We reached out to our sister site Underdog Dynasty and their Louisiana blogger Matt Miguez to find out a little more about the Ragin Cajun’s.
WRNL: Louisiana comes into 2020 as a favorite in the Sun Belt. What is the biggest reason for the preseason hype?
Matt: I think the biggest reason is our success last season. 11-3, first bowl win in 6 years, first 10 win season in school history, and we made it to our second consecutive conference title game. Also, the level of talent that we have returning is remarkable. Levi Lewis, Trey Ragas, Elijah Mitchell, Joe Dillon, Chauncey Manac, Zi’yon Hill. These guys made huge contributions in 2019 and they’re back for more in 2020.
WRNL: I saw an article about running the table in the Sun Belt. Is that possible in your eyes?
Matt: Yeah, that’s possible. Looking at the Sun Belt schedule for Louisiana, I think the toughest game is App St in Boone on 10/7. But every other conference matchup is very winnable in my eyes.
WRNL: Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell are both on the Doak Walker watch list. Both are serious NFL prospects what has been the biggest reasons for their success as a duo?
Matt: Trey and Eli work so well together. They came in together as freshmen and they both battled major injuries in their freshman season. They also both just fit so well into Billy Napier’s scheme. Napier likes to let the run set up the passing game and Trey as well as Eli do a great job of that. Both backs also are incredible at just taking a game over when they need to. I believe that both Trey and Eli will have successful NFL careers.
WRNL: How does an opponent stop this Louisiana attack? Not only are the running backs good but quarterback Levi Lewis is no slouch either.
Matt: If I’m honest, I don’t know how you can. We’ve had teams go 6-8 in the box and we just bounce to the outside and use breakaway speed with Chris Smith Jr or Mitchell. Levi is also very elusive in the pocket so it’s definitely a challenge to stop this attack when we have 4 guys who can easily run the ball for us.
WRNL: How do you think the Ragin’ Cajuns are game planning for Brock Purdy and this Iowa State Offense?
Matt: I’ll say this off the bat: Brock Purdy is one of the best young QBs I’ve seen in a while. He played well as a freshman and then shined as a sophomore. He’s got a great pocket presence and can really attack defenses with his arm. His field vision is unmatched and he’s also very good at getting away from pressure. I think the best gameplan for Purdy is to play a zone blitz and keep pressure while also covering guys like Milton and Kolar, who will give our secondary everything they can handle.
WRNL: Anything else Iowa State fans should know about Louisiana before Saturday’s Game?
Matt: Louisiana’s gonna bring the noise Saturday on national TV. We’re a culture unlike any other and we play that way on the football field. We play hard-nosed, physical football and I’m just ready to see what ESPN is calling “the Big 12 non-conference game of the year”.
WRNL: If Louisiana wins we can send down some Busch light but if Iowa State wins what are you sending up?
Matt: I can definitely send up Bayou Teche Brewing’s Ragin Cajun Ale. Fun Fact, Louisiana was actually the first university to have it’s own officially licensed beer. So if the Cyclones win, I’ll send up a case.
Notes On Matt Miguez
You can find Matt on Twitter @MiguezMatt and his Cajuns podcast, Ragin Review @RaginReview and it can be found on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.