It was a blackout night at Cajun Field for the UL Ragin’ Cajuns.
As a result, the Cajuns wore black jerseys on top of black pants with red numerals. Very few people in the press box and likely in the stands knew exactly which players were doing what during four quarters of football.
"The intent there is about the military appreciation," UL coach Billy Napier said about wearing the black jerseys. "The change-up to the black was to honor them. I imagine our players like it. I imagine recruits like it. It's a good-looking uniform. Today was more about that (military appreciation) is the intent. We did that a Clemson. We wore all purple and kind of had that theme for the week and I thought that was an awesome experience for the players."
It seemed the visiting Troy Trojans didn’t see UL’s players much either ,or figure out the Cajuns’ strategy in any facet of the game.
Troy’s normally efficient passing game only completed 18-of-40 passes with two interceptions, averaging only 5.1 yards per carry. By comparison, it was UL’s passing attack that looked sharp with quarterback Levi Lewis hitting 21 of 33 passes for 273 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.
The Cajuns averaged 8.8 yards per pass in the blowout win.
UL’s defense also played a huge role with four sacks and two interceptions.
The Cajuns even added to the total blackout in time of possession as well with 32:56 off the clock to 27:04 for Troy.
About the only category the Trojans fared better than the Cajuns was in penalties with six for 53 yards, while UL was flagged nine times for 58 yards.
Coming into Saturday’s game at Cajun Field, both Troy and UL’s offenses were leading the Sun Belt in third-down conversions — Troy on top at 50.3%, just a hair ahead of the Cajuns at 49.6.
The best mark in that category in Sun Belt history was Middle Tennessee’s 51.1% in 2001.
"We're getting good play from a lot of people," Napier said. "The young talent on the team tonight emerged — the defensive front and the secondary. I think we've been working really, really hard. It showed up tonight."
That all changed Saturday when the Cajuns limited Troy to 0-of-7 on third down in the first half, while the Cajuns hit on six of 10 tries. The Trojans punted five times for a 44.4-yard average in the first half.
The Trojans’ offense ended the game converting just four of 15 attempts, while UL’s offense finished 8-of-14 to put the Cajuns in position of breaking the all-time Sun Belt record.
Record book watch
As the offense continues to roll, so does its revisions to the UL record book.
Wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley caught the 19th touchdown of his career, which leaves him tied for fifth on the school’s career list of receiving scores with Fred Stamps.
That happened after the Cajuns’ first scoring drive. On the second one, Raymond Calais exploded for a 27-yard touchdown run to give UL its 35th rushing touchdown of the season. That’s the most in school history.
UL kicker Stevie Artigue tied Brian Mitchell for No. 3 all-time in scoring with 286 points after making his third field goal of the game to go with six extra points.
Another distinction: In the first half, all three UL running backs Calais, Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell rushed for a touchdown. That’s the third time this season all three did that in the same game and the fourth time in their careers.
Bam heating up
Through his first eight games, senior receiver Jarrod Jackson had 11 receptions for 203 yards and no touchdowns. In two of the last three games, however, Jackson has emerged as a target for Lewis.
At Coastal Carolina, Jackson had three receptions for 48 yards. Then in the first half against Troy on Saturday, Jackson snagged four passes for 51 yards. He wouldn’t get another target the rest of the way in the blowout win.
In the first half, Lewis was 16-of-27 passing for 189 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Bradley led the early effort with four catches for 66 yards and a score, while Jamal Bell added three catches for 26 yards.