The Ragin Cajuns (one of the best mascot names in the country!) are coming off a 4-8 season, a quarterback battle, and a five hundred year flood in their city. Not exactly the ingredients for an amazing performance in their first game. It’s hard to talk trash about these guys – in the wake of the biggest flood in years, the team went out in to their community and became a demo crew and 100 pair of helping hands, giving back to the people that support them. That area of the country has been through a lot and continues to show each other grace and resilience that most of us can only hope to replicate in our own communities.
There is no better way to forget the pain for a minute than a distraction, and what better one is there than the return of football. Boise State is ready to show their respect in the only way they know – showing up to play and putting on a show.
The Broncos are rolling into Lafayette with something to prove. Last years record 9-4 isn’t good enough for anybody, inside the football complex or out. As annoying as that fact is, its still true. Boise State needs to be on point every week in order to meet its goals, both long and short term. This week the Cajuns will likely be emotional and come ready to uncork on someone. Their newly appointed senior quarterback, Anthony Jennings, came from LSU on a graduate transfer and earned the starting job in a three man battle through fall camp. He did play in the final two games for the Cajuns last season, putting up decent numbers and flashing some big play ability. If BSU has improved on their big play containment capabilities over the off season, Louisiana’s offense should not be able to score enough to beat the Broncos. With LBs Tanner Vallejo and Joe Martarano patrolling the middle, this could prove out to be one of the highest powered defenses in the country once its all said and done. Boise State most likely will not be the same lovable band of misfits missing tackles as we remember from last season, but the harder hitting, more precisely timed, stronger version. Last season they held teams under 100 yards rushing for a long time. Look for the same type of mindboggling performance, hopefully in all facets of defense this time, not just in flashes. These guys are hungry, and well…
Louisiana’s defense is lead by senior middle linebacker Otha Peters. He is also a transfer, but has been ragin since 2014 and was sidelined by the NCAA while the Cajuns were beating Nevada in the New Orleans Bowl. If the hype is true, he is a much improved leader on the defense as well as player, and is ready to lead the Cajuns back to the glory of beating a MWC opponent. Guessing Brett Rypien has other ideas. Earlier this week, it was reported that Rypien has nightmares about not knowing the offense and not preparing correctly. While this sounds like the kid might need to take an evening off of the football complex and take a nap, it also sounds like a man who is preparing for greatness. The wide receivers are experienced and talented, lead by Thomas Sperbeck, now the OG of the receiving corps, the OL should be a bit more together, and the TE group is going to be like assassins over the middle. Giant, bulldozing, assassins, dining on linebacker remains and touchdowns. Boise State has SEVEN tight ends on the roster. Jake Roh is injured and there should be a couple redshirts, but even then its an embarrassment of riches.
Boise State is going to put on a clinic in the swamp. Unfortunately it’s at the Cajun’s expense, but do not doubt that they will fight hard every snap. So will Boise, and that’s the one of the best kinds of respect to show. Another would be contributing to the Blue for the Bayou GoFundMe, with all donations going toward flood relief through the United Way of Arcadia. The third? Getting up early on Saturday morning, getting your ESPN3 feed going by 10 am, and watching Boise State give us a glimpse of what this fall will hold. They might be amazing. They might go 8-5. After the long wait, we’re ready to find out.