New Orleans Bowl 2012: Key Players to Watch in Postseason Clash

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2012

Courtesy of Sun Belt Sports
Courtesy of Sun Belt Sports

The 2012 New Orleans Bowl may not be a clash of college football heavyweights, but there is still no shortage of stud playmakers on each team who will make this game very watchable.

East Carolina started the year off poorly but have improved through the course of the year to boast an 8-4 record. However, they haven't beaten any teams with winning records and have been blown out in all of their losses.

The other side of the token is the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. Led by one of the most potent passing attacks in the country, they leave much to be afraid of. But like the Pirates, they struggle defensively. Expect this one to be a shootout.

Some of these players are NFL-ready guys simply trying to boost their stock heading into April's draft, while other are playing for nothing other than pride as they try to end their college careers on a high note.

Let's dive in and check out the players to watch for in the 2012 New Orleans Bowl.


Terrance Broadway, QB, Louisiana-Lafayette

With a name straight out of a musical, Ragin' Cajuns quarterback Terrance Broadway will try to keep his team from singing the blues as they leave New Orleans. 

Broadway is attempting to lead his team to their second straight bowl victory in what would be just their second bowl appearance in school history. The sophomore has more than 2,500 passing yards on the season to go along with 16 scores and eight interceptions. 

Perhaps the most impressive portion of his resume is that he nearly defeated Florida in The Swamp back in November. 

If Broadway continues to build on his strong sophomore campaign throughout his college career, he could turn into a potential NFL player. At the very least, he's a heck of a player to watch, and that's what we look for in bowl games.



Justin Anderson, LB, Louisiana-Lafayette

This won't be a game known for its defensive prowess, but Ragin' Cajuns linebacker Justin Anderson will be wreaking havoc throughout.

With a daunting front seven that has amassed 20.5 sacks this season, expect Anderson to have plenty of holes and openings to attack the quarterback.

Anderson had at least nine tackles in each of his team's final four games, including a 12-tackle performance against the Florida Gators. 

If there's one player on defense to keep your eye out for, it's No. 34 for Louisiana-Lafayette. 



Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina

At the start of the season, nobody–not even East Carolina fans–expected Shane Carden to have the type of year that he ended up having in 2012.

Starting the year as a backup, Carden earned a shot to start early on in the season. After struggling early on, he finished the season completing 70 percent of his passes in the Pirates' final seven games.

He now faces a Louisiana-Lafayette team with one of the most woeful secondaries in the nation. Expect him to capitalize on that front and make the most of his strong ending to the regular season.

Plus, with East Carolina's non-existent running game and the Ragin' Cajuns boasting a scary front seven, he'll have to throw the ball more than he'd like. He might as well get used to it and come out ready to toss 50 throws.