of expectations. The Ragin’ Cajuns do have tough non-conference games at Ole Miss and Boise State, but the tougher Sun Belt contests are in Lafayette and, as things stand now, Louisiana should be favored in ten of their dozen regular season games.

2013 Record: (9-4, 5-2)
2013 Bowl: New Orleans Bowl vs. Tulane (W 24-21)
Coach: Mark Hudspeth (27-12 at Louisiana, 93-33 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jay Johnson
Defensive Coordinator: James Willis

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Alonzo Harris, RB, 942 yards
Passing: Terrance Broadway, QB, 2,419 yards
Receiving: Jamal Robinson, WR, 862 yards
Tackles: Dominique Tovell, LB, 67
Sacks: Justin Hamilton, DT, 4.0
Interceptions: Sean Thomas, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: OL Terry Johnson, RB Elijah McGuire, CB Trevence Patt, OL Daniel Quave, OL Mykhael Quave, DE Christian Ringo, CB Corey Trim, S T.J. Worthy

Key Losses: LB Justin Anderson, C Andre Huval, DE Brandon McCray, WR Darryl Surgent,

The Ragin’ Cajuns offense will be extremely difficult for any team in the Sun Belt to contain. It starts under center with quarterback Terrance Broadway. As a junior last season, he threw for 2,419 yards and 19 touchdowns and added 442 yards and eight more scores on the ground. Fellow senior Jamal Robinson will once again be Broadway’s favorite target after catching 54 passes for 862 yards and eight touchdowns. Running back Elijah McGuire is a very dangerous target out of the backfield. On top of 863 rushing yards, McGuire added 22 receptions for 384 yards. He reached the end zone a total of 11 times. But McGuire is not even the starting running back. Alonzo Harris led the potent ground game with 942 yards and 14 scores. With that many weapons, Coach Mark Hudspeth will have the luxury of riding the hot hand. The offensive line, which returns four starters, is the most talented in the conference. Guard Daniel Quave is a monster and Louisiana can almost always pick up a tough yard or two when sending Harris over the right side.

The defense has more room for improvement, especially with the loss of linebacker Justin Anderson. Anderson totaled an amazing 131 tackles and no single player is going to step in and replace his production and leadership. Dominique Tovell is a good place to start though. The junior linebacker was second on the team in tackles with 67. The three man line was not particularly effective getting to the quarterback a year ago, but nose tackle Justin Hamilton is very good at stuffing the run. The secondary was the weakest part of the defense in 2013, yet is suddenly an extremely veteran group. Trevence Patt is a big senior corner and Corey Trim will once again man the side opposite of Patt. At safety, Sean Thomas led the Ragin’ Cajuns with three interceptions and junior T.J. Worthy totaled 59 tackles. With four upperclassmen returning to their starting jobs in the secondary, Louisiana should be more productive in the pass defense. Just how big of a boost that becomes will depend on the ability of the front seven to force the opposing quarterback to make quick decisions.

The Bottom Line:
For Louisiana, anything less than a conference title would be disappointing. There is simply more talent, experience and depth on this team than anywhere else in the conference. A favorable schedule does not hurt either. With three consecutive bowl wins, the Ragin’ Cajuns and Coach Hudspeth will likely continue that impressive run.

Projected Bowl: New Orleans Bowl

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 204.5 (26th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 212.2 (80, 5)
Total Offense: 416.8 (56, 4)
Scoring Offense: 33.8 (34, 2)
Rushing Defense: 150.7 (47, 2)
Pass Defense: 242.8 (80, 5)
Total Defense: 393.5 (56, 3)
Scoring Defense: 26.5 (62, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.1 (56, 4)
Sacks: 1.62 (90, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (66, 5)


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