BOISE, Idaho — There weren’t a lot of positives in Louisiana-Lafayette’s lopsided 34-9 loss at the hands of the Boise State Broncos on Saturday night.
But Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth was positive about this: He’s going to focus on making his offense more productive.
“Offensively, we have to get it going,” Hudspeth said after watching his team drop to 1-3. “We’re going to make sure we get it going. … We’ve got to create some bigger plays, we’ve got to create some momentum, and we’ve got to stay on the field. But more importantly, over anything, we’ve got to score points. We’re not scoring points right now. A team that scored 34 a game or 35 a game last year came in here and scored nine.”
If there was a bright side offensively for the Ragin’ Cajuns it was running back Elijah McGuire. The 5-foot-11, 198-pound sophomore led the Cajuns in both rushing in receiving. He finished with 35 yards on seven carries and 10 catches for 106 yards.
McGuire showed he can be productive catching the ball out of the backfield after having just 37 yards receiving coming into Saturday’s game.
“It was in the gameplan this past week,” McGuire said. “(The coaches) wanted to get the ball in my hands, and hopefully I could do something with it. I think I did that tonight, helped my team and made some big plays.”
McGuire’s ability as a receiver has been on display before. He was third on the team in receiving yards last season with 22 catches, 384 yards and three touchdowns.
Hudspeth said he wished he had involved McGuire in the passing game earlier than he did Saturday.
“I thought we probably waited too late to get to that,” he said. “He did some nice things, and we have to get him the ball more.”
Cajun fans can probably expect to see even more of McGuire’s playmaking ability as the team heads into Sun Belt Conference play Oct. 4 against Georgia State.
“We’ve got to create some ways to get our playmakers the ball,” Hudspeth said. “We’re not getting Eli enough touches.”
That said, McGuire said the offense felt better about its production in the second half, when the Cajuns scored their only touchdown (a 7-yard run by McGuire).
“I thought in the second half we came out fighting like the coaches wanted us to do,” McGuire said. “We moved the chains. It’s just got to carry on in two weeks, when we’ve got Georgia State at home.”
And both McGuire and Hudspeth sounded determined to come out firing on all cylinders for that game.
“Every goal is in front of us,” Hudspeth said. “And this open date is coming at the right time. … Playing good competition has prepared us for conference play.”
“Everybody can get recovered and get their body feeling right,” McGuire said. “Hopefully … everybody will be ready to roll.”