LAFAYETTE — Elijah McGuire still is not right.
During Louisiana-Lafayette's quadruple-overtime loss at Tulane in September, McGuire had a career-high 38 carries and racked up 137 all-purpose yards while scoring three touchdowns.
But he suffered a foot injury late in the game and was limited the next two weeks, carrying just 16 times for 63 yards with no touchdowns in losses to New Mexico State and Appalachian State.
McGuire appeared to have bounced back in the Ragin' Cajuns' win over Texas State on Oct. 22 when he rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns. But in Saturday’s 23-13 homecoming loss to Idaho at Cajun Field, McGuire appeared not to be 100 percent, and he was held to 55 yards on 17 carries with no touchdowns.
“We can’t get any big plays out of him,” coach Mark Hudspeth said. “He’s trying to go, but when you’ve got a bad wheel, you just can’t go. He can’t give us those plays right now because of his wheel. He’s trying to go. He’s giving it all he’s got, but it’s just not working.”
Louisiana-Lafayette visits Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. With such a short turnaround, Hudspeth suggested McGuire may not play.
“We’ll have to see,” Hudspeth said. “I don’t even know if he’ll be available this week.”
Lack of turnovers
The Cajuns defense has played well, especially in the second half, in the past three games.
The team has given up only six points in the second half in those games, and all six came in Saturday’s loss to Idaho. Still, the Cajuns lost two of those games.
“It hurts. It hurts bad,” senior linebacker Otha Peters said. “The only thing we can do is just go out there and be better. If our team scores seven points, then we have to go out there and not let them score any points. That is our mentality.”
As good as the defense has been late in games, it still isn’t creating turnovers. The Cajuns have forced eight in as many games.
“If there is one thing we can do better defensively, it's cause turnovers,” Hudspeth said.
Redshirt freshman receiver Michael Jacquet has emerged as a reliable big-play target.
Jacquet has just 15 receptions through eight games but is averaging 13.7 yards per reception. That big-play potential was on display Saturday when he pulled down a 52-yard pass from Anthony Jennings in the first quarter.
Hudspeth said the Cajuns need to get the Beaumont, Texas, native involved more.
“Michael Jacquet has stepped up the past few weeks,” he said. “We have to get him the ball.”
Pass protection issues
The offensive line continues to struggle to keep Jennings upright.
In Saturday’s loss, the Cajuns gave up five sacks, bringing the season total to 22. The Cajuns are giving up nearly three sacks per game, and they have surrendered five or more four times: against Boise State, Tulane, Appalachian State and Idaho.
Quote of the night
“We’re just not moving the ball. We’re not finishing drives, and we’re not putting the ball in the end zone.” — Hudspeth on the Cajuns' offensive woes