On Sept. 10, the Ragin’ Cajuns football team squared off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a game that was televised on the NFL Network. It was in this game that viewers saw Coach Michael Desormeaux install a game plan where two quarterbacks were used.
There is a famous football saying that reads, “When you’ve got two quarterbacks, you’ve got none”. Usually this means that a two-quarterback system is not effective for various reasons. However, Desormeaux proved this adage both true and false. In the first half, Coach Desormeaux started with redshirt sophomore quarterback Chandler Fields, and he was average at best. The same can be said for Fresno State transfer Ben Wooldridge. The Cajuns mostly handed the ball off, and the Eagles’ defense quickly adjusted. No matter the heckling that the students and I did from the student section of Cajun Field, the defense of Eastern Michigan blocked it out and played extremely well.
However, everything changed. With 3:14 left to go in the first half, officials called a 30-minute delay because there was lightning in the area. Both teams headed back through the tunnel, and the majority of fans headed for the concourse. I attended this game, and I used this time to catch up on text messages, charge my phone and to finish the Papa John’s pizza I had started eating during the game. Coach Desormeaux also used this time to fire up the Cajuns. What was said is currently not known, but it can only be assumed that it lit a fire under the Cajuns, who were attempting to extend their win streak to 15 games in a row.
Coming out of the lightning delay, the Cajuns’ play improved drastically. The Cajuns’ first score of the night came off of a beautiful 27-yard pass from Fields to wideout Michael Jefferson. After this, the momentum shifted from the Eagles to the Cajuns’ sideline. It only shifted further when tight end Johnny Lumpkin caught his only ball of the night: a one-yard score from Chandler Fields. The Eagles, however, responded with a touchdown to give them the lead once again.This would be the last lead they would hold that night.
From that moment the Cajuns’ offense started clicking. Their next five drives of the game all ended with touchdowns. This can be attributed to both quarterbacks being in the game, and both performing extremely well. However, Wooldridge was more accurate with his passes, going 12 for 13 with 169 passing yards and two scores. Fields was 10 for 21 with 141 passing yards and three touchdown passes.
However, this dominating 49–21 win cannot be attributed to the offense alone. The defense came to play in the second half, forcing five turnovers. There were three interceptions, one from Brandon Bishop, one from Kam Pedescleaux and one from Jasper Williams. The Cajuns also forced a fumble from Eagles wideout Hassan Beydoun. Finally, the Cajuns’ defense as a collective forced a turnover on downs that effectively ended the game. Though the final score would indicate total domination, the teams were eerily similar in total yardage. However, it is not how you start; rather, it’s how you finish. The Eagles simply could not capitalize on Cajuns’ penalties in the second half, while the Cajuns could on the Eagles’.
The Cajuns have now extended their winning streak to 15 games, currently the longest in the nation. They will test their streak once more when they travel to Houston to take on the Rice Owls. As for the Eastern Michigan Eagles, they dropped to 1–1 on the young season. Next week, the Eagles will be on the road once again as they travel to Tempe, Arizona to take on the Sun Devils of Arizona State.