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UL defensive players Bralen Trahan (24) and Cameron Solomon (27) celebrate the interception of Mekhi Garner (20) sealing the 27-20 homecoming win over Arkansas State on Saturday at Cajun Field.

1. This team keeps finding solutions

Sometimes it's the return game, sometimes it's the running game and sometimes it's been the passing game when necessary. More often than not, it's been the defense that has consistently provided winning solutions for the Ragin' Cajuns this season. On Saturday, reserve place-kicker Kenneth Almendares was a huge part of the winning formula for coach Billy Napier's team. On a day filled with red zone misery for both offenses, Almendares making two field goals after starter Nate Snyder missed a 30-yarder in the first half bailed out the Cajuns.

2. Secondary remains a go-to for Cajuns

It's difficult to argue — the Cajuns' secondary is just good. Facing one of the Sun Belt's best wide receiving corps, the Cajuns' defensive backfield came up with big plays when needed. Eric Garror had an interception and several pass breakups. Percy Butler had an interception on the 2-point conversion try. And, of course, Mekhi Garner came through with a game-clinching interception at the end. Arkansas State's two quarterbacks combined for 21-of-40 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. UL will take that.

3. Fourth-down conversions getting scarce for Cajuns

It's the new fad in football. Analytics say offenses should go for it on fourth down more often than ever before. It makes sense, but it's not working most of the time for the Cajuns. It worked great in a desperation moment at UAB and played in a big role in that win. But the Cajuns missed on it three of four times in Saturday's win and are just 4 of 12 on the season in fourth-down conversion tries. If new kicker Kenneth Almendares keeping nailing field goals, that might make it easier, or perhaps a new set of plays in those situations.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.