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UL placekicker Kenneth Almendares (45) kicks a 48-yard field goal in Saturday's loss to Texas.

1. Special teams struggled

It’s a major emphasis of this program and it played a large part in last year’s upset of Iowa State, but UL had a nightmarish day in the kicking game in Saturday’s loss to Texas. The good news is Kenny Almendares nailed both of his field goals, but even he got an extra point blocked. The coverage teams weren’t sharp on punts or kickoffs and the Cajuns booted the opening kickoff of the second half out of bounds.

2. No halftime adjustments

A year ago, halftime deficits proved to be no big deal for the Cajuns. UL coach Billy Napier’s staff always seemed to have the answer after the second-half kickoff. On Saturday in Austin, the Cajuns never found those solutions. Everything Texas had success with in the first half — largely isolating its elite athletes in space — the Longhorns repeated in the second half. With UL’s defense worn down, Texas was even better in the second half.

3. Reserve judgment on RBs

The big preseason question was how UL would replace the losses of running backs Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell. Being behind throughout Saturday’s loss didn’t exactly allow UL to run it much. But the inside ground game was successful early and true freshman running back Montrell Johnson opened some eyes with 27 yards on six carries.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.