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Photograph: Louisiana head football coach Mike Desormeaux speaks to Cajuns’ tight end Neal Johnson. (Photograph by Mike Curley)

BOBBY ARDOIN
Editor/Consulting Writer

Louisiana head football coach Mike Desormeaux was thinking on Saturday that it was perhaps time for his players who have remained resilient despite adversity, to experience a bit of good fortune.

That moment soon materialized, Desormeaux said, after his team turned a two-score deficit into a dramatic 34-30 win the Cajuns will celebrate over the next few days.

A Louisiana field goal and touchdown, a blocked punt and fumble recovery during the final five minutes enabled the Cajuns to produce the come-from-behind victory in the Sun Belt Conference contest against Texas State.

The Cajuns take a 4-2 record and the SBC victory into an open date weekend. A remaining conference schedule continues Oct. 21 with a Homecoming game against Georgia State.

Desormeaux said after the game that he’s often marveled about the way his players have remained dedicated.

“I thought during the game that it was time for something good to happen to these guys. They have worked too hard for something not to happen for them. They come out and work so hard every day. You ask so much out of them and you want that to pay off,” Desormeaux noted during his postgame press conference.

Texas State (4-2, 1-1) entered the game averaging 43.1 points. The Bobcats still achieved sufficient yards (580 total) on Saturday, but Desormeaux said the Cajuns found ways to prevent the TSU offensive scheme from becoming too prolific.

“Our defense held them to field goals (three) instead of touchdowns. They have a good offense and make plays in space and one-on-one. What we tried to do was make them drive the length of the field. We were able to buckle it down when we had to,” Desormeaux said.

Preventing too many open-space options for the Bobcats was the key for containment, said Desormeaux.

“We felt like we could crease it inside. That’s where we felt we could match up and we kept going with what was working and going with the plan we had,” Desormeaux added.

TSU crafted an 11-point lead (30-21) with 10:45 remaining, but the Cajuns took the next possession and cut the lead to two points following a short Rob Williams reception from quarterback Deon Chriss.

The turning point came with 4:33 left when the Cajuns’ Delan Cambre blocked a Seamus O’Neillly punt recovered by Patrick Mensah at the TSU 22.

Five plays later Chris had the Cajuns in the end zone again with an eight-yard run and Louisiana led for the first time (34-30) with 2:21 remaining..

Cajuns’ safety Tyree Skipper fell on a TSU fumble at the Bobcats’ 15 with 1:33 remaining to essentially end the game.  

Desormeaux said the Cajuns were potentially confident about potentially executing a punt block against TSU.

“We felt good about our plan to block one, but you still need your players to do the job. We had something schemed up and ready to go and we called it at the right time and then we got it,” said Desormeaux.

Chriss, a redshirt freshman starting his third game, rushed for 67 yards and passed for another 205 and three TD’s.

“He (Chriss) has shown what he can do for us and he did it (against TSU), What he is doing now is unbelievable. He’s a natural leader and he’s a winner,” said Desormeaux.

When asked about the importance of the win, Desormeaux provided a simple answer.

“It’s what we needed,” he said.