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Spring game a final test for Cajuns' football team

Thursday night at 7
LA Lafayette Louisiana Monroe Football Napier
Posted at 9:25 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 22:25:21-04

Billy Napier categorizes Thursday's spring game as the "final exam" for Louisiana football.

The Cajuns run most of the team's starters back, but do lose Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas to the draft this season. Thursday's game will give fans a first glimpse of the rebuilt backfield, one that is expected to feature Emani Bailey, Chris Smith and Texas A&M transfer Jacob Kibodi. Other key newcomers who will play Thursday include TCU wide receiver transfer John Stephens, Maryland transfer quarterback Lance Legendre, and offensive linemen T.J. Fiailoa from ULM.

The team played a closed scrimmage Saturday. Since that game, Billy Napier said the team has focused on simulating a short preparation week, something the team will have to this season.

"We've tried to use a very similar turnaround from Saturday to Thursday, and use the analogy that two years ago we had to transition in five days to play Coastal, and this year we have to do that against Georgia State," he said. "So there is a lot to benefit from this week."

The annual Vermilion and White game kicks off at 7 p.m. It's the first spring game back in Cajun Field since 2018. Last year's game was canceled, and 2019's spring game was moved indoors in front of a limited capacity due to rain. The team's 2020 football season COVID protocols will be in full effect during the game.

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