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UL running back Emani Bailey (9) runs in for a touchdown against App State during their Sun Belt Conference game at Cajun Field on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 in Lafayette, La..

1. Complete game 

The Cajuns had built a 4-1 record, but had never played a near-perfect game until Tuesday's dominating win over Appalachian State. The defense led the way with its best effort by far on the season, limiting the Mountaineers to 76 yards rushing and 0-for-11 on third down. The defense also forced four turnovers in the game for the first time this season. It was the first time the defense forced more than one turnover in a game this season.

2. Starting fast

For much of last season, one of UL's goals was to start faster. For the second straight game, the Cajuns jumped out to a big early lead with a quick start. After Chris Smith returned the opening kickoff 87 yards at South Alabama in the previous game, the Cajuns scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to build a 20-3 lead. The difference is the team didn't let up at all in the second half, limiting Appalachian State to its fewest rushing yards and total yards on the season.

3. Long drives

It's getting to be the worst place to put UL's offense is inside its own 10. The Cajuns have gotten very good at long touchdown drives this season. In Tuesday's win, UL drove 98 yards on 13 plays in the longest drive of the season at 7:54 to build a commanding 34-13 lead with 3:32 left to go in the third quarter. Amazingly, that wasn't UL's longest drive of the season after putting together a 99-yard touchdown drive against Nicholls. It was the Cajuns' fourth drive of more than 90 yards this season.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.