Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#373 UL Lafayette vs.
#374 South Alabama
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 5:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#373 University of Louisiana at Lafayette
#374 University of South Alabama
7-2
1-8
8-1
5-4
4-5
2-7
38
16
17
30

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 16, 2019, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL, 5:00 PM ET

The South Alabama Jaguars continue in their search for their first conference win of the season in Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference showdown with the UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. After holding Texas State and Coastal Carolina to 10 points combined, the Ragin’ Cajuns hope to put the defensive clamps on a struggling Jaguars’ offense averaging 16.1 points per game. The Jaguars recently lost a 28-30 heartbreaker on the road at Texas State.

UL Lafayette’s Lewis dismantles Coastal Carolina

In a dominant win over Coastal Carolina, UL Lafayette quarterback Levi Lewis gave the world a sneak preview of what he plans on doing to South Alabama. The versatile junior went 26-of-30 passing for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Naysayers have always dinged him on his lack of height being an issue, but he looked near flawless in a game where he finished with an 86.7 completion percentage.

The Ragin’ Cajuns currently have the No. 1-ranked offense in the conference. It’s a unit built to dissect opponents in a multitude of different ways. Lewis is a fairly accurate passer that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and he should be able to carve through South Alabama’s pass defense like butter. Of course, he’ll lean on his vaunted rushing attack as repetitive body blows to setup the knockout.

The Jaguars are giving up 197.8 rushing yards per game, and the Ragin’ Cajuns are sure to attack that weakness with their deep stable of running backs. Elijah Mitchell, Trey Ragas and Raymond Calais—it’s basically a revolving door of speed and power-running on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, sack-hungry linebacker Joe Dillon is the name to keep an eye on when facing a Jaguars’ offensive front that has done a poor job of protecting quarterback Cephus Johnson.

UL Lafayette’s top-ranked scoring defense is holding opposing teams to 17.1 points per game.

South Alabama loses seventh-straight game

It has been an absolute nightmare season for the Jaguars given their struggles on both sides of the ball. However, last week’s two-point loss to Texas State had to sting more than any other loss so far this season. They had every opportunity to put an end to their losing streak and simply failed to close the deal. The loss marked the seventh consecutive time they have fallen in defeat.

Don’t expect any mercy from the football gods with the Ragin’ Cajuns being next on the itinerary. One would think the Jaguars would stick with freshman Desmond Trotter as the starting quarterback on Saturday. While he wasn’t able to lead the team to a win over Texas State, he did complete 61.5 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions. The problem with Johnson all season has stemmed from too many turnovers. He has actually thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5).

South Alabama has their work cut out for them in defending against the Ragin’ Cajuns’ myriad of running backs. They come at teams in waves and can quickly wear out a defensive front. The Jaguars haven’t shown much resistance against the run all season, which is a problem that isn’t going away overnight.

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The Jaguars are in a no-win situation this week. They could stick with Johnson as the more experienced quarterback, but his turnover-prone ways could get him into trouble against an opportunistic UL Lafayette defense. Trotter looks like the more promising option, but he is also a freshman that would be fed to the wolves in this game.

Both quarterbacks should do a quick study on the way Lewis plays the position on Saturday. No, he isn’t going to blow anyone away with his arm talent, but he’s incredibly efficient at keeping the chains moving and avoiding costly turnovers.

Granted, he does have the benefit of playing behind a much better offensive line. But he’s willing to take what the defense gives him and avoid forcing errant throws down the field. The Jaguars don’t boast the talent or experience to put a dent in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense, and their own defense is too shoddy to hold up against the power-running game.

There’s no need to be afraid of this lofty spread. I’m taking UL Lafayette in a lopsided blowout on Saturday.

Prediction: UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (-28)

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South Alabama is allowing an average of 30.3 points per game. That number is sure to grow on Saturday when facing the best defense in the conference with a freshman behind center. Trotter is bound to make mistakes as he learns and evolves as a quarterback.

The Jaguars defense will be sitting ducks on Saturday after getting plowed over by UL Lafayette’s ferocious rushing attack. There will be no answers as the Ragin’ Cajuns bully their way up and down the field. Their offense is averaging nearly 500 total yards per game and 38.3 points. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (53.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.