TULSA, Okla. — For the second week in a row, the Louisiana-Lafayette football team found itself in a shootout.
After edging Southeastern Louisiana in its season opener, the Ragin’ Cajuns were dealt a 66-42 setback Saturday at Tulsa, which racked up 667 yards — including a whopping 424 on the ground.
“We’ve missed too many tackles and had too many breakdowns after two games,” Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said. “And when you’re not playing good, that makes it even worse because (Tulsa is) going to put up a lot of points on a lot of people this year.”
UL-Lafayette wasn’t shabby on offense, either, producing 596 yards behind a solid outing from Jordan Davis, who connected on 21 of 32 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 60 yards and another pair of scores.
“I think we’ve found our quarterback,” Hudspeth said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the offense. We did some really good stuff offensively and stayed in a track meet with a team that wants to be in a track meet with you.”
The Cajuns (1-1) fell behind by double digits late in the second quarter but were within three points midway through the third, having missed two extra-point attempts and failed on a 2-point conversion. Interceptions followed on back-to-back possessions, including one on a flea flicker thrown by Michael Jacquet, and UL-Lafayette trailed 52-35 early in the fourth.
A quick-strike drive that featured a 50-yard pass from Davis to Keenan Barnes ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Trey Ragas, and the Cajuns were nearly successful with an onside kick that bounced off a player on the receiving team before Tulsa recovered it. From there, the Golden Hurricane drained the clock with two lengthy, rushing-only touchdown drives.
“It got away from us a little bit late,” Hudspeth said. “I felt like the only way to get back in the game was to try an onside kick, because if we kicked to them, they were just going to score again. We almost got it.”
For most of the first half, UL-Lafayette matched Tulsa stride for stride while the teams combined for more than 700 yards. The shaky Golden Hurricane defense had equal difficulty stopping its opponent, with Ragas totaling 130 yards on 11 carries and Barnes (102) and Ryheem Malone (119) recording the first 100-yard receiving games of their careers.
“I thought we really improved today upon last week’s performance,” Davis said. “It was really good to see players make plays. The offensive line did a great job protecting me today.”
Tulsa running back D’Angelo Brewer torched the Cajuns defense for a career-high 262 yards on 38 carries and scored three touchdowns, and his team averaged almost 6 yards on 72 rushing attempts.
“There’s no excuses about it,” safety Tracy Walker said. “I feel like we just went out there and we played a terrible football game. The offense did a great job keeping us in it, but defensively we just didn’t hold our side of the ball. So I feel like we’ve just got to come back this week and put in long, countless hours and work on our mistakes.”