Something has to give this weekend.
Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia State each come into Saturday’s game at Cajun Field (6 p.m., ESPN3.com) on a three-game losing streak, and neither has looked pretty doing it. Someone has to emerge with a win Saturday night.
Here’s a glimpse at what the Panthers are bringing to Cajun Field:
Reason to worry
The Panthers have the Sun Belt’s best scoring and passing offense, and the Cajuns have given up a lot of points and yards through the air.
Reason not to worry
As prolific as the Panthers offense has been, their defense hasn’t been up to par, giving up at least 34 points in every game.
Quarterback Nick Arbuckle has been a revelation for the Panthers, throwing for a Sun Belt-leading 328.8 yards per game to go with nine touchdowns. Arbuckle is a junior-college transfer who beat out Ronnie Bell, the Panthers’ starting quarterback a year ago, in the spring.
Georgia State’s offense is a high-volume passing attack that aims for a lot of short, high-percentage throws. Arbuckle has thrived, throwing for more than 400 yards twice already.
If Arbuckle has one fault, it has been ball security. The junior has thrown multiple interceptions in all but one game.
Not a whole lot has gone right for the Panthers defensively, but don’t blame senior linebacker Jarell Robinson. He has already put up career-best numbers in tackles for loss (seven, which leads the Sun Belt) and sacks (three, tied for second).
For the most part, the Cajuns have done a good job keeping quarterback Terrance Broadway upright. But they’ll need to keep tabs on Robinson at all times Saturday.
Another player to watch is junior inside linebacker Joseph Peterson, who has 53 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Joel Ruiz could give the Cajuns fits.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior tight end was not available for the Panthers’ 45-14 loss at Washington because of a shoulder strain, but he leads Sun Belt tight ends at 74.3 receiving yards per game.
He has shown nice chemistry with Arbuckle, snagging seven passes for 111 yards and a pair of scores in the season opener and six passes for 95 yards in the Panthers’ 48-38 loss to Air Force.
The Cajuns have been vulnerable to the pass and haven’t faced a team with a receiving threat like Ruiz at tight end.
Last time they met
Last season was the first time these teams met on a football field. The Cajuns won 35-21 behind four Broadway TD passes and a 75 percent conversion rate on third down.
Georgia State offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski’s name may sound familiar. He was once a hot commodity in the coaching world, back when he was leading Boston College to ACC division championships. But he lost his job when he interviewed for the New York Jets’ position in 2009 … The Panthers didn’t have a football program until 2010, and last year was their first as a member of the Sun Belt.