In what could be argued as the worst lost of Mark Hudspeth's tenure as Louisiana's head coach, the Cajuns fell to Louisiana Tech 48-20. The Cajuns were doomed by the big play. Louisiana Tech would score on plays of 99 yards, 78 yards, 46 yards and 32 yards. These huge chunk plays would turn out to be the difference in Saturday nights highly anticipated contest.
Late in the first quarter the Cajuns were able to pin the Bulldogs at the one yard line after a marvelous punt by Daniel Cadona. With first and ten from their own one, LA Tech looked to pound the ball out of their end zone. Kenneth Dixon would take the hand off and see the field part like the Red Sea, and 99 yards later the Bulldogs were up 7-0. The Tech run would set the tone for the ball game. While Louisiana would answer immediately with an Alonzo Harris touchdown run, it would have little impact on the final outcome.
The Cajuns and Bulldogs would then swap possessions before Bulldog quarterback Cody Sokol would find Hunter Lee for a 16 yard strike with 4:33 to go in the second quarter. The pass gave LA Tech a 14-7 lead. The Bulldogs would tack on a field goal to close out the quarter and head to the locker room with a 17-7 lead.
LA Tech opened up the second half with another huge play. On the Bulldogs second play from scrimmage, Sokol hit wide out Sterling Griffin with a 78 yard TD pass. The Cajuns would attempt to answer but, a 46 yard pick six would quickly put away any thought of a comeback.
With the score 31-7 early in the fourth quarter, Kenneth Dixon would tally his second touchdown of the evening. This time his scamper of 32 yards would give the Bulldogs a 38-7 advantage. The Louisiana Tech running back would finish with 184 yards on only 12 carries. The Bulldog passing game racked up 295 yards and two scores. Louisiana Tech would finish the night with 533 total yards of offense.
Louisiana would add late cosmetic scores by Effrem Reed and Gabe Fuselier, however it would not be nearly enough. Louisiana Tech would add one more touchdown, a two yard run by Jarred Craft to go along with a Jonathan Barnes field goal. When the clock expired, the scoreboard read 48-20, but it wasn't nearly that close.
The Tech defense would end up with three take a ways, combine that with their big play offense and you've got the recipe for a blowout. While they gave up 415 yards they didn't surrender the big play, like the Cajuns defense did.
As bad as the Cajun defense played, the usually potent Louisiana offense wasn't much help either. The Bulldog defense gave up plenty of yards, but found a way to keep Terrance Broadway and company out of the end zone, for the majority of the night. Other than a 6 yard touchdown run by Alonzo Harris on the first play of the second quarter, it wouldn't be until midway through the fourth quarter that Louisiana would be able to find the end zone again.
Terrance Broadway would finish the night with only 150 yards passing and one score. The senior from Baton Rouge was also picked off in the third quarter, an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Louisiana Tech's Xavier Woods. Broadway was only able to hit his favorite target, Jamaal Robinson twice for 15 yards. Robinson was forced to exit the contest with an apparent lower body injury. The Cajuns also lost running back Elijah McGuire to a leg injury.
After the game, Hudspeth mentioned that the Cajuns didn't follow their plan to win. They lost the turnover battle, gave up huge plays, and couldn't keep the defense off the field. You can watch that video below.
In what was a major wake up call, the Cajuns were humiliated at home by the Bulldogs. Things don't get any easier for Louisiana, as next week the Cajuns will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on Ole Miss. While Louisiana's goal of winning an outright Sun Belt championship is still reachable, there's no doubt this loss will sting. It should.
In his weekly meeting with the media on Monday, Hudspeth talked about putting the loss behind them and focusing on Ole Miss. "Sometimes your four-wheel drive gets stuck, and you either go get a tractor and pull it out, or tie that winch to a tree and you pull it out. Either way, we're gonna get it out."