Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Louisiana season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Preview
Head Coach: Michael Desormeaux, 1st year at Louisiana, 1-0
2021 Preview: Overall: 13-1, Conference: 9-0
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Louisiana Top 10 Players | Louisiana Schedule
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Preview 2022
After 24 wins, two Sun Belt titles, and three bowl victories in the last three seasons …
How do you keep that going?
It was one of the worst kept secrets in college football that Billy Napier was killing time before going off to a giant head coaching gig somewhere like Florida.
Now Louisiana has to try to maintain its greatness and keep on winning without Napier, without QB Levi Lewis, and without a slew of good parts who took off for Gainesville with their former head coach – among other places.
In steps Michael Desormeaux, a former Ragin’ Cajun star quarterback who’s been part of the program’s coaching staff for the last six years before moving up into the head man role.
Not only does the new guy have the weight of the last few years to deal with, but he gets a tougher, bigger, better Sun Belt, too.
There’s a rebuild happening here, but the style should still be the same.
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Preview 2022: Offense
For all the great things the offense did last year, it was still 64th in the nation overall, struggled too much to convert on third downs, and the ground game wasn’t nearly as sharp or as dominant as it should’ve been. However, it didn’t turn the ball over, it controlled the clock, and it got the job done when needed.
The offensive line loses All-Sun Belt stars O’Cyrus Torrence to Florida and Max Mitchell to the New York Jets, but there’s enough in place for a decent starting five … eventually. Left guard AJ Gillie is the main holdover, but it’ll take fall camp to finalize the puzzle.
This group will know what it’s doing, though. 12-touchdown running back Montrell Johnson might be off to Florida, but leading rusher and all-star Chris Smith is back along with a slew of decent young options.
Replacing five-year starter Levi Lewis won’t be a breeze. Chandler Fields got in a little work, and former Fresno State Bulldog Ben Wooldridge is getting every shot at the gig. Fields is a smallish baller, Wooldridge is a big bomber – the O just needs one of them to be close to as efficient as Lewis.
Michael Jefferson led the team with 481 receiving yards averaging close to 27 yards per grab with four scores, and leading pass catcher Peter LeBlanc returns after making 37 grabs. Kyren Lacy if off to LSU, but Donte Fleming is back after finishing third on the team with 27 grabs.
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Preview 2022: Defense
The offense usually got the attention, but the defense was the real star. It finished 11th in the nation, first in the Sun Belt, and was among the best in the nation at taking the ball away and at pass efficiency D. Unlike the O, plenty of stars are coming back.
The defensive front should be one of the team’s biggest strengths. Zi’Yon Hill is a long-time producer, pass rusher, and anchor on the interior, and Andre Jones is a dangerous backfield playmaker on the end. The rest will fill in around those two.
The back eight loses top tackler Lorenzo McCaskill to the transfer portal, star safety Percy Butler is gone to the Washington Commanders, and the linebacking corps overall is filling in the parts. However, corner Eric Garror is an all-star who led the team with two picks and seven broken up passes, and Bralen Trahan is a veteran safety.