1 What we learned
It’s no revelation, but the Cajuns are good. Southern isn’t one of the more telling gauges, but as openers go this should be satisfying to coach Mark Hudspeth. The Cajuns weren’t perfect, but they looked like a team that has what it takes to win the Sun Belt Conference. The UL-Lafayette defense showed signs of improvement. Tackle Christian Ringo was a disruptive force as the line had its way, and linebacker Trae Johnson was a playmaker. But this team’s signature will again be written by its offense. With Terrance Broadway throwing, Jamal Robinson catching and Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire running, UL-Lafayette is going to create plenty of headaches for opponents.
2 TRENDING NOW Austin Howard. Deonte Shorts was named Southern’s starting quarterback in part because of the experience he gained while redshirting a year ago, but true freshman Howard may not be willing to wait. Shorts was 2-for-9 for 21 yards. Howard guided Southern’s only scoring drive and completed 18-of-31 for 181 yards and a touchdown.
3 FINAL THOUGHTS We knew Southern as an FCS team would have trouble keeping up with its FBS opponent. But one thing that was clear is the APR cloud that has hung over the Jaguars for the last year hasn’t dissipated as it sidelined five Jaguars starters in the opener. This might be a result of Southern’s err-on-the-side-of-caution approach and players will return. But now, coaches and players face non-football obstacles.