LAFAYETTE — Two games into the football season, one thing is certain about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette pass defense: It’s quite unlike the ones the Cajuns have featured in recent years.
So far, here are the facts:
ULL’s secondary has four interceptions, with three returned for touchdowns.
And in Saturday night’s 20-12 victory at Kent State, two more defensive takeaways — fumbles recovered by Cajuns defensive lineman Chris Tucker — led to a touchdown and a field goal.
Against Kent State, safety Lionel Stokes turned an interception of quarterback Spencer Keith into a 63-yard touchdown for the game’s first points.
Before that, in a 61-34 loss Sept. 3 at Oklahoma State, Moten returned a Brandon Wheeden pass 50 yards for another score after cornerback Dwight Bentley took another Wheeden throw 38 yards into the end zone.
“We had a great defensive effort (against Kent State) even though we did not have all of our bullets and guns blazing,” ULL coach Mark Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth said the Cajuns were especially thin on the defensive line, as Tucker and Tyrell Gaddies had to play longer than necessary.
ULL’s win also erased a nonconference road drought of nine consecutive games. Before Saturday night, ULL’s last road victory against a non-Sun Belt Conference opponent was 31-28 at Houston in 2006.
Both offenses struggled, something Hudspeth said was because of field conditions.
“We got out of our game plan, but the guys rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter,” Hudspeth said. “For most of the third quarter, we were backed up.
“I think the way we handled that showed a lot of character. I do know that we have to play a lot better than we did.”
Kent State coach Darrell Hazell said his team had problems against the Cajuns.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hazell said. “We sputtered all night offensively. I thought we played good defense all night.
“I thought we would be able to run the ball a little better than what we were doing.”
ULL started senior quarterback Chris Masson at Kent State. He played most of the game but completed five passes for only 18 yards. Blaine Gautier, who started against Oklahoma State, ran for 39 yards on five carries and completed both passing attempts.
Green held out
Tight end Ladarius Green didn’t play against Kent State. The senior, on the Mackey Award watch list, injured a shoulder at OSU, Hudspeth said.