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81 days to football: UL Lafayette's dangerous perimeter weapons

 

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Every day from 99 days out (May 25) until kickoff, I'll put up a post telling you how many days until kickoff and breaking down something about the upcoming season related to that number.  

 

Today, since we are 98 days away from kickoff, we take a look at: UL Lafayette had a pair of junior wideouts, Ryheem Malone and Keenan Barnes, lead the team with a combined 81 catches. What do those guys bring to the table? 

 

 

 

I liked the point Bill Connelly made in his season preview for the Cajuns where he was describing the kind of offense new head coach Billy Napier is likely to bring the Lafayette: his advanced numbers showed Napier's Sun Devils were 43rd in adjusted pace amd 22nd in percentage of solo tackles forced. That means his offenses worked quickly and were really good at getting people into open space, two things that should work really well for Malone and Barnes. 

 

That's mostly because these are the two guys that most benefit from such schemes: Malone is the slot guy and Barnes is the possession receiver. Both of those roles are ultimately built around space, be it creating it for themselves, the scheme creating it for them or both, and the Napier system seems set on doing exactly that. 

 

Malone adds a pedigree of explosive plays, as a SMU transfer (you don't get recruited by Chad Morris if you can't make huge plays) and a punt returner last season. 

 

The only thing holding those two back is quarterback, as that position was a bit of an adventure all last season and the Cajuns lose two seniors from that crew. That is uncertain, but we know is UL Lafayette has two athletic perimeter weapons that are likely to be used in a dangerous way. 

 

Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson

 

 

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