Posted: Sep 14, 2013 11:42 PM by UL Sports Information
Updated: Sep 14, 2013 11:46 PM
LAFAYETTE - It was a record-setting night for the Louisiana football team in its home opener on Saturday against Nicholls State at Cajun Field.
Freshman Elijah McGuire rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns and the Ragin' Cajuns erupted for 620 yards of total offense in a 70-7 victory over the Colonels before an announced crowd of 28,871 - the 10th-largest crowd in school history.
Torrey Pierce added a pair of touchdowns for Louisiana (1-2), which earned its 500th win in school history and scored the most points in a game at Cajun Field, eclipsing the previous record (56) set against UAB in 1995. Alonzo Harris, Terrance Broadway and Montrel Carter each scored on touchdown runs as the Ragin' Cajuns, who piled up 456 yards on the ground and averaged 8.6 yards in the process.
Defensively, Louisiana forced five turnovers and recorded four sacks. Justin Anderson picked off a pass from Nicholls quarterback Beaux Hebert in the first quarter and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown as the Ragin' Cajuns built a 28-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back.
After earning a 27-23 victory at Western Michigan last week for its first win over a FBS school since 2007, Nicholls State (1-2) had visions of becoming the first-ever FCS school to post back-to-back wins over college football's top classification.
But the Colonels' dreams of a second upset win were quickly dashed on the game's third play when Harris took a handoff and raced 65 yards for a touchdown that gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 7-0 lead with 13:41 remaining in the first quarter.
After forcing the Colonels to punt on their opening possession, Louisiana drove 96 yards in 10 plays with Broadway capping the drive with a 24-yard score with 7:50 left.
Pierce, who rushed for 74 yards on a team-high 12 carries, gave Louisiana a 21-0 lead on its third series when he scored on a 7-yard run off the right side with 1:47 remaining in the first quarter. Pierce opened the drive with a 15-yard run to the Nicholls 48 and Broadway connected with Devin Scott on a 37-yard pass to the Nicholls 7 on third-and-6 before Pierce scored on the following play.
Anderson, who returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown last season against Tulane, gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 28-0 lead when he stepped in front of a Hebert pass and raced untouched to the end zone with 53 seconds remaining.
Pierce added a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter for the Ragin' Cajuns before McGuire got into the act in his home debut.
The freshman from Houma accounted for all 55 yards on a three-play drive that ended when he scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard run up the middle for a 42-0 lead. McGuire opened the drive for Louisiana with a 37-yard scamper around the right side to the Nicholls 18 before catching a 14-yard screen pass from Broadway to the Nicholls 4.
Remaine Douglas returned a fumble by Nicholls' Tuskani Figaro to the Colonel 11 and McGuire scored on the next play for a 49-0 lead with 2:28 remaining in the first half.
Broadway, who finished 10-for-13 through the air for 149 yards, gave Louisiana a 56-7 lead when he hit Jamal Robinson for a 25-yard TD pass
McGuire scored his final touchdown on an electrifying 42-yard run with 8:24 remaining in the third quarter when he capped a two-play, 47 yard drive. After gaining five yards on his first carry, McGuire carried up the middle, broke a tackle, dragged a Nicholls defender in the process, before breaking away and breaking another tackle near the end zone that gave Louisiana a 63-7 advantage.
Carter capped the Ragin' Cajuns' scoring when his 1-yard plunge capped a 9-play, 77-yard drive with 14:03 remaining in the game.
Nicholls averted a shutout in the second quarter when Figaro, a former Lafayette High product, connected with Demon Bolt for a 36-yard TD pass with 1:25 remaining before intermission.
Hebert, the son of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, finished 5-for-17 for 56 yards and was sacked three times. Figaro completed 5 of 11 passes for 77 yards for the Colonels while leading the team with 40 yards on the ground.
Louisiana will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 21, when it visits Akron in a 5 p.m. CDT contest at InfoCision Stadium.