1. Back in the saddle
Why do we fall, Master Bruce? The Cajuns can’t afford to dwell on the fact that their six-game winning streak came to an end last weekend. While they might physically be a better team than Troy, the Trojans will likely come out with the emotional edge early for coach Larry Blakeney’s last game on the sideline (more on that next). Did the Cajuns learn how to pick themselves back up after their three-game tumble earlier this season? We shall see.
2. Emotionally charged
Saturday will mark the end of Troy coach Larry Blakeney’s decades-long tenure with the Trojans, and Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth has his guys expecting a Trojans team that will come out fired up to close out their coach’s career with three straight wins. Blakeney led the Trojans to at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference title in five consecutive seasons and is one of just two coaches to oversee a program as it rose from Division II to the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
3. O’ Elijah, where art thou?
A couple weeks ago, Elijah McGuire was the toast of the Cajuns’ world, and it seemed a sure bet he’d easily pick up the 88 yards needed against ULM to become the first Cajuns player since 2008 to crack 1,000 yards in a single season. Two games later, and McGuire is still shy of the mark (though only by 4 yards). The talent hasn’t gone anywhere; the Cajuns just haven’t found the best way to use their best playmaker.
4. Trojan horses
Troy hasn’t been a great running team for most of the season, but it put up huge numbers in its last two weeks against Sun Belt afterthoughts Idaho and Georgia State. The Trojans rolled up more than 600 yards in the last two weeks, going for 324 against Georgia State and 296 against Idaho. For the most part, Troy splits carries between junior Brandon Burks (90 carries, 534 yards) and sophomore Jordan Chunn (100 carries, 479 yards). Both enjoyed a 100-yard day in one of the last two games.