Cajuns reach milestones, set sights on title

Associated Press photo by DAVID TULIS -- Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth, right, meets Georgia State coach Trent Miles at midfield after the Cajuns' victory Saturday.
Associated Press photo by DAVID TULIS -- Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth, right, meets Georgia State coach Trent Miles at midfield after the Cajuns' victory Saturday.

ATLANTA — A couple of program milestones were reached in Louisiana-Lafayette’s 35-21 win at Georgia State on Saturday in the Georgia Dome.

Freshman running back Elijah McGuire became the first player in school history to go over 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.

“He’s a real difference-maker, a playmaker,” junior wide receiver Jamal Robinson said. “It’s going to be really exciting watching him here the next few years.”

Also, the Cajuns tied the school record with eight consecutive wins, set in 1976. Additionally, the Cajuns have won nine straight Sun Belt Conference games dating to last season.

“We don’t really talk about the winning streak,” Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said. “In the locker room, we just mention that all our goals are still intact. We mention, obviously, that we won our eighth in a row, but it’s not something we harp on. We harp on playing the next game, and that’s all we’ve talked about, (and) for us, it is trying to keep tunnel vision. It’s very important to stay the course one game at a time and just try to do your very best, regardless of the opponent or who you are playing.”

A win Nov. 30 at home against Louisiana-Monroe would guarantee UL-Lafayette at least a share of the conference title.

Sweet feet

Robinson had five catches for 53 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter — the Cajuns’ final score of the afternoon. He was originally ruled out of bounds on the play, but replay showed that he got one foot inbounds while maintaining possession of the ball.

“I knew I was in,” Robinson said. “I actually could have gotten both feet down if I wanted to, but I knew I had my foot inbounds.”

Difficulty containing Bell

At times, the Cajuns defense had difficulty keeping Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell under wraps. The third-year sophomore completed 19 of 34 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, including a 42-yarder at the end of the second quarter that narrowed the gap to 21-14 and gave the Panthers a lift going into the locker room.

On the play, Bell scrambled out of trouble to his left and found freshman tight end Keith Rucker behind the UL-Lafayette secondary for the score.

“The plan was to keep him in the pocket because he’s a shorter guy,” Cajuns linebacker Trae Johnson said of Bell. “We knew he was capable of making big plays, and on that one he scrambled out and made a play.”

Bell also had 46 yards rushing on nine carries.

Hill ejected

Sophomore linebacker Chris Hill was ejected late in the fourth quarter for a targeting hit on Bell. Hill was flagged for launching himself at Bell’s head, and after reviewing the play, the officiating crew upheld its original decision to eject Hill, who will have to sit out the Cajuns’ next game Nov. 30 against ULM.