From the other side: Louisiana-Lafayette

22 10 2010

Special thanks to Louisiana-Lafayette beat writer Josh Parrott for answering a few Ragin’ Cajun questions this week.

Josh does a fine job covering ULL athletics for The Advertiser in Lafayette, La., check out his stuff HERE
1) Getting over the hump for the Cajuns at this point is getting to a bowl – what are their chances with that, and is the team feeling any immense pressure to do so?

With the NCAA rule change, the Cajuns need to win at least six games and would likely end up in the New Orleans Bowl. (The league champion, likely Troy, would end up in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile.) I wouldn’t say there’s as much pressure as there is eagerness to get to that next step. This program has been bowl-eligible four of the past five years and been out of the last teams left out every time.

2) Further on that topic, what type of pressure – if any – is on coach Ricky Bustle at this point in his tenure to push that team over said hump?

This is Bustle’s ninth year here. He took over a program that was in a horrible position because the previous coach had no idea what he was doing and recruited way too many academic risks. Bustle knows that patience is short with some people in this fan base, and that he needs to get this program to the postseason to survive much longer. Honestly, I think the Cajuns are in position to play in a bowl game with the schedule easing up for them in the second half of the regular season.

3) The Cajuns have been known for a pretty punishing ground attack over recent years, but this season, it looks like everything’s running through the arm of Chris Masson. How has he progressed and what are his biggest strengths as a quarterback?

Masson is a much-better passer than Michael Desormeaux was, so the offense has looked to throw it more. His shorter passes are used as an extension for the running game. Masson can make all of the throws and is accurate. He has been plagued by dropped passes all season. He passed for more than 2,400 yards last season as a first-year starter and has improved his timing and reads this year. He had back-to-back 300-yard games earlier in the season and could do that against WKU.

4) Ladarius Green is basically a freak of nature at tight end, how good is he and what odds do you put on seeing him playing on Sundays at some point down the road?

In my opinion, Green is the best tight end in the country. He’s been on the John Mackey Award midseason watch list for the past two years. He did that last season despite missing three games due to injury and is back on the list again this year in spite of being sidelined for two games. He’s a big target in the red zone but also has the speed to make a play after the catch. He is 6-6, 232 and should have a chance to be playing on Sundays in the NFL as long as he can stay healthy. If he is healthy down the stretch, I think the Cajuns are going bowling.

5) What’s your call for Saturday’s game?

I think the Cajuns continue to build off last week’s frustrating loss at Troy. Masson, Green and the Cajun defense have big days. Rainey gets some yards but not enough. Cajuns 30, WKU 14.

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