Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Breakfast with Bevo: Ooh La La! Ragin' Cajuns, Louisiana are both on the rise in Lafayette

Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It's Wednesday, Sept. 1. Three more days till Texas' season opener.

Monday was our first Steve Sarkisian game-week press conference of the season, and Tuesday was our first regular media availability with three Texas players — running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Joshua Moore and linebacker DeMarvion Overshown. Here's a link to our story out of that, as players said they can't wait for Saturday's opener. 

The Dallas Morning News wrote about those residual season-opening scars of those two losses to Maryland in 2017 and 2018 that spoiled Tom Herman's Longhorns debut.

On Monday, our own Kirk Bohls wrote about Sarkisian's decision to start Hudson Card on Saturday against No. 23 Louisiana. Good move, Bohls wrote. Cedric Golden, meanwhile, offered Sark some freebie advice on what the Horns' first offensive series should look like. (Ced's suggested script reads basically like this: Bijan Robinson right, Bijan Robinson left, Bijan Robinson up the middle.)

Welcome to Breakfast with Bevo, your morning read for all things Texas Longhorns. On today's menu: a closer look at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its Ragin' Cajuns.

Some of the focus of Saturday's opener has shifted to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, and not just because they're nationally ranked and return a whole bunch of offense and defense from last year's 10-1 team that shared the Sun Belt title, beat UTSA in the First Responder Bowl and finished the season ranked 15th. Hurricane Ida has torn through the state, and the Ragin' Cajuns are having to deal with that, the Lafayette Advertiser reported. The Cajuns decided to ride out Ida at home in Lafayette rather than leave Louisiana and camp out in Texas for the week.

There are five Longhorns from Louisiana: wide receiver Casey Cain (New Orleans), defensive end Barryn Sorrell (New Orleans), defensive lineman Myron Warren (Many), defensive back Darion Dunn (Oakdale) and offensive lineman Christian Rizzi (Metairie).

More about Saturday's opponent:

Louisiana head coach Billy Napier celebrates with players after the Ragin' Cajuns' 27-17 win over Miami (Ohio) in last season's Lendingtree Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Napier has led the team to a 21-4 record the past two years and to the Sun Belt championship game in all three seasons he's been in Lafayette.

Wiki Wiki Cajuns

The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are a work in progress. The university opened in 1898 as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, and along the way has been the Southwestern Louisiana Institute of Liberal and Technical Learning, the University of Southwestern Louisiana, the University of Louisiana and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

There's about 17,000 students. School colors are vermillion and white.

The university's motto: Fortiter, Feliceter, Fideliter.

(That's Latin for Bravely, Luckily, Faithfully.)

The very first sport the school offered was track, back in 1904. But it's been softball that has had the most success recently, making five Women's College World Series trips and winning nine conference tournament titles. Football, though, is gathering steam. Louisiana is 21-4 the last two seasons under head coach Billy Napier.

In 2014, the Cajuns became the first school in college football history to win the same bowl game four years in a row — the New Orleans Bowl. But in 2016 they had to vacate all of their 2011 wins, including the bowl game, as NCAA punishment over an assistant coach trying to get five recruits into school by faking their entrance exam scores.

Notable alumni:

At the top of the sports list is former Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry, who won the 1978 Cy Young Award and was part of two World Series wins over the Dodgers in 1977 and 1978. The lefty who was born in Lafayette had two nicknames: Gator, and Louisiana Lightning. He went 12-5 with 137 strikeouts in his two seasons with the Ragin' Cajuns (1969, 1970). His number is retired by the Yankees.

The school has produced several NFL players, from quarterback Jake Delhomme to defensive backs Ike Taylor, Charles Tillman and Orlando Thomas, as well as two future kickers for the Dallas Cowboys — Rafael Septien and Richie Cunningham. And Andrew Toney, the two-time NBA All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers whose teammates spanned from Dr. J to Charles Barkley.

The school has produced one Louisiana governor — Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (2004-08) — and five lieutenant governors. There was a Miss America (Judith Ford, 1969) and a Miss USA (Ali Landry, 1996), a country music star (Eddy Raven, who had six country No. 1 songs) and the school even can claim a piece of 1980s TV fitness star Richard Simmons, though he later transferred to and graduated from Florida State.

Did you know: In 1954, within months of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the school admitted 70 African-American students, becoming the first all-white public college in the Deep South to desegregate.

The last five seasons for football:

• 2016: 6-7 (including a pair of back-to-back overtime losses at Tulane and New Mexico State)

• 2017: 5-7 (Mark Hudspeth was fired after going 51-38 in seven years; he's currently the head coach at Gulf Shores High in Alabama)

• 2018: 7-7 (Played in the Sun Belt title game, lost to Tulane in the Cure Bowl)

• 2019: 11-3 (Napier got a two-year extension after another Sun Belt title game appearance, and this time the Cajuns won their bowl game)

• 2020: 10-1 (A share of the Sun Belt title and a first-ever AP top 25 ranking)

A Texas cheerleader runs onto the field with a giant Longhorns flag before an NCAA college football game between Texas and Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Texas roundup

Football: Texas got a pair of commitments Monday from two four-star defensive linemen — Marlin's Jaray Bledsoe, a 6-4, 270-pounder who'll likely play defensive tackle, and J'Mond Tapp, a four-star edge rusher from Donaldsonville (La.) Ascension Catholic. He's the No. 9 edge prospect in the country, per 247Sports' composite rankings. Texas' 2022 recruiting class is 20 players strong and is ranked No. 6 nationally and leading the Big 12.

