The Cats aren’t opening with a bunny. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won four straight New Orleans Bowls, posting nine-win seasons each year. But this team is much different than the ones in the past.
Head coach Mark Hudsbeth almost left for greener pastures because there were so many uncertainties. We aren’t the only ones saying it. The New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, broke down all of their question marks.
The biggest one is at quarterback. Dynamic quarterback Terrance Broadway has moved on after winning the MVP of last year’s New Orleans Bowl. Hudsbeth has three options: redshirt freshman Jordan Davis, junior Jalen Nixon, and junior Brooks Haack, the favorite that received some playing time last year as the #2. We won’t know who will take the first snaps until Saturday.
It’s certainly not the only question mark for the Cajuns. Several key defensive players from last year’s squad have used up their eligibility along with a couple of veteran offensive linemen.
On top of that, Hudsbeth has a essentially a brand new defensive coaching staff, with co-defensive coordinators Melvin Smith and Charlie Harbison at the helm. Their defense struggled last year, ranked 85th in total defense while allowing nearly 425 yards of offense a game.
The Cats should make mince-meat out of the unproven and questionable defense. The UK passing defense has a lot to prove, but won’t be challenged through the air.
The only area for UK will have to worry about is stopping running back Elijah McGuire. I believe it will be UK’s strength on the defense. If they stuff the run, I’ll be much more optimistic about the Cats’ chances of pulling of an upset at South Carolina.