|Getting set up in Lafayette.|
This was our second trip to Cajun Field and our third broadcast of the Ragin' Cajuns, while we were seeing Western Kentucky for the first time. Still, I felt through research and talking to coaches from both teams, we had a good handle on both teams. It was nice to see some familiar faces before the game, and the staff from both sides did a good job of preparing us for a few things - Louisiana-Lafayette's black jerseys, some WKU lineup changes, etc.
Nobody warned me about the details of the Cajuns' black jerseys, however! They had a giant fleur de lis on the front, rather than numbers, which is a nightmare for broadcasters. There were mini numbers on the front up by the shoulder pads, but seeing those from a camera well is virtually impossible. It created a few challenges. The jerseys also had French words on the name plate, so I did my best to translate them on the fly. I got combattre (to fight), croire (to believe), and unité (unity), but I wasn't sure on fierté, which turned out to be pride. My bad.
|Our open airs shortly before kickoff.|
The game lived up to our expectations, with Western Kentucky controlling the ball through its dominant ground game and tailback Antonio Andrews (300+ all-purpose yards for the third straight game, leads the country.) Louisiana-Lafayette was effective too, largely thanks to the versatility of quarterback Terrance Broadway, but it looked like four turnovers would undo them. Leading by three late in the game, WKU elected to punt and pin Louisiana-Lafayette in its own end rather than go for it on 4th-and-1, which seemed uncharacteristic for head coach Willie Taggart. Seemed like a decent move when the punt was downed at the 7, but Broadway led the Ragin' Cajuns on a dramatic drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a quarterback draw in the final minute. (ESPN video)
|A good night to work in college football.|
A dramatic night and two teams that are very fun to call - I'll be rooting for them down the road.