Nov 18, 2012 12:38 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - The back of Terrance Broadway's jersey - the special black one used only for this game - said "croire", which translates into English as, "believe"
Trailing by 10 points with less than six minutes to go, Broadway believed. He believed in himself, believed in the game plan and believed in his teammates.
In the end, Broadway accounted for a career-high 403 yards, including the game-winning 14-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left as Louisiana rallied from a 27-17 fourth quarter deficit to claim a 31-27 win over Western Kentucky.
The win, Louisiana's sixth of the year, improves the Cajuns to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in Sun Belt play. It makes the Cajuns bowl eligible for the second straight year and keeps the squad's Sun Belt title hopes alive with two games left to play. WKU drops its third straight game to fall to 6-5 overall and 3-4 in league play.
"That was a remarkable finish by a remarkable football team," head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "I really felt like that in the last three weeks we have come together as a football team and really played our best football.
"The thing that killed us tonight was turnovers. Each time we turned the ball over, we killed potential scoring drives. Without the turnovers, we would not have been behind," Hudspeth added.
Antonio Andrews gained 190 of his game-high 238 yards rushing in the second half for WKU, including touchdown runs of 17 and 13 yards to put the Hilltoppers ahead, 27-17 with 6:00 left.
The Cajuns battled back as Jamal Robinson fought off a WKU defender in the corner of the end zone to catch a four-yard pass from Broadway to bring the Cajuns to within 27-24 with 2:43 left.
Louisiana opted for the onside kick, its second of the game, and unlike the first that it successfully recovered, the ball bounced off a Hilltopper defender and WKU was able to cover the rebound to secure the ball.
"We talked about it quickly before we kicked as to what to do and regardless of whether we kicked it deep or kicked it onside, we were going to need a three-and-out if we wanted to get the ball back, so we tried the onside kick," Hudspeth said.
"We almost got the ball but it squirted away from us, but then the defense did its job."
The Cajun defense indeed stiffened, stopping Andrews just short of the first down on a third-and-three play to force a punt. The punt bounced WKU's way however as Hednrix Brakefield was able to get the ball to check up inside the 10 and the Hilltopper coverage downed it at the UL 7 with 1:32 left.
But Broadway's belief in being able to lead the winning drive won out over the 93 yards of Cajun Field turf that Louisiana needed to cover.
"I just remembered how far that Blaine had to go in New Orleans last December," Broadway said, remembering the dramatic New Orleans Bowl victory. "Then I looked for Harry."
Harry, senior wide receiver Harry Peoples, has quickly become Broadway's favorite and most reliable target on the field. Peoples caught passes of six and 23 yards to towards midfield and when the duo hooked up again, this time for 15 yards with a 15-yard face mask penalty being tacked on, the Cajuns had the ball at the WKU 29.
Broadway completed a 10-yard pass to Jamal Robinson and then followed it up with a five-yard toss to Peoples to move the ball to the WKU 14. With the defense concentrating on the four Cajun receivers in the game, Broadway found an opening around the right side and ran the ball 14 yards for the game-winning score.
Broadway finished with a career-high 145 yards rushing on 14 carries and completed 23-of-33 passes for 258 yards.
Alonzo Harris added 104 yards on 10 carries to give UL a pair of 100-yard rushers for the first time since Tyrell Fenroy (297 yards) and Michael Desormeaux (149) accomplished it vs. UL on Oct. 4, 2008.
Freshman Torrey Pierce rushed four times for 68 yards, including touchdown runs of 18 and 15 yards, as the Cajuns rushed for a season-high 324 yards and three touchdowns as a team.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hilltoppers took a 7-0 lead at the 10:17 mark of the second stanza when Keshawn Simpson ran it in from one yard out. The play capped a seven-play, 67 yard drive and was set up by a 23 yard pass from Kawaun Jakes to Jack Doyle.
The Cajuns answered right back as freshman Torrey Pierce scored on an 18-yard sweep around left end with 8:18 left to even the score. The 84-yard drive was keyed by a 28-yard run by Alonzo Harris and passes of 22 yards to Darryl Surgent and 12 yards to Harry Peoples.
Western Kentucky made it a 10-7 game with 6:08 left on a 42-yard field goal by Garrett Schwettman, the longest of his career. The field goal was set up by a 55 yard kickoff return and a 21-yard run by Antonio Andrews.
The Cajuns evened the score at 10-10 at halftime when Brett Baer converted a 23-yard field as time expired. Louisiana received the ball at its own 28 with 1:01 left following a punt and Broadway adeptly guided the Cajuns into the red zone.
It was the 16th field goal of the year for Baer, moving him into third place on the single season field goal list, three short of the record of 19 by John Rovetto in 1977.
Louisiana took the second half kickoff and quickly moved into WKU territory. Broadway kept the ball around the left end to pick up 40 yards on the first play of the drive. Two plays later, Alonzo Harris picked up 12 yards but fumbled as he fell to the turf with Jamarcus Allen recovering for WKU at their own 31 to end the drive.
The Hilltoppers quickly flipped the field, using a 13-play drive to take a 13-10 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Schwettman with 7:19 left in the quarter. WKU had a first and goal at the 10 but the Cajun defense tightened.
Pierce scored his second touchdown of the night, and third of the season, on a 15 yard run over the left side with 2:51 left in the third quarter to give the Cajuns their first lead of the night, 17-13.
Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth rolled the dice on the ensuing kickoff as Baer dribbled the kickoff slightly in front of him and recovered it as soon as the ball went 10 yards to give the ball back to the Cajuns. For Baer, it marked the eighth time in 10 career onside kickoffs that Louisiana recovered the ball with Baer accounting for five of the recoveries himself.
The onside kick proved valueless as Jacob Maxwell fumbled after catching a 26 yard pass from Broadway and Arius Wright recovered at the WKU 36 for the Hilltoppers. The fumble was the third turnover of the night for Louisiana, each of which killed potential scoring drives for the Cajuns.
The Hilltoppers took advantage of the miscue as Andrews scored on a 17 yard run on the second play of the fourth quarter to put WKU ahead 20-17 with 14:19 left in the game.
Following an Arius Wright interception on a deflected pass by Broadway, Andrews struck again, gaining 73 yards on a 68-yard drive, finishing the drive with a 13-yard touchdown with 6:00 left to put the Hilltoppers ahead, 27-17, and setting the stage for Broadway's heroics.
The Cajuns will spend Thanksgiving week at home, closing the 2012 home schedule against Sun Belt newcomer South Alabama on Saturday (Nov. 24) beginning at 4:00 p.m. in Cajun Field.