Graduate transfer Anthony Jennings needed less than a month to acclimate to his new college football home, Louisiana-Lafayette. Just five weeks after landing at ULL after three seasons at LSU, Jennings was tabbed the Ragin’ Cajuns Week 1 starter against Boise State.
Jennings beat out Jordan Davis and Jalen Nixon, both of whom saw substantial playing time in a disappointing 2015. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 4-8, taking a considerable step back after four straight seasons of 9-4 finishes under head coach Mark Hudspeth.
ULL’s regression last season can be attributed in part to quarterback play. Blaine Gautier and Terrance Broadway led a prolific Ragin’ Cajun offense in the four seasons prior, while Nixon and Brooks Hauck traded duties much of 2015. Davis stepped in late in the campaign as a freshman.
Jennings winning the competition is a bit of role reversal after losing his job at LSU a year ago. Jennings started much of 2014 and appeared in all 13 games, though his statistics were unspectacular: 1,611 yards passing on just 48.6 percent completions with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
He lost quarterback duties to Brandon Harris a year ago and played sparingly. His former head coach, Les Miles, offered reporters a brief statement Tuesday.
Les Miles on Anthony Jennings being named the starter at ULL: "He's a very talented guy. We wish him well."
— Christian Boutwell (@CBoutwell_) August 24, 2016
He’ll make his ULL debut against a Boise State defense that ranked fourth in the nation in interceptions with 22, and 31st in sacks with 32. The Ragin’ Cajuns should get a sense rather quickly of its new offensive identity with Jennings behind center.
ULL is picked to finish in the Sun Belt Conference behind Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Georgia State.