The Cajuns will close out a disappointing season at home against Troy this weekend — a team they’ve beaten four consecutive times. Like the Cajuns, the Trojans have been consistently inconsistent under first-year coach Neal Brown. They’ve had a three-week stretch where they averaged 48 points per game, including a 41-point overtime effort against Appalachian State. In other prolonged stretches, they’ve looked allergic to the end zone. In the four weeks before its offensive explosion, Troy scored a combined 54 points. Saturday’s game, for postseason purposes, is meaningless to both teams, but it should be a good gauge of how much pride remains in the Cajuns program after a lost season.
Needing a win to keep their bowl hopes alive, not much went right for the Cajuns in Boone, North Carolina. The defense stepped up to the plate for stretches but also gave up four easy touchdown drives. The offense could not find any breathing room against an Appalachian State defense that consistently beat it off the line. Had it not been for a 75-yard touchdown drive in the final minute by third-string quarterback Jordan Davis, the Cajuns would’ve been shut out for the first time since the 2009 season. It was an ugly loss in a game where the Cajuns needed to play as close to perfect as possible.
Appalachian State sophomore linebacker Eric Boggs had never been credited with a full sack before Saturday’s game. He left his matchup against the Cajuns looking like an All-American pass rusher. Boggs recorded three of the Mountaineers’ six sacks, and he was in on the action early. He stormed right through the A-gap to drop Cajuns quarterback Brooks Haack for a loss on third down to force a three-and-out on the Cajuns’ first possession of the game.
Keep an eye on
The Cajuns don’t exactly have a quarterback situation anymore, Brooks Haack has proven to be the top option and that doesn’t change after a rough game against a very good defense. That being said, the coach Mark Hudspeth said afterward that Davis will likely get another chance to run the offense in the season finale. The Cajuns coaches love Davis’ skill set, the only thing that was holding him back was experience.
“It’s very, very frustrating. When you have a defense that comes out and forces two turnovers, you’ve got to expect to turn those into seven points. We didn’t capitalize on either one of them.” — Haack, after the Cajuns failed to capitalize on a pair of first-half turnovers.