2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 104 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
No. 104: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Prespring Status
The team never seemed able to get the season going until the final month, winning three of the last four games to become bowl eligible. The ground game was solid, the passing game sketchy, and the points too hard to come by at times, but the defense almost always made up for the issues. This year, the D comes back loaded, but the offense needs an overhaul in the backfield for a ground game that turned into one of the Sun Belt’s best.
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Biggest Issue
The team needs a quarterback, a top receiver, and a running back. No. 1 target al Riles is done after catching 60 passes – the No. 2 guy, Keenan Barnes, caught 31. Do-it-all back Elijah McGuire closed out a stellar career with 1,127 yards and seven scores, while QB Anthony Jennings came in and ran for 341 yards and nine touchdowns. Just five rushing scores from last year return, while Jennings – an okay passer, but decent playmaker – has to be replaced. There’s little to no quarterback experience returning, but Jordan Davis will give it a shot after throwing just three passes. Darius Hoggins has to step it up and be the main man for the ground game after finishing third on the team with 281 yards.
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Biggest Positive
The defensive front might turn into the best in the Sun Belt. The offensive line isn’t bad, either, with four starters back, but it’s the Ragin’ Cajun defensive front four that’ll do the most damage. The pass rush was just okay, but Joe Dillon came up with a great year at one end with seven sacks. Taboris Lee and Kevon Perry rotate through with Roderick Stephens on a defensive front that allowed a mere 129 rushing yards per game.
Really, Why Are The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Ranked Here?
Head coach Mark Hudspeth has enough talent returning to push for a bowl game again, but can the running game work like normal? Can the passing attack be better? The defensive front is strong, but gone are the 195 combined tackles from Tre’maine Lightfoot and Otha Peters from the linebacking corps along with both starting corners. There are two ways to look at last season. Four of the six wins were by a touchdown or less, but three of the seven losses were by seven points or fewer. Even with what’s coming back, it’ll be hard to make too much of a big improvement.