4. Noah Cain
The last Tiger who earned his stripes on Saturday, but certainly not the least, is Noah Cain.
Cain’s situation this season has been a bit of an odd one. LSU came into the year with three running backs on its “active roster” after John Emery Jr. was ruled out for the first two games. The Tigers struggled to run the ball against the Seminoles as a result of an inexperienced offensive line getting pushed around by Florida State’s front seven. Therefore, the coaching staff used the Southern game in Week 2 as a jumping-off point for the rushing attack going forward.
Armoni Goodwin emerged from the rubble as the starter. This saw his workload increase against Mississippi State and New Mexico in the following weeks, regardless of Emery Jr. coming back into the fold. Meanwhile, Cain went missing for a week as he was without a touch in the game against the Bulldogs.
There were a lot of questions surrounding the Penn State transfer’s place in the rotation leading up to Saturday’s clash with the Lobos. Fortunately, they were answered pretty quickly.
Cain found himself getting involved a lot more in the offense once Goodwin exited with an injury. He had his best game of the season on all fronts as he tallied 11 carries for 94 yards (8.5 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Now, as Goodwin remains day-to-day, Cain may see an increase in touches at Jordan-Hare Stadium this upcoming weekend.
It would’ve been easy for Cain to throw in the towel after being frozen out versus Mississippi State. However, the Baton Rouge native laced up his cleats and made the most of the opportunities he was given at the weekend. The stunning performance he put on against New Mexico sets him up for success going forward. Similar to Nussmeier at quarterback, Cain’s solid showing sets LSU up for success regardless of adversity at running back.