Senior center Terry Johnson did not hesitate when asked to evaluate the Louisiana-Lafayette offensive line’s performance in last week’s 34-10 win against Texas State.
“By far, that was the best we’ve done getting movement, blowing guys off the ball — very much so,” Johnson said.
The numbers back that statement up.
The Cajuns offensive line manhandled the Texas State front to the tune of a season-high 288 rushing yards. For the Cajuns offensive line, a group that doesn’t typically generate headlines unless their quarterback spends the evening on his back, the film was especially satisfying to watch.
“We take pride in rushing (numbers),” junior right tackle Octravian Anderson said. “As (offensive) linemen, that’s what we like to do. We don’t get all the fame, but we know when we do our jobs the rushing numbers speak for themselves.”
The Cajuns runners were able to take advantage of the push the line was getting on the Texas State defensive front. More often than not, Alonzo Harris, Elijah McGuire and Terrance Broadway had traveled a couple yards before they met their first defender.
Maybe because he’s not used to getting noticed, rather than accepting a job well done Johnson heaped the praise on the ball carriers.
“I think we did a good job but Eli and ‘Zo and Broadway – Broadway ran the distance from Lafayette to San Marcos,” Johnson said. “I put it on those guys, it wasn’t just all us.”
But for a minute there early in the first half, it looked like the line might not be in for a great day. When wide receiver Jamal Robinson went down with an injury, the Bobcats started tightening their defense and bringing more pressure on Broadway.
The Cajuns struggled with it at first. Broadway was sacked or hurried four times in the first few drives after Robinson’s injuries.
“(Offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue) always told us that when your best guys are down, the o-line is the group you’ve got to put pressure on, so we took it upon ourselves to take the game into our own hands,” Johnson said. “We had our way with them. We imposed our will upon them.”
Considering that Tuesday’s game against Arkansas State will be broadcast across the country, coach Mark Hudspeth challenged Cajuns fans to come out to Cajun Field and get loud.
“I’ve got to have them here and we’ve got to have them as the 12th man,” Hudspeth said. “Hopefully we can play and do our part, now I’m calling on the fans to do come do their part. I want the rest of the country to see the type of atmosphere that we have.”
The Cajuns have had two crowds larger than 30,000 this season, but drew 26,000 for their last home game against Georgia State. The Cajuns were coming off a three-game losing streak for that game.
Hudspeth knows fans will be challenged by attending the game on a Tuesday rather than the weekend, but he thinks they can manage.
“They’re going to have to come out here as soon as work gets off, get out here to the stadium and get in here and really be loud. Because I want the rest of the country to see the atmosphere that we have here on Saturdays, because it’s incredible.”
Patt should be good
Senior safety Trevence Patt made the trip to San Marcos with the team, but did not play last week. Patt was ready if needed, but Hudspeth was glad for the opportunity to rest Patt’s injured ankle.
“I’m optimistic that he will be playing on Tuesday,” Hudspeth said. “We traveled him this week with the thought process that if we had some injuries, he would be able to go. Being limited physically, he would still be ahead of some other guys mentally.
“Now, with an additional week, we think he’ll be ready to play.”