Arkansas State 37, UL-Lafayette 27: Luke Johnson’s three and out _lowres

Advocate Photo by Brad Kemp Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns quarterback Jalen Nixon (6) takes off on a 75 yard touchdown against Arkansas State during their NCAA football game at Centennial Bank Stadium Tuesday Oct. 20, 2015 in Jonesboro, Ak..


Unfortunately for the Cajuns, not much. This was every bit the team that UL-Lafayette was in three other losses this season. Offensively, the Cajuns struggled to find ways to get star running back Elijah McGuire involved in the offense and could not get their passing game going. Defensively, they missed way too many tackles, could not get anything even resembling a pass rush and left receivers running open behind the defense. Some, maybe all, of these problems are correctable, but they keep happening to the Cajuns. That’s why they’re 2-4.


Arkansas State entered the game with 13 interceptions, tied for the most in the nation. They left the game with two more, and both of them were huge. On the first, Cajuns quarterback Jalen Nixon telegraphed a pass down the sideline to Al Riles, and Arkansas State’s Cody Brown jumped the route and took the interception 30 yards for a score. Then, coming off their own momentum-shifting play on a goal-line stand, the Cajuns were driving down the field to cut the Red Wolves’ lead to 13 — but Nixon was intercepted in the end zone.


The Cajuns once again dug themselves into a huge hole early, then had to find a way to somehow fight their way back into the game without relying on what they do best. The amount of fight they showed in the second half was admirable, yes, but it’s outweighed by the concern brought on by being outscored 34-14 in the first half because of many of the same problems they’ve had in past games. If they can’t get this stuff ironed out by now, will it happen at all this year?