Buckley's Breakdown: UL blows away Texas Southern
Up by 50 points at halftime, UL played mostly with reserves throughout the second half of a 77-6 win over SWAC-member Texas Southern on Saturday night at Cajun Field.
By mutual agreement because the blowout already was well underway, the teams played just 10-minute periods in the second half — not the usual 15.
The 77 points marked a UL modern school record, topping 70 vs. Nicholls in 2013; its all-time record is 106 vs. Patterson in 1918.
UL ends up with 748 yards of total offense, 440 rushing and 308 passing.
Backup quarterback Jaiave Magalei drove the Ragin’ Cajuns 80 yards over 10 plays on UL’s opening drive after the break, capping it with a 3-yard touchdown throw to Cassius Allen.
The TD was the first of their careers for both Cajuns.
Walk-on Michael Orphey Jr. added a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, also his first as a Cajun, and former walk-on Ashton Johnson closed with a 32-yard TD run, also his first in a Cajun uniform.
T.J. Wisham, also a former walk-on, finished with a team-high 103 rushing yards on 10 carries.
UL scored on its opening drive, capping it with a 3-yard Elijah Mitchell touchdown run and, after a quick three-and-out, did the same on the second drive, this time finishing with a 2-yard Raymond Calais Jr. scoring run.
Following a 44-yard Texas Southern field goal, Calais returned the kickoff 51 yards and UL scored on a three-play, 42-yard drive that took just 54 seconds, ending with a 9-yard TD throw from Levi Lewis to running back Trey Ragas.
Calais’ second TD came on a 16-yard run to the left side late in the first quarter, and the Cajuns led 28-3 going to the second.
Ragas followed with a 34-yard TD run early in the second quarter, and Mitchell’s second was a 17-yard scoring run that followed.
On UL’s ensuing drive, Lewis found true freshman Peter LeBlanc over the middle for a 53-yard touchdown.
After a 40-yard Rich Garcia III field goal redshirt freshman Chris Smith followed with a 24-yard TD run, his first touchdown as a Cajun.
UL scored on each of its eight full drives in the half and led 56-6.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Ragas jumped over a would-be tackler en route to his 9-yard TD reception that helped make it 21-3 UL in the first quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
Announced attendance: 18,183 … Lewis did not play in the second half and finished 10-of-13 for 181 yards with two TD throws. … Ragas ran for 81 yards and Mitchell 73. … Bralen Trahan and Percy Butler opened as UL's starting safeties, with redshirt sophomore Trahan getting the call over fifth-year senior Deuce Wallace. … Ragas had three carries for 45 yards on UL’s opening scoring drive, including a 25-yarder on the Cajuns’ first play from scrimmage. … UL had 471 yards of total offense at halftime, including 279 on the ground. … Fifteen different Cajuns caught a pass.
Fifth-year senior Stevie Artigue moved into eighth place on UL's all-time scoring list (209 points) with his third PAT of the game. Artigue’s 11 extra points set a record for most in a game in UL history. … UL’s Rhys Byrns did not need to punt all night. … True freshman defensive end Kendall Wilkerson had his first career sack in the opening quarter. … LeBlanc’s second-quarter TD catch marked the first touchdown as a Cajun for the receiver from Catholic High of New Iberia. … Magalei saw his first action with just more than five minutes left in the first half. … Clifton McDowell, a true freshman quarterback, entered with just more than five minutes left, and true freshman Chandler Fields came in later on the same drive. … Cajun captains were cornerback Michael Jacquet III, offensive lineman Robert Hunt and Wisham representing the special teams.
UL: 2-1. Texas Southern: 0-3.
UL visits Ohio of the MAC on Saturday afternoon (ESPN+).