December 12, 2017

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RAGIN’ CAJUNS FOOTBALL: Louisiana 24, Texas State 7

CAJUNS DOMINATE BOBCATS IN SUN BELT CONFERENCE MATCHUP, 24-7

LAFAYETTE – Fueled by three takeaways the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football team won its second straight Sun Belt Conference game defeating Texas State 24-7 on Thursday night at Cajun Field in front of a national audience on ESPNU.

The win moved the Ragin’ Cajuns (3-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) back to .500 and into the group of early contenders in the race for the Sun Belt title.

Quarterback Andre Nunez threw for 232 yards and added a late touchdown pass to lead the Louisiana passing attack.  Trey Ragas, again was a work horse for the Ragin’ Cajuns carrying the ball 19 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns while Keenan Barnes hauled in five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown reception.

The three turnovers the defense collected included an interception on a goal line situation late in the first half (Tracy Walker) that ensured the Bobcats (1-6, 0-3 Sun Belt) would remain behind by one possession when they crossed the goal line later in the second half.

Louisiana’s defense limited a foe to only one touchdown for the second straight outing. The unit limited Texas State to 325 yards of total offense.

HOW IT HAPPENED (First Quarter)
The Ragin’ Cajuns offense quickly marched down the field on their first possession, highlighted by Nunez’s 50-yard bomb to Barnes that put the Cajuns at the Bobcats 33. Two Ragas runs later, the last being a touchdown run, gave the Cajuns a lead they would not relinquish.

On the third play of the next Bobcats possession Louisiana’s Bennie Higgins forced a fumble that Damar’ren Mitchell pounced on to give the Cajuns the ball back with a short field and set up a score which placed the visitors in an early hole.

Six plays later the Cajuns reached the end zone following Ragas’ second touchdown of the game. A great catch and run from Ryheem Malone on a 20-yard pass from Nunez led to the score which put Louisiana ahead 14-0.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Quarter)
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense began the second quarter with a big fourth and inches stop on their own 30-yard line to give the ball back to their offense.

The teams traded defensive stops until two chunk plays by Texas State allowed them to march down the field and present a scoring threat.  Again the Cajuns defense came up strong. Fueled by a Taboris Lee sack, and finished off by Walker’s interception on the goal line Louisiana’s defense held ground to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Third Quarter):
Despite a great return from Raymond Calais and after the Cajuns took the ball over the 50, Texas State stopped the Cajuns on fourth down to flip possession early in the third quarter.
The Cajuns defense maintained the toughness they showed in the first half as they pushed Texas State back, powered by Lee’s second sack of the game to force a Bobcats punt just past the 10-minute mark in the quarter.

The two teams then traded punts to set up the Bobcats first scoring drive on the game.

A long pass of 49-yards set up Texas State’s first score of the game, finished off with a short touchdown run which timed the Louisiana lead to 14-7.

Looking to wrangle back the momentum the defense again came up big for the Ragin’ Cajuns, as on the Bobcats first play on their next possession Chaiziere Malbrue fought through a hold to knock the ball from quarterback Willie Jones III.

Malbrue fell on the fumble and it set up another Cajuns score as Stevie Artigue wrapped up the third quarter with a 27-yard field goal to put the Cajuns up 17-7.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Fourth Quarter)
Louisiana’s defense allowed only one first down on the Bobcats fourth quarter-opening drive, preventing the visitors from getting back into the game.

Taking over with 12:37 remaining in the contest, Louisiana followed Nunez, who went 5-for-5 on the drive, and marched 83 yards down the field to stretch the lead out.  Nunez capped off his great drive with a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to Barnes who made great catch high pointing the ball the take it away from the Bobcats defender.

UP NEXT
Louisiana travels to Jonesboro, Ark., to face Arkansas State on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Centennial Bank Stadium. The game is set for 6:30 p.m.on ESPNU.

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