Arkansas State Red Wolves at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Cajun Field – Lafayette, Louisiana
Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Arkansas State – 1 1/2
Current Line: Arkansas State -3 1/2
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 57 1/2
Opening Money Line: ASU -140 / Louisiana +120
Current Money Line: ASU -175 / Louisiana +155
Arkansas State and Louisiana have been the class of the Sun Belt for several years, but both find themselves looking up at conference newcomer Georgia Southern who is 4-0 in Sun Belt play. Both the Red Wolves and Ragin’ Cajuns are 2-0 in conference as they meet Tuesday night in Lafayette. Arkansas State is 4-2 overall and Louisiana is 3-3.
Louisiana leads the series 22-19-1 against Arkansas State including 7-5 since they both joined the Sun Belt. The Ragin’ Cajuns won last year in Jonesboro 23-7. The road team has won the last 2 games in this series, but the home team has won 10 of the last 13 in the series. Nine of the last fourteen games in the series have been decided by 6 points or less.
Arkansas State is coached by Blake Anderson. The Red Wolves have losses at Tennessee 34-19 and Miami-(FL) 41-20. ASU has won 3 straight games since the Miami loss. Arkansas State has home wins over Montana State 37-10, Utah State 21-14 in overtime, Louisiana-Monroe 28-14, and 10 days ago at Georgia State 52-10. The Red Wolves are 5-1 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season. ASU was a 10.5 point favorite at Georgia State and the total was 61.5.
Louisiana is coached by Mark Hudspeth. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened the season with a 45-6 win at home against Southern, before going on a three game losing streak. Louisiana opened Sun Belt play with a 34-31 home win over Georgia State. Louisiana won at Texas State 34-10 last Tuesday. The Cajuns have losses at home to Louisiana Tech 48-20, at Ole Miss 56-15 and at Boise State 34-9. Louisiana is 2-4 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season. The Cajuns were 2.5 point underdogs against Texas State and the total was 62.
Arkansas State is outscoring teams 30-21 this season. The Red Wolves are #26 in points allowed nationally. ASU is averaging 454 yards per game on offense including 233 passing and 221 rushing yards. The Red Wolves are in the top 40 nationally in both total offense and rushing. On defense, ASU is allowing 360 yards per game including 246 passing and 115 rushing yards per game. The Red Wolves are #22 in rush defense. ASU is -1 in turnovers with 11 giveaways. The Red Wolves are averaging 66 penalty yards per game and opponents average 54. Arkansas State is 45/111 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 36/111. ASU has forced 22 sacks and allowed 17 this season. The Red Wolves are 21/27 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns and opponents are 12/16 with 8 touchdowns.
ASU quarterback Fredi Knighten has completed 61.6% of his passes for 1,291 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and also has 96 carries for 333 yards and 6 touchdowns. Knighten even has 2 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown catch. Running back Michael Gordon has 47 carries for 441 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 6 catches. Johnston White has 62 carries for 300 yards and 4 touchdowns. Receiver J.D. McKissic has 35 catches for 383 yards, plus 7 carries for 51 yards and a rushing touchdown. Dijon Paschcal has 13 catches for 249 yards with a touchdown. Tres Houston has 20 catches for 217 yards with a touchdown, and also has a touchdown pass. Darion Griswold has 11 catches and 2 touchdowns. Three defensive players are out for the season for ASU.
Louisiana is being outscored 31-26 this season. The Cajuns are #88 in scoring and #90 in points allowed out of 128 FBS teams. Louisiana is averaging 413 yards per game on offense including 218 passing and 195 rushing yards. On defense, the Cajuns are allowing 427 yards per game including 256 passing and 171 rushing yards. Louisiana is #78 or worse in all three categories nationally. The Cajuns are -8 in turnovers with 11 giveaways. Louisiana is averaging 45 penalty yards per game and opponents average 43. The Cajuns are 41/97 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 46/101. Louisiana has forced 11 sacks and allowed 5 this season. The Cajuns are 21/23 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 17/21 with 13 touchdowns. Louisiana has allowed two pick sixes this season.
Louisiana quarterback Terrance Broadway has completed 60.7% of his passes for 1,117 yards with 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 60 carries for 332 yards and a touchdown. Brooks Haack has also taken 23 snaps this season and thrown for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Elijah McGuire has 51 carries for 395 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 22 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown. Alonzo Harris has 81 carries for 328 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 6 catches. Receiver Jamal Robinson has 15 catches for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns. Al Riles has 18 catches for 220 yards. Three defensive players are questionable or out for Louisiana.
Arkansas State is 5-0 ATS on turf, 4-0 after a straight up win, and after rushing for 200 yards or more, 7-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and overall, 6-1 in road games, 4-1 after a cover, 23-7-1 after gaining more than 450 yards, 16-5 after allowing less than 20 points, 23-8-1 in Sun Belt games, 10-4 in October, and 5-2 after a straight up win of more than 20 points. The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games in this series.
Louisiana is 4-1 ATS in October, 13-5 against teams with winning records, 3-7 after allowing less than 275 total yards, 2-5 at home, after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, after gaining more than 450 yards and on turf, 1-4 overall, 1-5 in Sun Belt games and after a straight up win, 1-6 against teams with winning road records, 0-4 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and allowing less than 20 points. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games against the Red Wolves, and 3-1-1 in Lafayette in the series.
Louisiana has struggled with turnovers all season. If they do that against a good team like Arkansas State, then they will lose handily. The winner of this game will battle Georgia Southern for the conference title, but neither plays the Eagles this season. I think Arkansas state wins on the road.