Sunday, December 21, 2014

Louisiana-Lafayette: 2014 New Orleans Bowl Champions



University of Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth said Terrance Broadway's final game as a Ragin' Cajun was a fitting end for his senior quarterback. Playing for the final time at UL-Lafayette, Broadway passed for 227 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cajuns to a 16-3 victory against Nevada on Saturday in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
He was named the game's most outstanding player. He also earned that honor in 2012 when he led UL-Lafayette to a 43-34 victory against East Carolina.
It was, at times, a frustrating season for Broadway and the Cajuns. They started 1-3 and Broadway lost his favorite receiver, senior Jamal Robinson, to a knee and foot injury.
That meant establishing rapport with his other receivers, something that took time.
He hooked up with receiver James Butler eight times for 53 yards Saturday.
"The connection with me and James really picked up,'' Broadway said. "We've been on the same page throughout the year. James has really stepped up big for us.
"It's been team all year. All I want to do is be consistent. If I pass the ball seven times, I want to be 7-for-7. That's just how our offense rolls. Anybody on our offense could have been MVP (Saturday).''
Broadway completed his first 14 passes of the game. He directed the Cajuns to scoring drives on the first two possessions. He guided UL-Lafayette on a 77-yard, eight-play touchdown offensive to start the game, completing two passes for 29 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to C.J. Bates that came on third down.
He also had a 15-yard run on the drive as the Cajuns moved efficiently, needing only one third down conversion, which came on the score with 11:26 left in the first quarter.
UL-Lafayette made it 10-0 with 2:55 left in the second quarter when senior kicker Hunter Stover hit a career-high 46-yard field goal. The Cajuns moved from their 11 to the Nevada 29 before the drive stalled. Broadway completed four passes on that drive for 27 yards and rushed for 10 yards.
"Terrance was spot on (Saturday),'' Hudspeth said. "Great way for him to go out.''
McGUIRE CONTRIBUTES: Nevada did a fair job of handling Cajuns' running back Elijah McGuire, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, for most of the game.
He just missed getting 100 yards rushing, finishing with 99 yards on 16 carries. He also had five receptions for 54 yards.
Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian said the plan was to limit UL-Lafayette's running game.
"We came into the game saying we had to stop the run,'' Polian said. "It's hard to look at the numbers and say we got blown up.''
FOURTH BEST CROWD: Though it wasn't the record crowd the New Orleans Bowl has enjoyed the previous three years, Ragin' Cajuns fans still had a respectable showing.
The announced crowd was 34,014, the fourth largest in the New Orleans Bowl history. The actual crowd was considerably smaller. But considering the early 10 a.m. start and fact that UL-Lafayette had been here the previous three years, it wasn't a bad showing.
ECT.: UL-Lafayette had 26 first downs, third most in New Orleans Bowl history, and held the ball for 36:54 to Nevada's 23:06, the best mark in bowl history. ... Cajuns senior kicker Hunter Stover made field goals of 46, 38 and 35 yards, tying the New Orleans Bowl record for most in a game. He missed his fourth attempt in the fourth quarter. ... The three points by Nevada was the fewest ever in New Orleans Bowl history.
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Trey Iles can be reached at riles@nola.com or 504.826.3405
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