Football: UL Ragin' Cajuns running back Trey Ragas makes a difference with 131 yards, 3 touchdowns
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Oct. 31, 2020
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The 11 penalties for 121 yards, the three lost fumbles and the one pass picked off all were things UL coach Billy Napier could have done without.
But the 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries from senior running back Trey Ragas were something to behold in a game the Ragin' Cajuns (5-1, 3-1 Sun Belt) didn’t do themselves many favors in a 44-34 win over Texas State (1-7, 1-3) on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium.
“He’s got us on his back – for real,” cornerback Eric Garror, whose two interceptions off of Brady McBride were among three from the Cajun defense, said of Ragas.
“His balance and power was evident out there,” Napier added, “and he made a difference, for sure.”
He was due to do just that, Ragas himself would readily attest.
The NFL prospect from Archbishop Shaw High in New Orleans had a season-low 18 yards on six carries a week earlier against UAB.
“It just was one of those games where I kept telling myself, ‘Man, you know, Trey, it’s about that time for you to have a big one,’ ” Ragas said.
“So every time I got the ball I made sure I ran as hard as I can to help the team and help our team win.”
Ragas’ TD runs were for 3 yards in the first quarter, a 2-yard run in the second, and finally from 7 yards to give the Cajuns a 17-point cushion with 10 minutes and 15 seconds left in the fourth.
It was his 13th career 100-yard rushing game, but Ragas’ first this season, and his first career game with three TD runs.
His previous high this year was 77 yards on 10 rushes during an Oct. 14 loss to Coastal Carolina.
Elijah Mitchell also had 17 carries for 96 yards for UL.
Saturday’s game was the first with more than 100 yards for any Cajun running back since Mitchell had 164 and two touchdowns including the game-winner in a Sept. 19 overtime victory at Georgia State.
“We talked about it in the room, saying we only have one game where the rusher has 100 yards,” Ragas said. “The whole mindset (last) week was ‘make sure somebody (surpasses) that.’ ”
Ragas did, and credited strong blocking – from not only his offensive line, but also tight ends and receivers.
“The offense line was very effective. We played well on the edges,” he said. “We got the ball to the second level, you know; that’s kind of our philosophy and approach.”
“The holes are going to open up,” added Ragas, who wasn’t worried they would. “You’ve just got to be patient.”
So at least something worked out for the Cajuns beside a few interceptions and the final outcome.
“It was very frustrating, because we know we’re better than that and we know turning the ball over like that in a close game can turn into a loss,” Ragas said. “So … we’re gonna clean that up and all week we’re gonna work on that to ensure we do better.”