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The South Alabama Jaguars will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they visit the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at Cajun Field on Saturday evening. South Alabama is coming off consecutive setbacks against Troy, Arkansas State, and Louisiana-Monroe. The Ragin’ Cajuns have alternated wins and losses over their last five contests.
They Jaguars are still looking for their first victory away from home since defeating Troy on Oct. 11, 2017. That is a span of eight consecutive road losses. Only once since the program’s inception has South Alabama failed to record at least one road victory (2012)–its fist in the Sun Belt Conference. The Jags’ last win in the state of Louisiana came via a 41-39 decision at Tulane on Sept. 7, 2013. South Alabama is 1-6 all-time in games played in the state of Louisiana after falling in each of their last four visits there over the last four-plus seasons.
— South Alabama Jaguar Athletics (@WeAreSouth_JAGS) November 12, 2018
After getting blown out at Arkansas State, South Alabama got to play at home against Louisiana-Monroe last weekend but still lost 38-10. Wide receiver Jordan McCray gave the Jaguars their only lead of the game with a 34-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and he is now tied for team lead with four TD catches this season. The junior move into the top 10 on the Jags’ single-season list in that department.
Ragas to riches
Louisiana-Lafayette running back Trey Ragas should be good to go for Saturday’s date with South Alabama, according to head coach Billy Napier. Ragas, who has five 100-yard rushing games this season, was limited to 32 yards on four carries in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 36-22 win over Georgia State last weekend. With its star sidelined for most of the contest, Louisiana-Lafayette got a career-high 186 rushing yards and three touchdowns on from Raymond Calais Jr. on 13 attempts. Calais, whose 92-yard touchdown in the first half broke Reggie Dupre’s 1971 record for longest run in school history, earned Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts.
With a 5-5 record, Louisiana-Lafayette needs one more win to become bowl eligible. However, the home team may be without defensive lineman Garrald McDowell for a second straight week.
“It’s the time of the year where at some point or another you’ve got to develop a level of belief that you can do it,” Napier explained. “You know, you’ve got to start playing like you’re capable of playing. I think we have lots of good players. We have enough parts to get it done every week. But it’s about those guys believing in themselves, believing in the time and effort that they put into it and it paying off.”
The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last five home games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with losing records
The South Alabama Jaguars are:
- 17-37-1 ATS in their last 55 overall
- 7-20 ATS in their last 27 road games
- 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Ragin’ Cajuns have two games left (Saturday against 2-8 South Alabama and on Nov. 24 at 6-4 Louisiana-Monroe) and they are one win away from becoming bowl eligible for the second time in the last three seasons and for the sixth time in the last eight. Moreover, they can guarantee themselves a spot in the Dec. 1 Sun Belt Conference Championship–the league’s first-ever title game–by beating both South Alabama and Louisiana-Monroe. Talk about motivation! It is worth noting that the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six head-to-head matchups and the favorite is also 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between the two schools.
Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Full-Game Total Pick
With 79 all-purpose yards against Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama junior running back Tra Minter became only the fifth player since the program’s inception in 2009 to surpass more than 2,000 yards in the category. After leading the Jaguars with 61 yards on 12 attempts in the loss to the Warhawks, he also exceeded 800 rushing yards in his career (852). The over is 7-3 in the Jaguars’ last 10 overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, and 4-1 in their last five after allowing more than 280 passing yards in their previous outing. It is also 10-4 in the Ragin’ Cajuns last 14 overall, 5-2 in their last seven at home, and 5-1 in their last six against losing opponents. Look for this one to go over the total.