Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at Arkansas State Red Wolves
Liberty Bank Stadium – Jonesboro, Arkansas
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: ULL – 1 1/2
Current Line: ULL -2 1/2
Opening Total: 66
Current Total: 66
Opening Money Line: ULL -140 / Arkansas State +120
Current Money Line: ULL -140 / Arkansas State +120
The 4-2 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns are 2-0 in the Sun Belt. Every other team in the conference has at least 3 losses this season. The Cajuns can take control of the conference title race as they travel to the 3-3 Arkansas State Red Wolves Tuesday night. The Red Wolves are 1-0 in the conference but every team already as at least one conference loss. ULL leads the series 21-19-1 but Arkansas State is 10-8-1 in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves have won the last two games in the series, including 50-27 in Lafayette last season.
Louisiana-Lafayette is coached by Mark Hudspeth. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened the season with road losses at Arkansas 34-14 and Kansas State 48-27. ULL has since won 4 straight including home wins over Nicholls State 70-7 and against Texas State 48-24. The Cajuns also have road wins at Akron 35-30 and Western Kentucky last Tuesday 37-20. ULL is 3-3 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns were 3 point underdogs against Western Kentucky and the total was 62.
Western Kentucky took an early 10-0 lead against ULL. The Hilltoppers looked to expand their lead in the second quarter but they threw an interception that the Cajuns returned 99 yards for a touchdown. ULL would score another touchdown late in the second but would miss the extra point to make it 13-10. Western Kentucky tied it up with a field goal on the last play of the first half. ULL scored 17 straight points to open the second half and take control of the game 30-13. The Hilltoppers pulled to within 30-20 with 7:02 left. The Cajuns added another late touchdown to make the final 37-20. ULL had 344 total yards including 254 rushing yards. WKU had 471 total yards including 338 passing yards. The Hilltoppers were unable to overcome 4 turnovers. ULL had 8 penalties for 89 yards and a turnover.
Louisiana-Lafayette is outscoring teams 39-27 this season. The Cajuns are #24 in scoring nationally. ULL is averaging 440 yards per game including 216.7 passing and 223.3 rushing yards. The Cajuns are #21 in rushing nationally. On defense, ULL is allowing 400.5 yards per game including 239 passing and 161.5 rushing yards. The Cajuns are +9 in turnovers with 16 takeaways. ULL is averaging 54 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 36. The Cajuns are 40/85 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 34/91. ULL has forced 10 sacks and allowed 10. The Cajuns are 26/29 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns, and opponents are 16/19 with 9 touchdowns. ULL has allowed 3 kick returns for touchdowns and the Cajuns have 2 pick sixes and a kick return for a touchdown.
ULL quarterback Terrance Broadway has completed 63.6% of his passes for 1,243 yards with 11 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 64 carries, 194 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Alonzo Harris has 77 carries, 444 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 3 catches. Elijah McGuire has 41 carries for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 55 yards. Torrey Pierce has 30 carries, 159 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Jamal Robinson has 26 catches for 436 yards and 6 touchdowns. Darryl Surgent has 17 catches for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns along with a kick return for a touchdown. James Butler, Devin Figaro, and Jacob Maxwell will also get significant catches.
Arkansas State is coached by Brian Harsin. The Red Wolves have home wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff 62-11, Troy 41-34, and two weeks ago against Idaho 48-24. ASU has road losses at Auburn 38-9, Memphis 31-7, and Missouri 41-19. The Red Wolves are 1-4-1 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season. Arkansas State failed to cover the 27 point spread against Idaho and the game went over the 61.5 point total.
Arkansas State took a 24-7 halftime lead against Idaho. The Red Wolves expanded the lead to 31-7 in the third. Idaho scored 17 straight points to get back in the game at 31-24 early in the fourth. The Vandals would get no closer though as the Red Wolves scored 17 straight points of their own to close out the game and win 48-24. Arkansas State had 565 total yards including 365 passing and 190 rushing yards. Idaho had 386 total yards including 174 rushing yards. Each team had one turnover. Arkansas State had 14 penalties for 110 yards and Idaho had 7 for 59.
Arkansas State is outscoring teams 31-29.8 this season. The Red Wolves are averaging 479.7 yards per game including 268.3 passing and 211.3 rushing yards. ASU is 41st or better in all 3 categories nationally. On defense, the Red Wolves are allowing 440.2 total yards including 246 passing and 194.2 rushing yards. Arkansas State is 85th or worse in all defensive categories including points allowed. The Red Wolves are +3 in turnovers with 9 takeaways. ASU averages 61 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 48. The Red Wolves are 46/105 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 40/103. Arkansas State has forced 12 sacks and allowed 18 this season. The Red Wolves are 23/26 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 23/29 with 19 touchdowns. ASU has a kick return for a touchdown and has allowed a pick six this season.
Arkansas State quarterback Adam Kennedy has completed 68% of his passes for 1,574 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 55 carries for 163 yards. Back-up Fredi Knighten has a touchdown pass, along with 13 carries for 144 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back David Oku has 101 carries for 396 yards with 5 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 110 yards. Michael Gordon has 21 carries for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 77 yards. Sirgregory Thornton has 30 carries for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 34 yards. Receiver Julian Jones has 37 catches for 469 yards and 3 touchdowns. J.D. McKissic has 35 catches, 308 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 9 carries for 68 yards and a rushing touchdown. He also has a kick return for a touchdown. Darion Griswold has 17 catches, 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. Allen Muse has 14 catches, 228 yards and a touchdown.
Louisiana-Lafayette is 5-0 ATS after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 4-0 in Sun Belt games, 6-1 after a straight up win, 21-8 in road games, and 1-5 on fieldturf. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 against Arkansas State and 6-2 ATS in the last 8 in Jonesboro.
Arkansas State is 5-1 ATS after a bye week, 4-1 in Tuesday games, 12-3-1 in Sun Belt games, 4-1-1 at home, 4-1 against teams with winning road records, 16-5-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 6-2 after a straight up win, 8-3 in October, 0-4-1 overall, and 0-3-1 on fieldturf.
Expect lots of points in this game as both sides have explosive offenses and suspect defenses. Arkansas State has played a very tough schedule so far, and that should help them as they are battle tested. However, aside from a victory over a now 4-3 Troy team, they have been destroyed by every good team they have played. Granted both Auburn and Missouri are current ranked in the top 11 teams in the country, but there is no excuse to get smashed by a one win Memphis team. I think the Ragin’ Cajuns win a close game on the road and take control of the Sun Belt Conference.