Billy Napier of Louisiana – Taking safety in his 35s was ‘best opportunity to win’

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Louisiana head coach Billy Napier raised a lot of eyebrows on Friday night when he decided to take a safety on his team’s 35-yard line with a five-point lead late in the fourth quarter against Appalachian State.

Asked about the decision after the Ragin ‘Cajuns stood for a 24-21 win, Napier defended it by saying, “What would you do? You want to get the snapper and the bettor back and see if you can do it. ? ”

Before Napier’s decision, Louisiana had three bad shots of the long snapper Paul Boudreaux.

“I mean we could do it if you want to,” Napier said. “But we felt the best opportunity to win was to take some safety there and make sure we didn’t give up on a bad game.”

Facing a fourth and second with 1:51 to go, Napier sent quarterback Levi Lewis rushing to the back of the Ragin ‘Cajuns end zone, burning the clock until a Mountaineers defenseman chases him out of bounds with 1:46 left.

On the ensuing free kick from the Louisiana 20-yard line, Malik Williams of Appalachian State returned the ball to 45. Nine games later, Appalachian State attempted a 30-yard basket with five seconds to go, but the Ragin ‘Cajuns flipped it, forcing the miss to seal the victory.

Napier said Louisiana was considering going on the fourth try but decided not to.

“We felt like we could maybe turn the field around and get 25 or 30 more yards over time,” he said. “We tried to win the game on the third try, we threw the ball and tried to win the game. They had a time out in their pocket so we felt if we could cash in and win the game on the third down the game would be over, so we did.

“And then we had already made the decision that if we got to fourth place and weren’t going to go, we would take safety. ”

Napier also said the punting was out of the question for Louisiana at this point.

“We had problems not only slamming the ball, but the punts weren’t great,” he said. “With the turner they have, we’re looking at pretty much the same position on the pitch. If you go back, and let’s just say we score 35 yards on the punt, then where do they get the ball? About the 40-meter line. , 45 yard line, right? So we took safety, and then we threw the ball and we burned more time, and they got the ball in about the same spot.

“I think the risk-reward is that we made the right decision. ”

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