The University of Louisiana football team's focus was on its first game against LSU in over 60 years, and wasn't paying a lot of attention to the Gulf of Mexico.
Acadiana residents had been lulled into a false sense of security, since the state hadn't been victimized by a hurricane in several seasons. In fact, no hurricane had made U.S. landfall in over two years.
That all changed on Oct. 3-4, 2002, a Thursday and Friday when Hurricane Lili made landfall at Intercoastal City, and eventually brought its wrath on south central Louisiana.
It made things tough on the Ragin' Cajun squad, disrupting its Thursday and Friday preparations. The Cajuns had just rolled over UAB in a surprisingly easy 34-0 victory two weeks earlier, but UL was only a shadow of that team 48 hours after Lili inflicted $860 million worth of damage on the state.
It was ugly early, and the host Tigers embarrassed the Cajun squad 48-0.
"We had a rough week," said Cajun coach Rickey Bustle. "We were absolutely flat. I don't think we had any kind of edge out there."
The Cajuns were in the middle of a 3-9 season and the Tigers were on the way to an 8-4 mark before a Cotton Bowl loss to Texas. But it shouldn't have been that lopsided early, and Lili's effects could have had something to do with that.