Posted: Sep 8, 2012 11:33 PM by UL Sports Information
TROY, Ala. - Alonzo Harris rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown as Louisiana toppled Troy, 37-24, to improve to 2-0 on the year and 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. The win ended a 25-game Troy win streak in home openers, including 21 straight under current head coach Larry Blakeney.
The victory also snapped a 21-game Cajun losing streak in road openers dating back to the 1990 season and ended.
"I am proud of the way our guys came out tonight, battled through a little adversity and won a big ball-game in a tough environment," head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "To not lose a home opener in a quarter-century speaks to how tough a place this is to play so to come away with a win is important for us.
"I said all week that the team that wins this game will be the one that wins the turnover battle. Our defensive forced three turnovers and made two huge stops on fourth down while the offense didn't turn it over once."
Terrance Broadway relieved an injured Blaine Gautier in the first quarter and led the Cajuns to the win, completing 10-of-16 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown while also rushing eight times for 43 yards.
"We've said all along that we are very deep at the quarterback spot and Terrance proved that tonight," Huspeth said. "He prepared hard all week and when Blaine went down, he was ready to go. I thought he did a great job of running the offense."
The performance was a little extra special to Harris, who returned to the starting lineup following the season-ending knee injury last week to Montrel Carter.
After forcing five turnovers last week, the Cajuns won the turnover battle again on Saturday, intercepting one pass and recovering a pair of fumbles without a miscue.
The Cajuns were out-gained in the contest, 588-389, but the difference came in the red zone where UL scored on all six trips, putting three field goals and three touchdowns on the board.
Troy quarterback Corey Robinson was 46-for-70 for 485 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but the inability of Troy to effectively run the ball repeatedly hurt them throughout the night. The Trojans gained just 60 yards on the ground in 27 carries.
The Trojans took the opening kickoff and drove 74 yards to take a 7-0 lead on an 11-yard run by Deon Anthony with 12:15. Early in the drive, Troy was by a UL offside penalty on a third down play in which Troy did not convert. With new life because of the penalty, the Trojans quickly moved down the field.
The Cajuns came back late in the quarter when Blaine Gautier used his legs to engineer a seven-play, 55-yard scoring drive, capping it off with an 10-yard run with 3:37 remaining to even the game at 7-7. Gautier carried three times for 21 yards on the drive, scoring his 10th career rushing touchdown, but the senior was hurt on the play however and did not return to the game
The UL defense put its first points of the year on the scoreboard when T.J. Worthy stripped Troy receiver Chandler Worthy of the ball after a short catch and Jemarlous Moten scooped the fumble up and returned it 56 yards for the touchdown to put the Cajuns ahead, 14-7. Moten shared the team lead with Justin Anderson with 12 tackles.
It was the third career touchdown for Moten, who returned interceptions for touchdowns in 2011 against both Oklahoma State and San Diego State.
Terrance Broadway replaced Gautier at quarterback and led the Cajun offense showed no signs of slowing down.
On Broadway's first drive, Harris broke free around the left end for a career-long 50-yard carry on the final play of the first quarter. It set up a 25-yard field goal by Brett Baer with just 105 seconds into the second quarter that put UL ahead, 17-7.
Baer made his second field goal of the game with 7:35 left in the half, another 25-yard effort that was set up by consecutive receptions of 21 yards by Effrem Reed and 32 yards by Jamal Robinson.
The Cajun defense stepped up late in the quarter when Jake Molbert broke up a pass on a 4th-and-2 from the UL 9-yard line with 3:43 left.
Troy was able to get on the board before the half when Corey Robinson completed a five-yard pass to Jaquon Robinson with 0:52 left to pull the Trojans to within 20-14.
The Trojans pulled to within 20-17 on a 33-yard field goal by Will Scott at the 9:50 mark of the third quarter, but the Cajuns came right back, putting 10 straight points on the board.
Harry Peoples caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Broadway with 8:16 left in the third quarter to cap a surgical five-play, 74-yard drive. Broadway started the drive with a 32-yard run and also added a 23-yard completion to Darryl Surgent.
On the Cajuns next possession, Baer converted a 32-yard field goal at the 3:54 mark to put UL ahead, 30-17. The field goal, his seventh in as many attempts this year, allowed him to break the Sun Belt record for consecutive field goals made with 18 going back to last season. Baer surpassed the mark of 17 set by La.-Monroe's Cole Wilson (2006-07).
With the victory still in question and Troy driving, Emeka Onyenekwu intercepted a shuffle pass by Corey Robinson and returned it 11 yards. A 28-yard Broadway pass to Surgent moved the ball inside the 10 and then the Harris helped the Cajuns put the game away when he fought his way into the end zone from two yards out to put UL ahead, 37-17.
The Trojans would add a touchdown on a five-yard Robinson pass to Eric Thomas with 3:12 left, but it was not enough as the Cajuns covered the ensuing onside kick and Troy did not get the ball back until there was just 1:17 left.
The Cajuns will take to the road again next week, traveling to Stillwater, Okla. to face No. 18 Oklahoma State on Saturday (Sept. 15) at 11:00 a.m. CDT.