Team preview: Louisiana-Lafayette

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


For Louisiana-Lafayette, the 2004 campaign was a season spent on the brink. Even though the Ragin' Cajuns finished with a 4-7 record, four of their losses were by four points or less.

As if the program didn't have enough nail-biters on the field last fall, the Ragin' Cajuns are suffering through another cliffhanger this summer as their top receiver races toward his diploma.

At stake is another year of eligibility for Bill Sampy, one of the best receivers in the Sun Belt Conference. If he graduates by the end of the summer, he will return in the fall to build on his 57-catch, 776-yard performance from a year ago.

If he fails to do so, explosive quarterback Jerry Babb will be throwing the football to three receivers who combined for just five receptions in 2004 and dropped just about everything he threw at them during the spring.

Although there is a lot riding on Sampy's progress in the classroom, Louisiana-Lafayette still has a chance to be a decent football team without him. Ricky Bustle has the Ragin' Cajuns moving in the right direction after three seasons. An exciting brand of football coupled with winning records at home for each of the last three years has boosted attendance at Cajun Field.