December 13, 2017

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FOOTBALL GAME 11 PREVIEW: vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN

LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football team wraps up its 2017 home schedule on Saturday (Nov. 25) when it plays host to Georgia Southern in a Sun Belt Conference game at Cajun Field.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. The game being available live on ESPN3 with Bernie Guenther (pxp) and Doug Graber (analyst) on the call with coverage available on the Ragin’ Cajuns Radio Network with Jay Walker (pxp), Richie Falgout (analyst) and Cody Junot (sideline) providing commentary.

Louisiana (5-5, 4-2 SBC) raced out to a 31-17 lead at halftime and scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in defeating New Mexico State, 47-34, last Saturday at Cajun Field. Jordan Davis threw for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help lead a Ragin’ Cajuns offensive attack that accumulated 505 yards of total offense.

Trey Ragas recorded a season-high 132 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs for Louisiana with Ryheem Malone catching seven passes for 113 yards with a go-ahead 33-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter.

Georgia Southern (1-9, 1-5 SBC) earned its first win of the season with a 52-0 victory over South Alabama last week in Statesboro. Shai Werts finished with 113 rushing yards on 15 carries and a score and threw for 107 yards and a touchdown for Georgia Southern. Wesley Fields ran for 64 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 28 yards and a score, while L.A. Ramsby ran for 43 yards and a pair of scores in his final home game.

GAME 11 – Louisiana (5-5, 4-2 SBC) vs. Georgia Southern (1-9, 1-5 SBC)

Nov. 25, 2017 • 4:05 p.m. • Lafayette, La. • Cajun Field (41,426)
Series History: Louisiana leads, 1-0
At Lafayette: First meeting | At Statesboro: Louisiana leads, 1-0 | Hudspeth vs. GS: 1-0
First Meeting: Louisiana 33, Georgia Southern 26 • Nov. 10, 2016 at Statesboro

ESPN3 | WatchESPN • Bernie Guenther PXP • Doug Graber Analyst
KPEL 1420 AM (Flagship) • Jay Walker PXP • Richie Falgout Analyst • Cody Junot Sideline

LOUISIANA RAGIN’ CAJUNS (5-5, 4-2 Sun Belt)
Head Coach: Mark Hudspeth (Delta State, 1992) • @ULCoachHud
Record at LA: 29-36* (seventh season), Career Record: 95-57* (14th season)

GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES (1-9, 1-5 Sun Belt)
Interim Head Coach: Chad Lundsford (Georgia College, 2000)
Record at GS: 1-3 (first season), Career Record: Same

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Louisiana will become bowl-eligible for the sixth time in seven years under head coach Mark Hudspeth with a win in its final two games.
• Louisiana is one of four FBS schools (Houston, Maryland, Michigan) that have started three quarterbacks (Jordan Davis, Levi Lewis, Andre Nunez) in wins this season.
• Louisiana’s four 100-yard rushing performances this season have been recorded by freshmen (Levi Lewis, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Ragas).
• Trey Ragas’ 132 yards on the ground against New Mexico State was the most by a Ragin’ Cajuns running back this season.
• Louisiana is 37-for-40 (92.5 percent) with 30 touchdowns scored in the red zone during the 2017 season.

GAME NOTES
WE ARE LOUISIANA
• The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® is the nickname of the University’s athletic teams. As listed by the Sun Belt Conference, the NCAA and ESPN.com, we politely ask that you refer to our athletic programs as simply “Louisiana” on first reference, or use any of the following: Ragin’ Cajuns or Cajuns.
• For all electronic sports tickers and TV crawls only, please use “LA” as the official abbreviation for all athletic programs.
• The Sun Belt Conference made public its University Reference Guide in 2016 that is used to reference each member institution’s athletic title and nicknames.  The publication of the guide comes after all of the conference’s presidents and chancellors submitted their preferred reference.
• The Sun Belt Conference will begin to use these references immediately. All Sun Belt member institutions, along with SBC and Ragin’ Cajuns media partners are encouraged to use these references so that there is consistency across all communication platforms.

THE SERIES
• Louisiana and Georgia Southern meet for just the second time on the gridiron after the Eagles joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns last year’s meeting in Statesboro, 33-26, in a nationally-televised contest at Paulson Stadium.
• Both teams will resume their SBC series in 2019 in Statesboro.

A RAGIN’ CAJUNS VICTORY WOULD …
• improve their overall record to 6-5.
• make Louisiana bowl eligible for the sixth time in seven years under head coach Mark Hudspeth.
• improve their Sun Belt Conference record to 5-2.
• conclude their overall home record to 4-1.
• officially give head coach Mark Hudspeth his 30th career win at Louisiana, tying him Augie Tammariello (1974-79) for seventh-place in school history.

RAGIN’ CAJUNS COACHING EXPERIENCE
• The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns coaching staff brings a combined total of 196 years of collegiate experience to the table along with 82 bowl/postseason appearances.
• Defensive coordinator Mike Lucas (36 years) and offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue (32 years) are the most experienced coaches on the staff with co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison (19) and Rodrigue (15) the most experienced in post-season/bowl games.
• Both coordinators for the Ragin’ Cajuns – Will Hall (West Alabama/West Georgia) and Mike Lucas (Southeastern Louisiana) have been head coaches during their collegiate careers.

