The Cajuns return to Cajun Field for their final home game of the season Saturday against Appalachian State. The Mountaineers got off to a rough start in their first season at the FBS level, losing five of their first six games, but they’ve been great lately. After beating Arkansas State 37-32 on the road, the Mountaineers have won four straight, outscoring opponents 165-75 in the process. The Cajuns will focus heavily on sophomore running back Marcus Cox, who has 1,142 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground this season and has been especially hot lately. Cox has a pair of 200-plus yard rushing efforts in his last three games.
After last season’s crushing 31-28 loss at the hands of ULM, the Cajuns went out with revenge on their minds in their 34-27 win in Monroe. The Warhawks made a valiant effort late in the game, scoring two touchdowns in the final seven minutes and having a chance at a game-tying drive with a little more than a minute left, but the Cajuns held on to keep their six-game winning streak intact. The Cajuns pounded the Warhawks to the tune of 282 rushing yards using the three-headed monster that is Alonzo Harris, Terrance Broadway and Elijah McGuire, and Broadway had an efficient 10-of-13 passing performance as well.
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for senior linebacker Jake Molbert. He was penciled in as the starter throughout fall camp before a couple injuries — including a scare with rhabdo, a potentially serious condition that results in the breakdown of muscle tissues — sidelined him for a couple weeks at the beginning of the season. But he’s been a force in the last couple games and played an especially big role in the Cajuns win Saturday. He had two sacks on the evening to go along with two forced fumbles, both of which were recovered by the Cajuns. His last forced fumble came when he blew up ULM punter Justin Manton after a low snap on a punt, setting up a short field that the Cajuns took advantage of for a score.
Keep an eye on
Defensive lineman Christian Ringo’s stellar senior season continued Saturday with 2.5 more sacks. That gave Ringo 10.5 sacks this season, putting him in rarified air as far as historical seasons and careers for Cajuns pass rushers. Ringo is now half a sack behind tying the Cajuns’ 21-year-old single-season record held by both Jeff Mitchell and Conrad Lewis (who both accomplished it in 1993), and one sack behind tying Mitchell’s career record of 21. Ringo also tallied a school-record 5.5 tackles for loss against ULM, putting him 1.5 behind Mitchell’s total (21) for the single-season record.
“He took a lot of hits tonight. I’m sure he’s going to feel it tomorrow.”
— Molbert, on ULM quarterback Pete Thomas, after the Cajuns sacked Thomas seven times in the game.
McGuire’s streak of 100-yard rushing games ended at three, as the Warhawks limited him to 48 yards on 13 carries. But McGuire’s 1-yard touchdown run gave him a score in seven straight games … Harris’ 133 rushing yards were his most since he ran for 137 against Troy in September 2012.