It obviously wasn’t a question UL coach Billy Napier wanted any part of answering.
And it shouldn’t have been.
The truth is, though, since the first time the Ragin’ Cajuns played Texas State in 2013, the series has been as one-sided as it could be.
But when you’re Napier trying to keep his 5-2 Cajuns focused enough to avoid a disastrous homecoming upset at the hands of the visiting Bobcats, reviewing the history of this series isn’t as much fun as it is for the Ragin' Cajuns fans.
UL senior safety Deuce Wallace seems to have a firm grasp on his mental approach as a leader of the Ragin’ Cajuns.
“I don’t know that we’re in that place quite yet,” Napier said. “It’s a Western Division opponent and it gives us a chance to really create momentum and work toward the ultimate goal here. We’re not the type of team, I don’t think, that can just put the ball down and check the box. We’re very much a work in progress, we’ve got lots of young players playing that need to make improvement.”
Just a few weeks ago, the Cajuns were on the other side of a series like this. The Cajuns were 0-6 against Appalachian State since first meeting the Mountaineers in 2014, and lost 17-7 to fall to 0-7.
Since UL first beat Texas State 48-24 in 2013, that series has gone roughly the same as the Appalachian State series in reverse. Last year’s 42-27 win for the Cajuns was the smallest deficit yet.
In the six games, UL has outscored Texas State 224-98. Appalachian State has outscored the Cajuns 225-79.
That’s an average margin of victory of 21 points for UL over Texas State and an average margin of victory of 20.8 for the Mountaineers over the Cajuns.
Almost uncanny really.
With all of that said, it certainly appears the Cajuns have inched closer to Appalachian State than Texas State has to UL.
On paper anyway.
As loathe as they are to acknowledge it, UL’s football team and coaching staff are in an admirable position entering the final month of the Su…
UL’s last three losses to the Mountaineers were by 10, 11 and 10 points and the game on Oct. 9 was more competitive than a 10-point deficit.
Texas State, meanwhile, has never been closer than 15 points.
Since joining the Sun Belt, Texas State has beaten every team except UL and Appalachian State. The most success the Bobcats have had is a 4-3 record against Georgia State, 2-2 against South Alabama and 4-12 against ULM.
Of course, for Napier’s Cajuns (5-2, 2-1) to continue that success against the Bobcats (2-5, 1-2), the daily adherence to the process is necessary.
“We’ve got specific areas on our team where we need to kind of go to that next level, play a complete game, play our best game of the year,” Napier said. “That’s all we’re worried about, certainly Texas State, you start looking at them, they’re a very capable team.
“This is a veteran coaching staff as well with a very experienced staff. Certainly coach (Jake) Spavital in his first year, the defensive staff is basically the entire Texas Tech defensive staff, so Power Five experience and you can see that when you watch them on tape. So they present a number of challenges. We’ve got to have a good week of prep here.”
In a homecoming matchup like this, it’s always good to have something the coaches can use to get their players' attention. In this case, it’s Georgia State.
It’s not technically the midseason point.
It’s the team in the league UL isn’t scheduled to play this season and also a team that’s had some very good wins this season — particularly at Tennessee and against Arkansas State.
“That’s all we’re worried about, certainly Texas State, you start looking at them, they’re a very capable team,” Napier said. “They beat Georgia State which, in my opinion, is one of the most improved teams, and one of the better teams in the East and in our entire league.
“We’ve had a chance to follow them a couple of different times, and you can see they’re a very good football team, so for Texas State to pull that off gives you an indication that they’re very capable and have lots of talented players that can give you issues.”
The other selling point is the Bobcats do play pretty good defense, especially when you consider the program hasn’t won more than three games since 2014.
Texas State is fifth in total defense in the Sun Belt and has the third-best pass defense.
It would be understandable if members of the UL Ragin’ Cajuns football team began looking ahead.
Matchup-wise, however, the Bobcats are No. 9 in the league against the run, which might not bode well against the Cajuns.
However you slice it, UL is supposed to win this game and history says it’ll be by double digits, as long as those pesky homecoming distractions can be overcome.
”Hey, you’re a 5-2 football team with five weeks to go here in November, three of those are at home and three of them are Western Division opponents,” Napier said. “So I think the big thing here is one week at a time has gotta be the approach, one mission at a time, and certainly Texas State is that team this week.”
UL football coach Billy Napier has been around some open dates that didn’t benefit his teams, didn’t allow them reach their potential and didn…