The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a clash between the top two teams in the Sun Belt Wednesday night from Cajun Field.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers are a strong team that has looked great in all four wins. They won their lone road game by a 34-31 score against North Carolina of the ACC, and they opened conference play with a dominating 56-37 home win over Coastal Carolina two weeks ago before enjoying the bye week. Appalachian State is a team that relies on their offense to win games led by RB Darrynton Evans with 471 rushing yards.
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns return home after winning both games in their two-game road trip. They feasted on Ohio with a 45-25 win, succeeded by a 37-24 road win against Georgia Southern in their Sun Belt opener two weeks ago to improve to 4-1. The Ragin’ Cajuns have covered in all five games, and their lone blemish was a 38-28 defeat to Mississippi State. Appalachian State registered a 30-19 home win against Louisiana last season.
Appalachian State Remains Undefeated
The Appalachian State Mountaineers were projected to place first in the Sun Belt East and they have posted a perfect 4-0 start. They even defeated North Carolina of the ACC by a 34-31 score in week three. The Mountaineers are coming off an easy 56-37 home win over Coastal Carolina in their conference opener before their bye. Zac Thomas is having a terrific year, connecting on 71% of his passes for 802 yards and a 7:2 TD to INT ratio. The junior QB has tossed two touchdowns against two interceptions in his last two games.
The Mountaineers are especially dangerous on the ground with the 22nd ranked rushing offense in the FBS. They are led by Darrynton Evans who has accumulated 471 rushing yards and a whopping nine touchdowns. He should have a big game against a weak Cajuns’ rush defense.
In today's Game Week 🎥 preview, Coach Drinkwitz and Pierre Banks break down the big Sun Belt matchup in Lafayette on Wednesday night. The game will be on ESPN2.#PridePassionPurpose 🏈 #BeatLouisiana pic.twitter.com/KXYftp0zll— App State Football (@AppState_FB) October 8, 2019
Appalachian State leans on Thomas Hennigan and Malik Williams in the air. Hennigan has tallied 275 receiving yards on the season, and he has made 11 grabs in his last two games. The Mountaineers offense is consistently producing, scoring at least 34 points in all four games.
The Appalachian State defense is not as effective as their offense. They have squandered over 30 points in three consecutive games, and they especially have trouble defending the pass. The Mountaineers are averaging 47 points, ranking them fifth in the country. They are conceding an average of 29 points, pegging them 86th overall.
Ragin' Cajuns Hunting for Fifth Consecutive Victory
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns were voted to finish first in the Sun Belt West in the preseason poll and so far they are living up to expectations. They have rebounded from their season-opening loss to Mississippi State by winning four straight games. The Cajuns registered a 37-24 road win against Georgia Southern in their latest action before the bye in a game that had Louisiana favored by three points. Levi Lewis hasn't posted big numbers on a team that prefers to run the ball, although he is having a solid year, collecting 980 passing yards with an 8:2 TD to INT ratio. The junior QB has not thrown a pick in three consecutive games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ rushing offense is a huge threat. They feature two outstanding talents in Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell who have combined for 950 rushing yards. Ragas is locked in, recording at least 129 rushing yards in three out of his last four games and he is up to 548 rushing yards on the year.
Ja’Marcus Bradley is Lewis’ favorite target in the air. The senior wideout has brought in 22 receptions for a total of 352 receiving yards. He should make his mark against an Appalachian State team that will give up yards in the air. Louisiana’s offense is very dangerous and they have the best offense in the Sun Belt West.
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense has been a strength in their 4-1 start as well. While they allowed 38 points to Mississippi State of the SEC in week one, they have contained their opponents since. They rank 23rd against the pass and 72nd against the run. Louisiana is scoring an average of 44.4 points, good for ninth in the FBS. They are allowing an average of 21.4 points, pegging them 41st overall.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 October games.
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are:
- 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Sun Belt games.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win.