Many fans ascribe the juiced-ball scoring of modern NCAA football to the advent of spread playbooks. In reality, spread playbooks have been around for a very long time – since the Curly Lambeau era, in fact.
Instead, the main reason offense is now so dominant, and defense so challenged, is because talented boys are bred to play offensive football from a young age – and most likely only shuffled over to defense if things aren’t working out. Trends in Little League and prep football affect change in the college game. Under the circumstances, programs can’t always be faulted for fielding a mediocre defense.
But this is ridiculous. The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are looking like potentially the worst defensive football club in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2017. Louisiana gave up 343 yards rushing to a college known as Southeastern Louisiana, winning a 51-48 track meet thanks to late heroics. In Week 2 the Cajun defense blew a gasket completely, giving up 66 points to a fair-but-not-outstanding Tulsa attack.
A trip to Texas A&M could equal humiliation for a hapless unit on at least one side of the ball.
Who: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at Texas A&M Aggies
When: Saturday, September 16th, 12 PM EST
Where: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Lines: Louisiana (+24) at Texas A&M (-24) / O/U Total: (61)
Perhaps the only reason the Aggies aren’t favored by 4+ touchdowns is that the ’17 team is off to a rocky start. A mind-boggling collapse and 45-44 loss to UCLA in the season opener was bad enough. But then A&M struggled to get past the Nicholls Colonels in a 24-14 chiller. The Colonels were allowed to punish host QBs in the pocket, and even tied the game early in the 4th quarter.
Pass-protection may not be a problem against the ineffectual Cajuns. But the Aggies appear to be shell-shocked by the debacle in Week 1.
Meanwhile, at least Louisiana has a bright spot at QB. Jordan Davis has a 146+ passer rating so far this season.
The real shocker is the O/U total. 61 points is a paltry sum given the match-up of a recovering SEC power against a truly bad defense from the Sun Belt.
This contest could be close. But throw A&M’s offensive struggles last week out the window. Nicholls is a terrific, physical FCS unit with a mean pass rush. ULL’s defense is trash. The Aggies might give up 14 or 21 points and score 50+ – easily blowing out the Under.
Take over (61) total points for the winning play.