Men's basketball: NIL news. Horns guard Andrew Jones is one of five new members partnering with Degree Deodorant's #BreakingLimits Team, a part of its $5 million campaign that has drawn together 19 college athletes with impressive back stories. One of the other new names is UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin, who hails from Hutto. Texas volleyball players Logan Eggleston and Asjia O'Neal were already on it. ... Former Horns player and assistant coach Barry Dowd passed away on Aug. 20 in Arkansas. He was 85. Here's our story on Dowd.

Volleyball: No. 1 Texas (2-0) plays No. 10 Minnesota (1-1) at 7 tonight in Minneapolis, the Horns' first road match of the season. This will be the 11th meeting between the two schools; Texas won their last meeting, a 3-1 win at Gregory Gym, but is 0-2 all-time in Minneapolis. So far, the Horns have swept No. 20 San Diego and UTSA.

Soccer: Texas hosts New Mexico State Thursday at Myers Stadium (7 p.m., LHN). The Horns dropped to 0-2-1 with a 1-0 loss to No. 11 Georgetown on Sunday night even though the Horns outshot the Hoyas 15-9.

Men's tennis: Eliot Spizzirri, a Horns sophomore, is playing doubles at the U.S. Open. He's teaming with Oklahoma State's Tyler Zink. They teamed up to win the 2019 U.S. Open Junior Championships. Their first-round match will be Thursday against France's Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. (If Mahut's name rings a bell, it's because he was the other half o that historic 2010 first-round Wimbledon singles match with America's John Isner — at 8 hours and 11 minutes, the longest match in professional tennis history.)  Spizzirri was an All-American at Texas last season, also winning all-conference honors in both singles and doubles.

Texas exes: Three former Horns stars — football's Vince Young, baseball's Greg Swindell and sprinter Carlette Guidry-Falkquay — were inducted into the Houston ISD's athletic hall of honor on Aug. 14. Before they won big at Texas, Young starred at Houston Madison, Swindell at Sharpstown and Guidry-Falkquay at Sterling High.

Speaking of inductions, former Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson and former Texas shot putter Michelle Carter were inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in a banquet in Waco last Saturday. In his Tuesday nuggets column, Golden shared a nice story about DJ and his mom, who, Ced writes, obviously raised her son right. He's planning to write about Carter on Thursday.

Horns in the NFL

Tuesday was NFL roster cut-down day, as teams had to trim to 53 players. Notable Longhorns who were released: WR Collin Johnson (Jaguars), RB D'Onta Foreman (Falcons) and DB Adrian Colbert (Patriots), who was let go on Monday. Johnson caught a TD in the Jags' second preseason game but fell behind in the depth chart that's headed up by guys like Marvin Jones, DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault. The Falcons signed Foreman — Texas' Doak Walker Award winner in 2016 — on Aug. 9. He played in six games with the Titans last season. Colbert, 26, was trying to catch on with his third team in as many years.

The Indianapolis Colts kept injured QB Sam Ehlinger but parted ways with three former Horns — WR Tarik Black, LB Malik Jefferson and DB Holton Hill. And the Eagles released DT Hassan Ridgeway.

Ehlinger, by the way, has a sprained knee and is going to be out for up to five weeks.

Also of note, one-time Horns QB Garrett Gilbert, who has played for the Panthers, Browns and Cowboys the last three years, was cut loose by Dallas along with fellow QB Ben DiNucci. And former QB Shane Buechele was let go by the Chiefs.

Around the Big 12

Attention, Oklahoma opponents: Spencer Rattler is "excited to see what boxes I can check off," the Sooners quarterback told The Oklahoman. Are we talking, say, another Big 12 crown, a College Football Playoff appearance and maybe a Heisman Trophy? Also, Hurricane Ida is forcing Saturday's Oklahoma-Tulane opener, which was supposed to be played in New Orleans, to be played in Norman. As if the second-ranked Sooners needed more advantages. The Oklahoman also wrote about Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson's penchant for being a much better player than he is a practicer. ... Baylor opens its season at Texas State, which went 2-10 last year, and head coach Dave Aranda wants his Bears to set the tone for their season early, the Waco Tribune-Herald wrote. The Tribune-Herald also had a nice reader on new Bears quarterback Gerry Bohannon, who takes the place of the departed Charlie Brewer. ... Hurricane Ida has displaced the New Orleans Saints, who have been practicing at the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium in Arlington and probably will play their season opener Sept. 12 there as well. Meanwhile, TCU is offering up its practice facilities while the Saints are in town. Here's the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's story on that. And on Tuesday, Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said running back Zach Evans won't start Saturday night's opener against Duquesne for breaking team rules. ... Meanwhile up in Lubbock, Texas Tech is prepping for one of the conference's top Week 1 matchups: at Houston (6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN). The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote about the Red Raiders' experienced roster, and how that can help with a big road trip like this.