This story is part of an 11-week long breakdown BamaOnLine is doing of every game on Alabama’s 2018 schedule (sorry, The Citadel). And we continue with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Here is a quick look at the key storylines concerning the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 2018 season.

2017-18 record: 5-7, 4-4 Sun Belt

Bowl outcome: N/A

Returning starters: 12 (Offense: 7; Defense: 5)

Nick Saban will face three former assistant coaches during the Crimson Tide’s 2018 regular season, including two of them in back-to-back games in Week 4 and 5. And the second of those will pit the 12th-year Alabama head coach with first-year Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier, who was named the 26th head coach in Ragin’ Cajuns history in December.

After serving as the offensive coordinator at Arizona State last season, Napier received his first opportunity as a head coach once UL-Lafayette’s 2017 campaign ended. An instrumental part in the Tide’s recent success, Napier was the wide receivers coach at Alabama under Saban from 2013-16, winning a national title in 2015. He was also an offensive analyst in 2011.

Well known for his efforts in recruiting, Napier takes over a program that did not play in a bowl game last fall for only the second time since 2011. He inherits a roster that returns 14 total starters, including special teams, and 54 lettermen -- while losing 25 this offseason.

One of them was departing senior quarterback Jordan Davis, who started seven games behind center but decided to transfer in April. ULL will have to decide on a signal caller for 2018, and the decision will come down to either sophomore Levi Lewis or senior Andre Nunez -- two players that combined for the other five starts for the Ragin’ Cajuns a season ago.

Outside of the quarterback, Louisiana-Lafayette welcomed back its starting running back, a pair of starting wide receivers and four of its five offensive linemen from a 2017 squad that finished sixth in the Sun Belt in both scoring offense (28.2) and total offense (398.5).

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Defensively, Napier’s inaugural team doesn’t return as much as its offensive counterparts in 2018. Leading tacklers Tracey Walker and T.J. Posey exhausted their eligibility, and Walker led the ULL defense with two interceptions last year. But they led a side of the football that gave up 40 points and nearly 500 yards (492.7, to be exact) per game. That’s not great.

Defensive end Joe Dillon is a key returning piece for Napier’s first team after leading the team with 4.5 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2017. Dillon is one of four Ragin’ Cajuns that was named to the All-Sun Belt team last season, along with offensive lineman Kevin Dotson (second team), running back Trey Ragas (third team) and tight end Chase Rogers (third team).

UL-Lafayette will travel to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Sept. 29, for a game it will be a considerable underdog. Also not in its favor is Saban’s impressive record against his former assistants that improved to 12-0 last year and could be up to 13-0 after a Week 4 matchup with Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher. But it will be interesting to see how ULL fares in Year 1 under Napier.

*** Stay tuned for more on Alabama’s Week 5 opponent throughout the week.

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports' personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).