The first game of the season was a real nightmare for the Red Raiders, as a bitter cocktail of misfortune and mistakes led to a resounding loss against a good Ole Miss team. The team lead by head coach Kliff Kingsbury has the possibility to immediately rise again on Saturday, facing Lamar, an FCS team based in Beaumont, TX.
The Cardinals began their season on a high note: indeed, in Week 1 they won against Kentucky Christian Knights (NAIA) with the final score of 70-7. Yet, if we travel back to 2017, we discover their record was a babbling 2-9, and their only contact with FBS ended in a 45-point loss against North Texas in Denton. Things weren’t particularly glowing in 2016 too, as they went 3-8 and they lost 42-0 to Houston.
It can be difficult finding reliable information from a 63-point win, but the tendency of the Cardinals is running the ball. They made it 59 times out of 76 offensive plays, averaging 6.9 yards/carry.
The offense is led by senior quarterback Darrel Colbert Jr., a dual-threat player who transferred from SMU before 2017 season and started six games last season. Among many backs, sophomore Myles Wanza seems to be one of the best players in the team.
This offense shouldn’t be a problem for the Red Raiders defense, that certainly showed some issues against Ole Miss but has all the qualities and depth to immediately find again the right road it found in 2017.
The other matchup shouldn’t be a problem too. The Cardinals defense produced 11 tackles for losses and three sacks, and also picked off three passes and recovered a fumble in its first outing, but it reached this mark against an NAIA team, so the stats have to be put in their proper context.
Quarterback McLane Carter scared the Red Raiders fans on the Ole Miss game, as he left the game in the first quarter after a bad hit that made think to a severe injury.
Fortunately, it resulted in a high ankle sprain and he could see the field against Lamar. If the score will allow it, he won’t play and there will be space for Alan Bowman and Jett Duffey to show their qualities.