Ragin’ Cajuns’ passing game does what it needs to against Northwestern State — in a limited dose _lowres

Advocate staff photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK -- UL-Lafayette wide receiver Jamal Robinson

LAFAYETTE — UL-Lafayette didn’t need a whole lot from the passing game in its 44-17 win over Northwestern State on Saturday night.

To be exact, they had nine pass attempts — eight from starter Brooks Haack.

But their limited passes were effective. Haack was 7-for-8 for 187 yards. He hit two big passes — one 48 yards to Devin Scott, another 58 yards to Jamal Robinson.

During a game in which running back Elijah McGuire ripped off 162 yards and five touchdowns, Haack said it was still good to have the ability to throw when needed.

“If you wanna key on Eli, go ahead,” Haack said. “Then, boom — we have Jamal outside. We have all these weapons. We didn’t really have to throw it, but the running game with Eli was so on, that it helped our passing game when it was open.”

McGuire — who tied a Cajuns single-game record with his five scores — said utilizing the passing game in their offense is a no-brainer.

“With the receivers we have, why not go deep?” McGuire said. “We have speed; we have big guys like (Keenan Barnes) and Jamal, who can go up and get the ball. Brooks did a very good job of going deep and trusting his receivers.”

Scott’s three-catch, 90-yard game gave the junior wide receiver career highs in both categories. He said he’s been waiting to finally have a breakout game.

“I’ve been working hard and waiting for a game like this,” Scott said. “It makes the offense better to have a lot of people to look for to make plays. I know when we had a pass play, it was time to make plays. Coaches preached all week about making plays, and I knew it was time to step up and make them. Brooks got a lot more confidence and got into a rhythm.”

Robinson said having more options can only help the offense. He said his 58-yard reception — with a Northwestern State defender draped all over him — was huge for his confidence coming off a poor performance last week against Kentucky.

“Getting plays like that are a boost for me,” Robinson said. “I am getting more comfortable. It brings me back confidence to know I am a deep threat.”

Haack said he also gained more confidence as the game went on, and he began to utilize the deep throw. Haack said the completion to Robinson was a stress reliever for both of them.

“Jamal knows he struggled a little last week, and he really wanted to progress this week,” Haack said. “When we connected, that will prove to be a big confidence boost going forward.”

Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth called Haack’s performance Saturday “solid.” Hudspeth said Haack has done enough to earn the starting spot again in two weeks when UL-Lafayette takes on Akron at Cajun Field.

“He didn’t make any mistakes tonight,” Hudspeth said. “He was clean and gave guys a chance to make plays. That’s not to say Jalen (Nixon) won’t play (against Akron), but I’m confident in saying Brooks will start.”