Louisiana Ragin Cajuns have made it through the first two weeks of the season at 1-1, while nearly pulling off an upset win over Kentucky. Week three marks the first bye week of the season with a visit from Akron next on the schedule.
Let's take a look at the Ragin' Cajuns and give report card style grades.
Rush Offense: A. Heading into the 2015 season, the Ragin' Cajuns knew they would get production out of Elijah McGuire (41/248/5TD). Senior Torrey Pierce (22/162/3TD) has stepped up in giving the running game a solid backup. Quarterbacks Jalen Nixon (5/37/1TD) and Brooks Haack (11/65/1TD) both have the ability to scramble with Nixon showing a higher upside in that skill set.
Pass Offense: B-. Louisiana averaged 191.5 yards per game in the air in 2014, but have already bumped that total by 18 yards per game to 209.5 yards per game to start this season. The yards per pass attempt is up by over two yards per attempts with Haack (29-45/381/0TD) under center. The lack of any passing touchdowns on the season needs to be fixed.
Overall Offense: A-. The Ragin' Cajuns have averaged 7.4 yards per play on the season, as well as 513 yards per game in the first two games of the season. Those totals are very impressive, considering the fact that Louisiana played Kentucky in week one and put up 33 points along with 479 total yards versus the Wildcats. Jamal Robinson (8/129/0TD) has given them a new dimension that was missing in the passing game last season.
Rush Defense: D+. A strength last season, the Ragin' Cajuns have been poor in the first two weeks of the season in giving up 5.1 yards per carry and 206 rushing yards per game. The rush defense was slightly better versus Northwestern State in week two, but still gave up 4.3 yards per carry and 234 overall rushing yards.
Pass Defense: B-. The Kentucky game was a test for the Ragin' Cajuns pass defense with the ability of the Wildcats to spread the field and throw it all over. Other than a few big plays that will happen versus a talented team from the SEC, the pass defense held up in giving up 257 yards and only 7.6 yards per pass attempt. The Ragin' Cajun defense already has 17.0 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Overall Defense: C. With an SEC team game already in the past, Louisiana has given up 402 yards per game. The overall defensive numbers looked much better versus Northwestern State but was not that bad overall versus Kentucky. Tracy Walker (13 tkl, 1 INT), Zachary Degrange (11 tkl, 3 tfl, 2 sacks), and Dominique Tovell (8 tkl, 5 tfl, 2 sacks) have been impressive for the Ragin' Cajun defense.
Special Teams: B+. The Ragin' Cajuns have been solid in the return game and kick coverage with virtually identical marks on both sides. Louisiana isn't breaking anything, but are also not allowing any big returns so far. Steven Coutts (44.2 avg.) has been able to keep his net punting average over 40 yards. Freshman kicker Stevie Artigue has connected on both field goal attempts on the season while missing one of his eight PAT attempts.
Overall: A-. The Ragin' Cajuns were expected to come into this bye week at 1-1 and that is where they are. They played Kentucky to the final moments with a chance to win the game, and dominated Northwestern State in week two. Louisiana is still on track for their first 10-win season in school history so you have to give them a good grade for that.