The Cajuns really could not have asked for a better start to the game, with their opening drive going a perfectly scripted 77 yards for the score. Coupled with a few huge stops on defense, and UL looked like they would cruise to their fourth straight New Orleans Bowl victory. Of course Nevada had something to say about it.
The Wolf Pack would hold the Cajuns to a 36 minute scoring drought, bookended by field goals. Throughout the second and third quarter, UL would only begin a drive beyond their own 20 once. Terrance Broadway responded early, starting the game 14 of 14 passing, and throwing his first incompletion with less than a minute left in the first half. Broadway would ultimately go 26 for 31 on the day.
The real championship effort, though, came from the Cajun defense. The much-maligned UL secondary managed to hold Nevada QB Cody Fajardo to 14 of 28 on the day. Cajun LB Darzil Washington recorded two sacks, with the second coming late to shut down a promising Nevada drive. The usual defensive star, Christian Ringo, was mostly absent from the stat sheet today, recording a single sack and three tackles for a loss.
The fourth consecutive New Orleans Bowl win by the Ragin' Cajuns would set a bowl record for consecutive wins in the same game. It would also mark the lowest attendance, 34, 013, in the Cajuns' four years going to the crescent city. That should still be good enough for one of the highest attendances for the early bowls. Hunter Stover is also now tied for field goals in the New Orleans bowl at 3, and a late miss would have given him the sole ownership of it had it gone in.
Overall, a great win for UL playing at Cajun Field East. As Broadway, Harris, and a host of others depart, it makes you wonder if this is the end of a historic run for UL, or if this is just the new normal for a growing program.