INSIDE THE GAME
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Cajuns are hoping to technically get bowl eligible with their sixth win of the season, but more importantly maintain their standing atop the Sun Belt West. The Cajuns also put a 6-0 all-time record in the series against Texas State on the line.
There are a couple of statistics for UL Ragin’ Cajuns fans to keep in mind when pondering the possibilities for Saturday’s 4 p.m. homecoming c…
UL’s defensive front vs. Texas State’s offensive line. The Bobcats have allowed 20 sacks for a loss of 141 yards on the season, while the Cajuns have collected 17 sacks for a minus-121 yards.
In his first season under new UL coach Billy Napier last season, wide receiver Jalen Williams made a good first impression with four reception…
PLAYERS TO WATCH
CAJUNS: UL running backs Trey Ragas (71-598, 7 TDs), Elijah Mitchell (103-579, 11 TDs) and Raymond Calais (49-464, 4 TDs) hope to do business against the No. 9 rushing defense in the Sun Belt. Defensively, UL is led LB Jacques Boudreaux (54 tackles, 2 hurries), FS Percy Butler (34 tackles), DT Zi’Yon Hill (30 tackles, 3 hurries) and CB Michael Jacquet (24 tackles, 3 PBUs).
BOBCATS: DE Ishmael Davis and LB Nikolas Daniels both had two sacks at Arkansas State last week. Davis has 31 tackles, including 5 TFLs, while Daniels has 57 stops, 7.5 TFLs and 4 sacks on season.
Mid-major teams' often-wacky schedules can be tricky when it comes to conditioning around open weeks.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Cajuns’ rushing total of 2,008 yards is now ranked No. 11 nationally, as well as being second nationally at 6.85 yards per carry and the 27 rushing touchdowns rank third … UL’s 94 first downs on the ground is 12th nationally … UL receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley has now caught at least one pass in 34 straight games … Both UL and Texas State are minus-1 in turnover margin for the season, despite the Bobcats leading the Sun Belt with 13 takeaways … UL’s offense has picked up 177 first downs this season, compared to 116 for Texas State … The Bobcats have been flagged 38 times for 376 yards and their opponents have been flagged 38 times for 326 … UL has been flagged 44 times for 397 yards and its opponents 33 times for 271 yards.
It obviously wasn’t a question UL coach Billy Napier wanted any part of answering.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
13 – Number of turnovers forced by Texas State’s defense, which leads the Sun Belt and ranks it 37th nationally.
20 – Number of times Texas State’s quarterbacks have been sacked this season, compared to just eight for the Cajuns.
24 – How many more times Texas State’s offense has punted this season than UL with the Bobcats averaging 37.3 yards on 45 punts to a 45.4-yard average for UL on 21 punts.
UL football coach Billy Napier has been around some open dates that didn’t benefit his teams, didn’t allow them reach their potential and didn…
1 – Conversion wars
While Texas State’s defense has been good against the pass this season, opposing offenses are converting 45.2 percent of the time on third and fourth down. UL’s offense has hit on 45 percent on third down, while its defense is only allowing 36 percent on third down.
2 – Different philosophies
Two opposing offensive strategies will square off Saturday. Texas State averages 82.4 rushing yards per game with seven TDs, compared to 286.9 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns.
3 – Quarterback whisperer?
First-year Texas State head coach Jake Spavital has coached seven quarterbacks that played in the NFL during his coaching career: Johnny Manziel, Kyler Murray, Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden, Geno Smith, Will Grier, Kyle Allen and Davis Webb.
4 – Deep WR corps
Texas State’s receiving corps doesn’t appear to have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver, but it is deep. Seven different receivers have at least 100 yards receiving through seven games, led by Hutch White with 283 yards. UL, meanwhile, has only four WRs with more than 77 receiving yards.
TEXAS STATE (2-5, 1-2)
Aug. 29 At Texas A&M L, 41-7
Sept. 7 Wyoming L, 23-14
Sept. 14 At SMU L, 47-17
Sept. 21 Georgia State W, 37-34 (3 OTs)
Sept. 28 Nicholls State W, 24-3
Oct. 10 ULM, L 24-14
Oct. 26 At Arkansas State L, 38-14
Nov. 2 At Louisiana, 4 p.m.
Nov. 9 South Alabama, 2 p.m.
Nov. 16 Troy, TBA
Nov. 23 At Appalachian State, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 At Coastal Carolina, TBA
UL (5-2, 2-1)
Aug. 31 Mississippi State 11 a.m. L, 38-28
Sept. 7 Liberty 6:30 p.m. W, 35-14
Sept. 14 Texas Southern W, 77-6
Sept. 21 At Ohio W, 45-25
Sept. 28 At Georgia Southern W, 37-24
Oct. 9 Appalachian State L, 17-7
Oct. 17 At Arkansas State W, 37-20
Nov. 2 Texas State, 4 p.m.
Nov. 7 At Coastal Carolina 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 At South Alabama TBA
Nov. 23 Troy TBA
Nov. 30 UL Monroe TBA
THE ADVOCATE SAYS …
UL 42, Texas State 17
Appalachian State’s home loss to Georgia Southern made me hesitate for a second to predict a blowout even though all the signs point in that direction. But only for a second. There’s just no true reason to doubt UL’s leadership at this point. Coach Billy Napier sounds thrilled with this team’s focus during all the open-week practices, and theoretically the Cajuns should be healthier. It was 42-27 last year and UL’s defense is better this season.