Tuesday Night College Football Picks: Arkansas St Red Wolves at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Arkansas St Red Wolves at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Cajun Field – Lafayette, Lousiana
Opening Line: ULL -4 1/2
Current Line: ULL -4
Opening Total: 62
Current Total: 61 1/2
Opening Money Line: ULL -175 / ASU +155
Current Money Line: ULL -175 / ASU +155

Arkansas St is a four point underdog Tuesday night at Louisiana-Lafayette. The two teams are among 5 teams in a tie for second in the Sun Belt with 2-1 records.

With most teams in the Sun Belt Conference having played 3 games in the league, Lousiana-Mo9nroe is in first place with a 3-0 record. However, five teams are right behind with 2-1 records. Two of those teams, the Arkansas St Red Wolves and Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns meet Tuesday night in Lafayette. The winner will improve their chances of winning the conference title, and while the loser isn’t out, their chances will be severely reduced.

This is the 41st meeting between Arkansas St and UL-Lafayette. Arkansas St leads the series 21-18-1, but the Cajuns have gone 15-7 in the last 22 meetings. ULL is 13-7 at home in the series. Arkansas St won last year 30-21 in Jonesboro en route to the Sun Belt title.

Arkansas St is 4-3 under first year coach Gus Malzahn. The Red Wolves have losses at Oregon 57-34 and Nebraska 42-13, along with a home loss to Western Kentucky 26-13. ASU has home wins over Memphis 33-28, Alcorn St 56-0, and two weeks ago against South Alabama 36-29, along with a 34-20 win at Florida International. The Red Wolves are 3-4 ATS this season and the total is 3-3. Arkansas St was a 20.5 point favorite in the South Alabama game, and the total was 52.

Arkansas St is averaging 448.7 yards per game on offense, including 230.9 passing and 217.9 rushing yards. The Red Wolves are outscoring teams 31.3-28.9 this season. ASU is -2 in turnovers as they have 12 turnovers. The Red Wolves have allowed 9 sacks and average 50.6 penalty yards. ASU Is 45/106 on third and fourth down conversions, and 28/35 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns. On defense, Arkansas St is allowing 376.3 yards per game, including 170 passing yards and 206.3 rushing yards. The Red Wolves are #11 nationally in pass defense but #105 against the rush. ASU has forced 10 turnovers and 9 sacks. ASU opponents are 59/128 on third and fourth down conversions and 25/31 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns.

Arkansas St quarterback Ryan Aplin has completed 136 of 216 passes (63%) for 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 59 carries, 344 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is the second leading rusher for the Red Wolves. Running back David Oku has 125 carries, 544 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 72 yards. Rocky Hayes, Frankie Jackson, Rod Smith and Sirgregory Thornton will also get some carries. Receiver J.D. McKissic has 46 catches, 493 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Josh Jarboe has 31 catches, 321 yards, and 3 touchdowns. No other receiver has more than 10 catches. Julian Jones has only 7 catches, but 2 of them went for touchdowns.

UL-Lafayette is 4-2 this season and 2-1in the Sun Belt under coach Mark Hudspeth. The losses for the Cajuns came at Oklahoma St 65-24 and last Tuesday at North Texas 30-23. ULL has home wins over Lamar 40-0, Florida International 48-20, and Tulane 41-13, along with a 37-24 win at Troy. ULL is 3-3 ATS and the total is 2-3 this season. The Cajuns were 4.5 point favorites last week in the North Texas game and the total was 56.5.

ULL is averaging 404.5 yards per game including 228.2 passing yards and 176.3 rushing yards. The Cajuns are outscoring opponents 36-25 this season. ULL is +7 in turnovers this season. UL-Lafayette has allowed 4 sacks this season. The Cajuns are 41/93 on third and fourth down conversions, and 26/29 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns. On defense, ULL is allowing 422.2 total yards per game, including 292.5 passing yards and 129.7 rushing yards. The Cajuns are #117 in the country against the pass. ULL has forced 9 sacks this season and 13 turnovers. Cajun opponents are 47/110 on third and fourth down conversions and 17/20 scoring in the red zone with 12 touchdowns.

ULL quarterback Blaine Gautier is out indefinitely with a hand injury. Sophomore Terrance Broadway took over as the starter last week against Tulane. However, he and Gautier had split the snaps in the other ULL games. Gautier has 492 passing yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions, along with 14 carries for 69 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Broadway is 71/118 passing (60.2%) for 877 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 33 carries, 219 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Alonzo Harris has 74 carries, 374 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Effrem Reed has 56 carries, 283 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 50 yards. Receiver Harry Peoples has 26 catches, 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. Javone Lawson has 25 catches, 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. Both Peoples (shoulder) and Lawson (wrist) are questionable Tuesday night. Darryl Surgent has 15 catches, 273 yards, and a touchdown. Tight end Jacob Maxwell has 10 catches, 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Arkansas St is 4-1 ATS after failing to cover, and in October, 5-2 in road games, 7-3 in Sun Belt games, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 5-12 in road games against teams with winning home records, and 0-4 after a straight up win. Four of the last five games in this series in Lafayette have gone under the total.

UL-Lafayette is 6-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-0 after allowing more than 200 yards rushing, 6-1 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 14-3 on turf, 20-6 after a straight up loss, 16-5 after failing to cover, and 1-5 at home against teams with winning road records. The Ragin’ Cajuns have covered the last four against Arkansas St overall, and are 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 at home.

UL-Lafayette is battling injuries to their top two receivers, while Arkansas St is relatively healthy. Cajun Filed is a tough place to play, but I like Arkansas St to pull off the mild upset on the road. The Red Wolves already had road trips to Oregon and Nebraska, so they won’t be intimidated by the trip to Lafayette.

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