The Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns are the third Sun Belt opponent of the year, the worst of the teams from we'll play from that conference. Let's not bother pretending that there's much of a challenge here - the Ragin' Cajuns are in a rebuilding year and are coming to Lincoln for a paycheck. They may not have realized that they'd be the answer to a future trivia question (who did the Huskers bash for their 300th consecutive sell out?), but they're in Lincoln just the same.
On to the keys to victory over the Ragin' Cajuns.
We know it, they know it - the Ragin' Cajuns are in this one for a paycheck. Games against inferior opponents have a simple formula - get on top the lesser team early, crush their will, and then destroy them.
The Cajuns have one bright spot - their offensive line. ULL is one of only two teams (Kentucky the other) has yet to give up a sack this season. It's time for Ndamukong Suh, Barry Turner, Jared Crick, and Pierre Allen to demolish that statistic. None of this blitzing off the edge stuff - Git R Done with the front four.
The Huskers have lacked it in their other games against Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State. During Florida Atlantic it came in the first half, which is a little surprising given that it was the first time the Huskers had a chance to hit someone besides themselves.
Despite the score, there should be no lacking for intensity throughout the entire game tomorrow. There's no excuse for it, and if it shows up again, fans should be prepared to lower their expectations for the season because it will come back to bite us.
During the Arkansas State game, a beautiful 70-yard touchdown pass to Niles Paul was called back because of holding. Stupid mistakes cost the Huskers the game against Virginia Tech. In the third quarter when the Huskers had a first and goal they responded by getting two holding penalties - the first of which negated a touchdown pass to Mike McNeill - and a false start - resulting in no points.
There's a theme here, and it's not a good one. The theme is slop. Eliminate the slop and the Huskers are 4-0 and part of a national conversation. But they're not, and that's solely because of mistakes.
The Huskers are playing in front of their home crowd - there are no excuses for mistakes. Eliminate them. Or prepare not reach your goals and to suck this season. Again, nothing mysterious, nothing magical - just stop making stupid mistakes.
Zac Lee needs a good performance before heading into Big 12 conference play. You might excuse him for the lousy performance against Virginia Tech because of his thumb injury, but that's a little weak, isn't it? If the performance against the Hokies is what we're going to see when Lee plays decent opponents, don't expect this team to get very far. Lee should do well against the Cajuns and restore the faith.
(Wow. Can you tell I was grouchy as hell when I wrote this?)