1. “We’ve been in their homes.”
Not only are a healthy number of Cajuns players familiar with Ole Miss from growing up in Mississippi, but members of the Cajuns coaching staff are familiar with some of the Rebels’ most talented players from their time on the recruiting trail with rival Mississippi State. Said assistant head coach Reed Stringer, the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator in 2009, “We’ve been in their homes. We know them personally. It’ll be interesting going to play those guys. We know how good they are, because we know how hard we recruited them.”
2. Good Bo, Bad Bo
Which Bo Wallace will show up? The Ole Miss quarterback, now in his third year, has been plagued by inconsistency in his career. When he’s Bad Bo, he’s careless with the football. He threw three first-half interceptions in the season opener against Boise State. When he’s Good Bo, he’s brilliant. He threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns in that same game to lead the Rebels to a rout. The Cajuns’ best chance comes if they force Bad Bo out with pressure, but that comes with the risk of Good Bo carving up that pressure.
3. Take care, Cajuns
The flip side of forcing Wallace into bad decisions is that the Cajuns must take better care of the ball. Through two games, the Cajuns have turned the ball over five times. Quarterback Terrance Broadway has thrown three interceptions, though the pick-six he threw against Louisiana Tech last week came on a tipped ball. In addition to working on drills to force turnovers in practice this week, the Cajuns worked through several drills where they focused on ball security.
4. Unhappy returns
The Cajuns put sophomore Eli McGuire back to return punts with the hope that the dynamo running back would be able to break games open with his speed and agility. That hasn’t been the case yet, as McGuire has only one return for 11 yards, and that came on the first punt he saw. Since then, opponents have kicked short and unreturnable punts, eliminating his chances. This week might not be his week, either: The only punt return against Ole Miss this season has gone for a loss of 1 yard.