Five Keys to Beating Southern – From the Bird’s Nest
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns open the 2014 season by entertaining the Southern University Jaguars Saturday night at 6pm at Cajun Field. The Cajuns are a heavy favorite in the game, but there are still things they need to do and do well to help them win Saturday and beyond.
1. WHIP THE VETERANS--Southern has some pretty good experience on the offensive line and it was a good line last year. The Cajuns, however will have plenty of experience of their own and will hold a size advantage. Southern is young at some spots. The Cajuns need to exert their authority over the veteran players, and that starts with Southern's O-Line. You figure with an untested quarterback SU will try and run the football. It's the big guys job to make sure that doesn't happen.
2. GET INTO SHORTS--Redshirt Freshman Deonte Shorts has won the quarterback job. He's replacing a good one in Joseph Bray, who threw for 3,573 yards and 30 touchdowns last year. The Cajuns pass rush needs to test Shorts' composure early and make him as uncomfortable as possible. If they can do that, it could easily lead to some turnovers.
3. POUND IT--We know the Cajuns' running game is good. What some don't know is the running game is also deep. This is a game to run it to build a lead and then let Torrey Pierce, Effrem Reed and Darius Hoggins. That's enough to run it and run some more and still keep everyone fresh.
4. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE VEST--In openers, especially against opponents that are heavy underdogs, coaches have a tendency to be pretty vanilla. But the coaches should be so vanilla that the opponent starts thinking he has a chance. Nothing wrong with a little wrinkle early just to make a statement.
5. FILM THE JUKEBOX--This has really nothing to do with the game. But the Southern University Band's performance is something to archive for the players to see later. Getting to watch one of college football's great halftime shows is a nice reward for playing well.