2009 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Football Preview
2008 Record: (6-6, 5-2)
2008 Bowl: none
Coach: Rickey Bustle (32-50 at Louisiana, 32-50 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Ron Hudson
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Fouquier
Other Key Returnees: CB Orkeys Auriene, CB Dwight Bentley, S Gerren Blount, G Ian Burks, G Brad Bustle, DE Hall Davis, OT Jonathan Decoster, C Chris Fisher, LB Grant Fleming, WR Louis Lee, OT Kyle Pirtle, DE Terrell Richardson, DT Jermaine Rogers, WR Vernon Wolfe
Key Losses: WR Jason Chery, DT Lanier Coleman, QB Michael Desormeaux, K Drew Edmiston, RB Tyrell Fenroy, TE Erik Jones, S Derik Keyes
It was Louisiana’s defense that prevented the team from reaching the seven win mark and reaching a bowl game. Meanwhile, the offense was the best in the Sun Belt Conference. The roles will be reversed this time around as the offense loses most of its playmakers and the young defense is a year and older and wiser.
Louisiana Lafayette's Strengths:
But can the defense improve enough for this group to win seven games? The front four rarely got into the backfield, but now ends Hall Davis and Terrell Richardson and tackle Jermaine Rogers are upperclassmen. That experience needs to result in more sacks and tackles-for-loss or the defense, even with more experience, will be just as ineffective as it was last year. The rush defense gave up over 200 yards per game and linebackers Daylon McCoy, Grant Fleming and Antwyn Zanders have to help out. McCoy is a great talent who can do a little bit of everything and he, along with Zanders, need to emerge as the leaders of this team. By the numbers, the secondary was not too bad in 2008 and three starters are returning. However, the reason for the decent statistics is because the opposition simply did not need to pass the ball most of the time…they could run their way to victory.
Louisiana Lafayette's Weaknesses:
Quarterback Michael Desormeaux passed for 1,876 yards and rushed for 1,035 yards during his senior campaign. Jason Chery was the team’s best receiver, who could also carry the ball and return kickoffs and Tyrell Fenroy was the most well known player on the team. Fenroy, a 5-9 running back, tallied 1,374 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. Now those three are gone and they will not be easily replaced…ever. Brad McGuire is the top quarterback, but he missed the spring due to an injury. Without Chery, the new quarterback will have to find some new targets. Richie Falgout had a good spring and Louis Lee and tight end Ladarius Green are experienced pass catchers. Undrea Sails is the likely replacement for Fenroy. The senior had a good spring, but he will have a tough time replacing the Sun Belt Player of the Year.
The Bottom Line for the Ragin' Cajuns:
However, the team does return all five starting linemen. While Sails might not be Fenroy and McGuire is no Desormeaux and Falgout will struggle to put up numbers similar to Chery’s, the experience of the offensive line will make everybody’s job so much easier. The offense will not be as dominant as it was in 2008, but the defense should be good enough to take Louisiana back to bowl eligibility.
By Joel Welser
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