#RAGINGRADS – AMONG BEST FBS PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY
• Louisiana is one of two in-state FBS schools (LSU) and seven Sun Belt Conference schools (Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, South Alabama, Arkansas State, Idaho and Troy) among a list of FBS schools across the country with at least five graduates on its roster.
• TE Matthew Barnes, OT Grant Horst, LB T.J. Posey and WR Devin Scott all earned their bachelor’s degrees from UL with punter Sam Geraci earning his degree from Cincinnati.
• Here is a list of FBS schools with five or more graduates on their current 2017 roster.

18 – Northwestern
14 – Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina
13 – Toledo
12 – TCU, Alabama, Oregon, Virginia
11 – Georgia State, Kansas State, Maryland, UCF, USF
10 – Kent State, Nevada, New Mexico, South Alabama, Texas Tech, West Virginia
9 – Houston, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple
8 – Auburn, Clemson, Iowa, Kentucky, NC State, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss, Penn State, SMU, Syracuse, UAB, Western Kentucky
7 – Arizona State, Georgia, Kansas, Marshall, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, North Texas, Utah, Virginia Tech
6 – Akron, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, UMass, UTEP, UTSA, Troy, Tulsa, Washington
5 – Arkansas, Baylor, UConn, FAU, Idaho, Louisiana, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, USC, Washington State

TEAM CAPTAINS
• Quarterback Jordan Davis, linebacker T.J. Posey, offensive tackle Grant Horst and nose tackle Taboris Lee were voted as team captains for the 2017 season.

SBC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COMING IN 2018
• The Sun Belt Conference will hold its first ever football championship game as the league’s presidents and chancellors, as well as athletic directors, voted unanimously to play the game beginning in 2018.  The announcement was made on June 8, 2016.
• Details regarding how the two participants will be selected will be available at a later date.  Rules set forward by the Division I Council in January require conferences with fewer than 12 members to hold championship games in football, as long as they meet one of two conditions.
• A conference can choose to either play their championship game between division winners after round-robin competition in each division or between the top two teams in the conference standings following full round-robin, regular-season competition between all members of the conference.

HUDSPETH HEADS THE SUN BELT COACHING FRATERNITY
• Now in his seventh year at Louisiana, head coach Mark Hudspeth is the dean of the Sun Belt Conference coaching fraternity, having taken over the reins of the Ragin’ Cajuns program in 2011.
• Hudspeth, in his 14th season as a head coach, spent seven years as head coach at North Alabama and was an assistant at five schools, including FBS programs Navy and Mississippi State.

CUE UP SOME WILLIE … THE CAJUNS ARE ON THE ROAD AGAIN
• For the first time since the 2011 season, Louisiana will play seven football games on the road, including trips to SEC opponents Texas A&M and Ole Miss, along with American Athletic Conference member Tulsa.
• Also on the road schedule are dates at Sun Belt Conference co-championships Arkansas State (Oct. 19) and Appalachian State (Dec. 2), plus league rivals Idaho (Oct. 7) and South Alabama (Nov. 4).

RAGIN’ CAJUNS RECEIVERS IN ELITE GROUP
• Louisiana is one of eight FBS schools to have three players record 100 receiving yards in a game during the 2017 season.
• Keenan Barnes (at Tulsa, at Texas A&M), Ryheem Malone (at Tulsa) and Jarrod Jackson (vs. ULM) have all surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark in games this season.
• Currently four players – Barnes, Malone, Jackson and Ja’Marcus Bradley – have all recorded 100-yard receiving games in their careers for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
• FBS teams with at least three players with 100 or more yards receiving in a game:

Arizona State – 5
Oklahoma State – 4
Louisiana – 3
Virginia – 3
Washington State – 3
SMU – 3
Louisiana Tech – 3
Massachusetts – 3

FORMER DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JAMES WILLIS REJOINS CAJUNS AS ANALYST
• Former defensive coordinator James Willis rejoined the Ragin’ Cajuns program as a defensive analyst during the team’s open date and will be in the booth beginning with Louisiana’s game at Idaho on Oct. 7.
• Willis served as defensive coordinator for Louisiana from 2013-14, helping lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to a pair of bowl games. He left after the 2014 season to become a defensive assistant/linebackers coach for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
• A former Auburn standout and seven-year veteran in the NFL, Willis worked as an assistant at Rhode Island, Temple, Alabama, Auburn and Texas Tech before joining the Ragin’ Cajuns program in early 2013.

RAGIN’ CAJUNS ADD MISSOURI TO 2020 SCHEDULE
• Officials for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and University of Missouri announced that the teams will play in a non-conference game on Nov. 21, 2020, at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo.
• The game between Louisiana and Missouri, one of two non-conference games on the 2020 schedule, will be the first between schools on the gridiron.
• Louisiana will also face New Mexico State in its 2020 non-conference schedule.

About Andy Bryson 572 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach