‘A great shot in the arm at the right time’ — UL-Lafayette beats Texas State 49-27 in its Sun Belt opener _lowres

Advocate photo by BUDDY DELAHOUSSAYE -- UL-Lafayette quarterback Jalen Nixon scores a touchdown as wide receiver Gabe Fuselier looks on during Saturday's game against Texas State at Cajun Field.

Coming up

The Texas State game was one many thought the Cajuns should have won (though the Bobcats are much better than their 1-4 record suggests). The next game should provide a better gauge of where the Cajuns are. Arkansas State has spent the better part of the last four years battling the Cajuns for the top spot in the Sun Belt Conference hierarchy, and has another solid team this season. Plus, the Red Wolves certainly haven’t forgotten giving up 55 points to the Cajuns in a nationally-televised Tuesday game last year. They’ll be looking for some home redemption.

Looking back

The Cajuns entered SBC play reeling from back-to-back disappointing losses. Their defense was a mess, their offense couldn’t connect on explosive plays and a month into the season they still hadn’t identified a starting quarterback. One game did well to turn those fortunes around. The Cajuns were explosive offensively, just stingy enough on defense to turn a close game into a 49-27 blowout of Texas State, and it appears they’ve found their answer at quarterback.

Saturday’s star

Jalen Nixon was a stud against Texas State. Yes, the Bobcats came into the game with one of the worst pass defenses in the country, but the way Nixon was threading the needle Saturday, there probably weren’t many defenses that could’ve contained him. The dart he threw to Jamal Robinson on a 31-yard touchdown in the third quarter was a thing of beauty. The Cajuns finally have their man at quarterback.

Keep an eye on

Before the season, there were a couple questions about Elijah McGuire: How would he handle the additional workload, and if he handled it well, what in the world was he capable of? Well, McGuire received a career-high 28 carries against Texas State and responded with a 170-yard effort. He’s now got 585 rushing yards in five games and is on pace for 1,404 in the regular season. Oh, and by the way, he torched Arkansas State for a career-high 265 yards last season. So yes, keep an eye on McGuire, who might just be settling into something special.

Worth repeating

“I don’t see how you couldn’t say (he would be the starter) tonight as we move forward. Obviously good enough to be the guy next week. The kid played extremely well and obviously will be the starting quarterback next week.” — coach Mark Hudspeth, announcing that quarterback Jalen Nixon will start next week’s game.