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Football: Ragin' Cajuns Enter Game Week Mode On First Day Of Classes

David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant

LAFAYETTE – Classes began on Monday for the University and Louisiana Football's student-athletes, giving the Ragin' Cajuns a new transition point in the ongoing preparation for the 2018 season. Head coach Billy Napier transitioned into game week mode a week ahead of schedule, giving the Ragin' Cajuns a chance to go through preparation simulating next weekend's Sept. 1 season opener against Grambling.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: For the student-athletes, and their peers all around campus, Monday marked the first day of classes for the fall semester. It meant that training camp, in terms of Louisiana's all-day commitment to being at the facilities watching film and working out, has come to an end with Louisiana's student-athletes now spending the majority of their days on campus.

COACH SPEAKS: Coach Napier met with the media on Monday, to talk about Saturday's scrimmage went and how Louisiana is adjusting to classes starting and the season opener being less than two weeks away.

Overall Statement:

"We got a lot accomplished during the scrimmage and we have had great competition throughout the camp that is allowing for different positions to really sort themselves out. The scrimmage gave us a lot of great film to evaluate and show the players what they need to work and improve on heading into the season. I thought that we need to improve on the body language and mental toughness of the team after the scrimmage, and I really felt that we were not up to our standards in that aspect. We spent time on Sunday defining to the team what we expect from them in regard to mental toughness and that is being at your best regardless of the circumstance, so that when you do get faced with adversity you respond in the correct way. The overall message to the team was that we need to focus on the details and improves in terms of how we pay attention to the smaller details. And we need to make fundamental improvements. Today is the first day of classes for the team, so we have begun to transition into how each week will play out throughout the season."

On Where the Team Is Positioned:
"We are settling in at receiver, with both outside receiver's pretty set. At running back, we pretty much know what we have and who we can feature at that position. At tight end we feel pretty comfortable as well, with Alex Allen being a guy who has surfaced as a third H-back role for us working hard to prove himself. At offensive line I feel good about the seven guys we have in rotation up front. On the defensive end we feel the same way we did heading into Saturday's scrimmage, with competitive spots at cornerback and in the second and third defense line positions. Inside linebacker is deep for us as we begin to see progress out that outside linebacker position. We are where we need to be in terms of depth for our football team."

On How the Scrimmage Went:

"Our team is assignment sound, but the attention to detail is something that we still need to work on. In general, our overall approach is not up to standard, in terms of the elite teams and we need to work on getting to that championship level that we strive to be at. We did see a lot of good for both first team units on both sides of the ball. And that is what you like to see, with both of your first team units having success and the scrimmage was competitive throughout."

LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY: Louisiana opens the 2018 regular season on Saturday, Sept. 1, when the Ragin' Cajuns host Grambling at Cajun Field for the 17th Annual Herbert Heymann Classic. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.  It's the first of six Saturday home games at Cajun Field throughout the season, with Coastal Carolina coming to Lafayette on Sept. 22 for the second home game during the month of September. 

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE: Both individual tickets and season tickets are available for purchase by either heading to ragincajuns.com/tickets or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome, (337) 265-2357, or by visiting the office in person.

Leading up to the Sept. 1 game day, the Louisiana Ticket Office will have extended hours going from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., allowing fans to get their tickets for the Grambling game. Monday also marked the beginning of single game tickets going on sale for the Grambling game, and fans can now get their tickets to make sure their seat is reserved at Cajun Field for the season opener.
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