NEW ORLEANS – Whether Terrance Broadway was throwing, running, or throwing on the run, he gave East Carolina fits and justified Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth’s decision to let his sophomore quarterback finish the season as his starter.
Broadway passed for 316 yards and ran for 108, helping Louisiana-Lafayette repeat as winners of the New Orleans Bowl with a 43-34 victory against East Carolina on Saturday.
The performance capped a 2012 campaign which opened with Broadway backing up senior Blaine Gautier, who broke a bone in his throwing hand in late September.
“Terrance comes in and just has a phenomenal season,” Hudspeth said, describing the difficult decision not to give Gautier, the New Orleans Bowl MVP a year ago, his job back when he was healthy. “We really had hit our stride and the best thing about Blaine is he understood.”
Broadway had to sit out last season after transferring from Houston, and saw this year’s New Orleans Bowl as his first real chance to add some kind of championship to his name after coming up short as a high school standout in Baton Rouge, La.
“My main goal was to get our team a big win in this bowl game and just to get that monkey off my back that I didn’t have a ring from high school and last year,” Broadway said.
Alonzo Harris rushed for 120 yards, including TD runs of 6 and 68 yards for the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-4), who briefly squandered a 21-point lead before moving ahead for good on Broadway’s 14-yard scoring pass to Javone Lawson late in the third quarter.
“Nothing fazes our team,” said Broadway, who also ran for a 12-yard score. “Everybody on our team responds to adversity well. So when they came back on us and made a game out of it, our team is still upbeat and saying we’re going to win this game.”
And they did, with Brett Baer adding his second and third field goals in the fourth quarter to clinch it.
Shane Carden passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns for East Carolina (8-5) but was intercepted in Cajuns territory by Jemarlous Moten in the fourth quarter as ECU drove for a potential tying or go-ahead score.
“They did a good job of changing, I guess, the coverage throughout the game,” Carden said of ULL. “But I think our offense could execute a lot better. It was nothing really they were doing.”
The Pirates’ Reggie Bullock rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
“The game plan was fine. We just needed the execution of the calls. We’ve always played hard. That was not a problem,” East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill said. “We had a chance there late in the game. … I was proud of our guys.”
Carden’s touchdowns went to Justin Hardy for 19 yards and Danny Webster for 16 yards. Hardy finished with five catches for 59 yards. East Carolina’s Andrew Bodenheimer had five catches for a team-high 65 yards, but could not secure a crucial fourth-down pass in the final minutes as defensive back T.J. Worthy ripped the ball away in ECU territory. That allowed the Cajuns to run the clock down to 15 seconds before setting up Baer’s final field goal from 40-yards out.