The Bobcats fell Saturday to the Louisiana Lafayette Rajun’ Cajuns 42-27, knocking the team’s record to 1-4.
The Cajuns’ offensive attack is built on the shoulders of running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas, who ended the day with a combined 291 yards and four scores. The loss is the third straight for the Bobcats.
“I take 100 percent of the responsibility for (the way) our team played tonight,” Head Coach Everett Withers said. “Two weeks of preparation, obviously we worked on a few other things throughout the week, but I take 100 percent responsibility.”
The first half saw true freshman quarterback Tyler Vitt in his first clear start, though the offense struggled to put points on the board in the first half. At the half, the Cajuns led the Bobcats 28-0. Withers said he took responsibility for not having Vitt ready in the first half.
“I didn’t get Tyler ready to play in the first half,” Withers said. “I think Coach Elliot did a good job of getting him schooled up in the second half.”
The Bobcats came alive in the second half, thanks in large part to Vitt, who threw for 296 yards and scored three times through the air.
However, the Bobcats’ failure to establish a run game made opening the passing game a difficult process. Vitt was the leading rusher for the Bobcats, with 92 yards for the night and an average carry of 5.4 yards.
The Bobcats managed to cut the lead down to a two-score difference twice in the second half, but the Ragin’ Cajuns’ responded with touchdowns both times.
Next up, the Bobcats face Georgia Southern University (4-1) Thursday at Bobcat Stadium. Withers said the team will begin practicing for the game right away.
Junior receiver Hutch White proved to be an integral piece of the offensive puzzle, as he was targeted a record 11 times. White said coming into the second half, the team had to not beat themselves and play for themselves.
“It’s never easy getting a loss,” White said. “We came out halftime (and) coaches really talked to us and we decided right there (that) we got to have some pride about ourselves. We have to come out and really just not beat ourselves.”
White said the credit for his 60-yard game should go to his teammates and quarterback.
“A lot of credit to Louisiana,” White said. “They came out and they came to our place and played a good game, but Tyler did a great job. He was very composed, I’ve never seen any doubt in him. He’ll get smacked and he’s just smiling, so he’s a baller.”
Tight end graduate transfer from Oklahoma state Keenan Brown said the team got off to a very slow start and though this week’s schedule does not lend itself to an offensive or defensive overhaul, the team needs to pick up the pace.
“It’s a short week but we have to start fast,” Brown said.
Tickets for Thursday night’s home game against the Georgia Southern Eagles are free for students. The game’s kick off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN U.