This week, we got in touch with the Ragin’ Review Podcast who covers the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns ahead of Liberty’s game on Saturday against No. 21 Louisiana. You can follow them on twitter @RaginReview.
ASOR: If you can, give a brief summary of how Billy Napier has managed to turn Louisiana into such a successful program.
Ragin Review: Billy Napier inherited a program that had a taste of success, winning 9 games in four consecutive seasons and four bowl championships, but had been on a downfall the last three or so years before he arrived. Napier quickly implemented things he learned at Alabama, as well as our AD, Dr. Bryan Maggard using his knowledge in building our program, and the Ragin Cajuns were truly born from that point, going 35-11 since Napier got here in 2018.
ASOR: What are the team’s strengths?
RR: Strengths are definitely the running game and defense. Louisiana is currently 24th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 200 yards per game. Chris Smith is a 3rd year guy who has been the leader of the pack at nearly 800 yards this year, while Montrell Johnson (De La Salle HS, New Orleans) has really burst onto the scene with 677 yds and 10 TDs on the year. Defensively, Lorenzo McCaskill, Ferrod Gardner, Percy Butler, and Tayland Humphrey are names you’ve probably heard, and with good reasons. This front seven is one of the best I’ve seen from the Cajuns (and I’m a life-long fan). Patrick Toney is going to be a name to look for in coaching searches very soon.
ASOR: What are the team’s weaknesses?
RR: Weaknesses would be game management. Play calling has been suspect at times, discipline has been a big issue for Louisiana with close to 6 penalties per game called against the Cajuns, and kicking. Obviously, the kicker issues stem from an injury to Kenneth Almendares, but Nate Snyder has slowly found his footing and a little bit of a rhythm. Also, passing from our quarterback, Levi Lewis, has been inaccurate at times. It’s hard to pin weaknesses on this team; there’s not many.
ASOR: What does UL need to do to secure a win?
RR: In order to secure a win, Louisiana needs to dominate time of possession. Malik Willis is the centerpiece of Hugh Freeze’s game plan, but he can’t hurt you if he’s on the sidelines with a Gatorade. Control the clock, keep the Cajun offense on the field, and I think Louisiana can secure a win in Lynchburg.
ASOR: How will UL lose the game?
RR: Louisiana can lose this game by letting Malik Willis get comfortable and make plays. If Willis has time to read through his progressions and escape the pocket, he will do damage to this defense. Also, have to stay disciplined. Limit penalties, limit turnovers or else it’ll be a long afternoon.
ASOR: What matchup are you most excited to watch?
RR: I’m thrilled to see our linebackers vs Malik Willis. They may sound like a cop out answer, but can our backers (McCaskill, Gardner, Jones) control Willis and keep him from busting down the field for big plays? Can they put pressure on him and force mistakes? That’s what I’m excited to see.