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Five Keys to Beating New Mexico State – From the Bird’s Nest

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On paper, it’s a mismatch.

Seriously, when have you ever seen Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns favored by more than thirty points against an FBS school.

I certainly don’t ever remember that happening.

But that’s the case this week as New Mexico State comes to town for a non-conference game.  (The Aggies will be in the Sun Belt for football only, beginning next year.)

This is a game the Cajuns should win….handily.  But there are still some keys to look out for here.

1.  RESPECT EVERYONE, FEAR NO ONE – How many times have you seen teams get knocked off, or at least scared by a team simply because they didn’t give them their due as a football team that plays eleven on both sides of the ball, just as the favored team does.  When you play as an underdog, you can’t play scared.  And, when you play as a big favorite, you can’t simply discount your opponent.  This is the first order of business.

2.  HOCUS FOCUS – The Cajuns have won two straight road games on national television, against two of the league favorites.  They’re playing a non-conference game against a lesser opponent with a team coming in that might be playing for a share of the championship.  And, it’s homecoming week.  And, while we pay attention to “Paint the Town Red,” there are a LOT of activities on campus.  If the Cajuns aren’t focused, this could wind up being a football game.

3.  MIX IT UP – The Cajuns have concentrated on a dominant running game the last two weeks.  With Troy on the horizon (a team that’s allowed a LOT of passing yards), it would do the Cajuns well to throw it a bit more this week.  Look for the Cajuns to take some shots downfield as well in this one.

4.  CONTINUE THE DOMINANCE–It’s been a pretty impressive performance by the defense the last two weeks.  This unit has improved all season.  It’s time for them to take another step forward this week.  It’s their job to make sure the Aggies get NO confidence.

5.  FINISH IT–Lost in the euphoria of dominance the Cajuns had last week is the fact they had to settle for four field goal attempts, including an eight minute drive that ended in no points at all.  This program has been good about getting touchdowns once they get close.  They need to get back to that…starting this week.

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