Troy Trojans at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Cajun Field – Lafayette, Louisiana
Thursday, November 7, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Louisiana -13
Current Line: Louisiana -13
Opening Total: 67
Current Total: 67 1/2
Opening Money Line: Louisiana -490 / Troy +390
Current Money Line: Louisiana -550 / Troy +425
The 6-2 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns lead the Sun Belt Conference with a 3-0 record. Lousiana is ahead of 3-1 Louisiana-Monroe and 2-1 Arkansas State. The Cajuns host the 5-4 Troy Trojans Thursday night. The Trojans are 3-2 in conference. Louisiana leads the series 9-7 against Troy and won the last meeting in Troy in 2012 37-24. The Cajuns are 8-3 all time against Troy in Lafayette.
Troy coach Larry Blakeney has been the Trojans’ coach for 23 seasons. Troy has home wins over UAB 34-31 in overtime, Savannah State 66-3, and South Alabama 34-33, along with road wins at Georgia State 35-28 and at Western Kentucky 32-26. The Trojans have road losses at Arkansas State 41-34, Mississippi State 62-7, and Duke 38-31 plus a home loss last week to Louisiana-Monroe 49-37. Troy had won three straight games before the ULM loss. The Trojans are 3-5-1 ATS and the total is 8-1 this season. Troy was a 3.5 point favorite against ULM last week and the total was 60.5.
ULM jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter against Troy. The Trojans would cut the lead to 21-17 by halftime. Troy scored one of their touchdowns on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. The Warhawks expanded the lead to 42-23 by the end of the third quarter. Troy had an extra point blocked. The Trojans would score 14 straight points to open the fourth and pulled within 42-37 with 6 minutes left. ULM added another touchdown with 3;01 left to make it 49-37 and that would be the final score. Troy had 511 total yards including 367 passing yards. The Warhawks had 462 total yards including 354 passing yards. Troy was unable to overcome 11 penalties for 115 yards and two turnovers.
Troy is being outscored 34.6-34.4 this season. The Trojans are #35 in scoring and #105 in points allowed nationally. Troy is averaging 479.6 total yards including 329.7 passing and 149.9 rushing. Troy is #23 in total offense, #14 in passing and #87 in rushing. On defense, Troy is allowing 471.6 total yards including 335.2 passing and 136.3 rushing Yards. The Trojans are #111 nationally in total defense and #124 against the pass out of 125 FBS teams. The rush defense is #29 but teams really don’t have to run against the Trojans with such a terrible pass defense. Troy is -10 in turnovers with 16 giveaways. The Trojans are averaging 77 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 54. Troy is 75/160 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 59/140. The Trojans have forced 20 sacks and allowed 15 this season. Troy is 32/40 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns and opponents are 29/35 with 22. The Trojans have one pick six this season and have allowed a pick six and a kick return for a touchdown.
Troy quarterback Corey Robinson has completed 68.7% of his passes for 2,557 yards with 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown. Deon Anthony usually takes a few snaps a game. He has thrown for 318 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Anthony is also the second leading rusher for the Trojans with 68 carries for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also has 10 catches for 116 yards. He is doubtful Thursday with an ankle injury. Dallas Tidwell has also thrown 2 touchdown passes in 10 snaps this season.
Running back Brandon Burks has 106 carries for 509 yards and a touchdown, along with 31 catches for 178 yards. Jordan Chunn has 92 carries for 386 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 87 yards. Receiver Eric Thomas has 48 catches for 742 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bryan Holmes has 35 catches for 539 yards and 6 touchdowns. Chris Williams has 22 catches for 343 yards and 2 touchdowns. Counting the running backs and Anthony, 11 receivers have at least 10 catches for the Trojans.
Louisiana is coached by Mark Hudspeth. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened the season with road losses at Arkansas 34-14 and Kansas State 48-27. Louisiana has since won 6 straight including home wins over Nicholls State 70-7, Texas State 48-24 and last week against New Mexico State 49-35. The Cajuns also have road wins at Akron 35-30, Western Kentucky 37-20 and Arkansas State 23-7. Lousiana is 4-4 ATS and the total is 5-3 this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns were 32.5 point favorites against New Mexico State and the total was 67.5.
New Mexico State jumped out to a 21-7 first quarter lead on the road at Louisiana last week. The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the second quarter and the Aggies took a 28-14 lead into halftime. Louisiana scored 28 straight points to open the second half and take a 42-28 lead with 10:10 left in the fourth. The two teams exchanged touchdowns to finish out the game and the final was 49-35. The Ragin’ Cajuns had 440 total yards including 220 rushing yards. The Aggies had 450 total yards including 330 passing yards. Louisiana had two turnovers and New Mexico State had one.
Louisiana is outscoring teams 38-26 this season. The Cajuns are #24 in scoring nationally. Louisiana is averaging 443.8 yards per game including 217 passing and 226.8 rushing yards. The Cajuns are #18 in rushing nationally. On defense, Louisiana is allowing 377.6 yards per game including 231.6 passing and 146 rushing yards. The Cajuns are +8 in turnovers with 18 takeaways. Louisiana is averaging 47 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 38. The Cajuns are 56/114 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 47/120. Louisiana has forced 13 sacks and allowed 14. The Cajuns are 34/39 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns, and opponents are 20/23 with 13 touchdowns. Louisiana has allowed 3 kick returns for touchdowns and the Cajuns have 2 pick sixes and a kick return for a touchdown.
Louisiana quarterback Terrance Broadway has completed 64.4% of his passes for 1,679 yards with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 83 carries, 250 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Alonzo Harris has 122 carries, 655 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 3 catches. Elijah McGuire has 57 carries for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 55 yards. Torrey Pierce has 37 carries, 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Jamal Robinson has 37 catches for 608 yards and 6 touchdowns. Darryl Surgent has 25 catches for 311 yards and 3 touchdowns along with a kick return for a touchdown. James Butler, Devin Figaro, and Jacob Maxwell will also get significant catches.
Troy is 4-1-1 after failing to cover, 3-1-1 after allowing more than 40 points and over 450 total yards, 7-18-2 in Sun Belt games, 1-4 after passing for 280 yards or more, 1-4-1 on turf, and 0-3-1 in Thursday games. The under is 4-1 in the last 5 in this series.
Louisiana is 5-0 ATS in Sun Belt games, 12-2 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 11-2 against teams with winning records, 4-1 at home, 7-2 after a straight up win, 17-5 on turf, 20-7 after failing to cover, 5-2 in November, 2-5 after scoring 40 points or more, and 1-6 against teams with winning road records. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in this series recently.
Louisiana has won six straight games and is the class of the Sun Belt. The Ragin’ Cajuns overlooked a bad New Mexico State last week and were nearly upset. I like Louisiana at home to beat Troy rather easily.