Trojans hope to end season on high note

Published 3:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Troy Trojans hope to close out the 2015 football season on a high note when they travel Saturday to Lafayette, Louisiana, to take on the Ragin Cajuns.

The Trojans (3-8, 2-5) have had a roller coaster of a season and a win on Saturday could go a long way towards having momentum as they head into the off-season.

“We have a chance to get another conference win, and we need to finish this year on a strong note,” said Troy head coach Neal Brown. “I think our senior class has done a nice job of buying in. They’ve done a good job of continuing to play hard, and I’d love to send them off with a win.”

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The Trojans have lost nine of 12 previous meetings with the Ragin Cajuns, and Lafayette is widely considered one of the better football atmospheres within the Sun Belt Conference.

“They have a really good home crowd setup,” Brown said. “I read where they’re going to have a blackout; it should be a fun atmosphere. They do a good job tailgating and so forth down there in Cajun country.

“On the football field, however, I think both teams come in similar areas, looking to finish the year strong,” he said. “I thought they were competitive against Appalachian State last week. Their season didn’t go the way they wanted it to go. I think they had four years in a row of nine-win seasons and they’re not going to get to that number this year.”

ULL is 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the Sun Belt.

The Cajun defense enters the game having let up on average 31 points per game. In their last three games to Appalachian State, New Mexico State and South Alabama the Cajuns have given up 32 points per game, all three of them losses.

“They’re a little different each week, as I’ve watched them over the last three days,” Brown said. “I thought they played Appalachian State really well. Appalachian State’s one of the top one, two, three offenses in our league and I thought they did a good job containing them at their place last week.”

The Trojans and ULL are very similar offensively. During their seven losses the Cajuns have averaged 21 points, while averaging 36.5 in their four wins.

“They’ve had their struggles a little bit like we have,” Brown said. “They play a couple of different quarterbacks. The kid that’s getting most of the playing time right now is a kid named Brooks Haack from Katy, Texas, a kid that I’m very familiar with … He’s a winner; he won a lot of games at high school.”

Haack has thrown for just over 1,400 yards on the season, with five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Another offensive threat to keep an eye on is running back Elijah McGuire. The junior rushed or 159 yards in a losing effort to New Mexico State and 162 yards against Northwestern State.

The Trojans and Ragin Cajuns kick things off at Cajun Field at 4 p.m.