Louisiana-Lafayette has a reputation to uphold at the Superdome,
but this year it’ll have to do it against an opponent that calls
New Orleans home.
Looking for their third straight New Orleans Bowl victory, the
Ragin’ Cajuns meet in-state foe Tulane Saturday with the Green Wave
making their first bowl appearance since 2002 and both teams
battling injuries at quarterback.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4) sandwiched a school record-tying eight
straight wins between season-opening and season-closing two-game
losing streaks. A 30-8 loss to South Alabama on Dec. 7 cost the
Ragin’ Cajuns their first outright Sun Belt title and they settled
for co-conference champion honors with Arkansas State.
“I am not going to let this ruin the entire season,” coach Mark
Hudspeth told the team’s official website. “We are the Sun Belt
Conference champions. Even though we finished tied, we beat the
team head-to-head that we finished tied with and we won eight games
in a row. We won a conference title in just our third year together
and we are going to our third straight bowl. The negative people
can get off the train and the positive ones can join me in New
Orleans because we’re going back to a bowl.”
Quarterback Terrance Broadway missed the final game of the
season with a broken right arm suffered Nov. 30 in a 31-28 loss to
Louisiana-Monroe, and his status for Saturday is uncertain.
Tulane (7-5), however, is preparing for the junior, who threw
for 19 touchdowns and ran for another eight. Tulane coach Curtis
Johnson is also anticipating he’ll have his own starting
quarterback, Nick Montana, who has been slowed by a shoulder
“We want to be as basic as we can, but we are going to prepare
for Broadway,” Johnson said. “Broadway makes the whole thing go. We
think Nick will be ready, but if he isn’t, then we’ll move onto
Montana, son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana,
separated his shoulder in October and aggravated it in the Green
Wave’s last game, a 17-13 loss at Rice on Nov. 30.
Tulane struggled to move the ball at the end of the season,
losing three of its last four while failing to crack 200 yards in
two of those games. They scored 17 points or fewer in four of their
“Our team was not healthy offensively,” Johnson said. “We took a
beating the last couple of weeks. Our quarterback wasn’t very
healthy since early on in the season. … I think we just need to
get healthy and back up and work on some fundamental stuff. I
thought our fundamentals were slipping with the offensive line and
the receivers. I think that will help us a lot.”
They went 5-5 in games Montana played as the junior completed
53.1 percent of his passes for 1,654 yards, 14 TDs and nine
interceptions. He sat out last year after transferring from
The Ragin’ Cajuns had found an offensive groove with Broadway,
averaging 41.7 points in the three games before the injury.
They had similar offensive success in last year’s meeting with
Tulane. Louisiana-Lafayette beat Tulane 41-13 on Oct. 6, 2012, with
Broadway at quarterback.
“I think if you look at what happened last year against them,
they really took us to the woodshed,” Johnson said. “They played
sensational. They have the better record and they’ve been in this
bowl game several years. I think we are pretty desperate for a win
right now, and we are practicing like it. We are going in the right
But Broadway or not, Hudspeth wants to see his team’s turnovers
handled. They’ve turned the ball over seven times in the last two
games with no takeaways.
“We had a couple of turnovers that gave them a short field,”
Hudspeth said after the South Alabama loss. “It wasn’t just the
turnovers that we gave them, we gave them the momentum and we never
got it back. We played well enough defensively to win the game, but
we turned the ball over too much.”
The Green Wave, meanwhile, had a plus-12 turnover margin and
turned it over once in their last two games.
While Louisiana-Lafayette beat East Carolina 43-34 in last
year’s New Orleans Bowl, the Green Wave last played postseason
football in the 2002 Hawaii Bowl, a 36-28 win over Hawaii.