Pre-Christmas bowl games lack the panache of their post-Christmas brethren, but devy owners should never be caught up in the name on the front of the jersey. While depth of talent may be underwhelming in comparison, good players come from all over. To the games.
Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
CBSS, 1:30PM EST
The Green Wave have talent in the passing game, yet uneven quarterback play prevented it from truly shining in 2018. Terren Encalade has been a name people have known about for a few years, but aforementioned questionable quarterback play prevented him from truly breaking out this year. With a solid frame at 6’0” and 190 pounds and the skills to get vertical, Encalade figures to be at an NFL camp next fall. Teammate Darnell Mooney has overtaken Encalade as the team’s top receiver and is on the verge of a 1,000-yard season. While he possesses a small frame, Mooney is a highly competitive receiver who shows the traits to be a highly efficient route runner. Only a junior, it is expected he returns to campus in 2019, but he has placed himself firmly on the NFL radar.
Darius Bradwell has had a strong year as the Green Wave’s lead back, with a no-nonsense north-south style leading to 984 rushing yards at a strong 5.9 yards per clips. His lack of work as a receiver (four receptions for 13 yards) is concerning. I am more intrigued by backup Corey Dauphine. Dauphine is a Texas Tech transfer with track star speed (probably because he is, in fact, a track star for real). While he is also limited as a receiver, his wheels alone could net him looks at the next level.
The Ragin’s Cajuns are led by their backfield. Sophomore Trey Ragas is a hulking back who has put together back-to-back strong seasons. While he is a powerful runner, he also has soft hands, racking up 24 receptions this year. Elijah Mitchell has a bit more of a home run element in his game, but both backs are pretty well-rounded and underrated prospects. Smaller back Raymond Calais averaged a whopping 9.1 yards per tote. Billy Napier’s crew quietly has one of the better backfields in the nation.