Louisiana Appalachian St Football

Appalachian State running back Camerun Peoples (6) is part of a the Mountaineers' 1-2 rushing punch.

The UL Ragin' Cajuns defeated Appalachian State for the first time last season on a very wet and freezing night in Boone, North Carolina. Now coach Billy Napier’s squad is hoping to prove it wasn't a fluke.

The Cajuns face off with Appalachian State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cajun Field. The contest will air on ESPN2. You can also listen to the game on ESPN 1420.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

A win for the Cajuns would mean a two-game winning streak over the Mountaineers and UL’s first home win over Appalachian State. The Mountaineers look to be 4-0 at Cajun Field with a win. The winner is also in the early drivers seat for hosting the Sun Belt championship game.

KEY MATCHUP

UL defensive front vs. ASU line – A year ago, the Cajuns’ defense made big play after big play with six stops behind the line, three sacks, a forced fumble and two interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cajuns: UL defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill has 23 tackles, including 4.5 behind the line, three sacks and two hurries.

Mountaineers: Senior LB D’Marco Jackson has 54 tackles with 10 stops behind the line and four sacks so far this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Cajuns trail the all-time series 1-8 … UL is 32-5 under Billy Napier when scoring more than 20 points and 16-4 in night games … Levi Lewis needs four TD passes to break Jake Delhomme’s all-time program record of 64 … Lewis also needs 224 yards passing to surpass Terrance Broadway for No. 2 in all-time passing yards, but still 1,883 yards behind Delhomme … UL safety Percy Butler matched a career high with two stops behind the line last week, while fellow safety Kam Pedescleaux had a career-high six tackles in that win … ASU’s winning percentage of .807 since start of 2015 is fifth best nationally … Mountaineers have the two Sun Belt leaders in rushing yards per game in Nate Noel (102.2) and Camerun Peoples (88.2) … Last year was the 36th straight season with a conference record for .500 or better for App. State ... Mountaineers’ defense has ranked in the top 21 nationally in fewest points allow in the last four seasons and in the top 16 in rushing yards allowed over the past three seasons … App. State is averaging 35.2 points and 481.4 total yards a game, while allowing 20.0 points and 369 total yards … UL is averaging 28.4 points and 395 total yards per game, while allowing 22.8 points and 410.8 yards per game.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

4 – Number of consecutive games UL’s defense limited foes to under 25 points. The Cajuns are 23-1 when doing so since 2018.

2 – Appalachian State’s national ranking with 29 road wins since joining the FBS in 2014, trailing only Boise State’s 31.

0 – Numbers of extra points or FGs Mountaineers have missed this season, compared to UL missing two extra points and three FG tries.

FOUR DOWNS

1 – Putting teams away

While UL has struggled to do so, the Mountaineers only led Georgia State 14-9 midway through the third quarter last week, before outscoring the Panthers 31-0 over the next 12 minutes.

2 – Not flag happy

Incredibly, the two teams have virtually the same penalty situation with 26 flags for 216 yards for the visitors, while UL has 26 penalties for 212 yards.

3 – Conversion story

Once again this week, UL trails in these categories – converting only 32% on offense and giving up 46%, while App. State is converting 39% and allowing only 30%.

4 – Protection good

Appalachian State has only been sacked five times all season with 15 sacks by its defense. UL’s only been sacked eight times with its defense collecting 13.

SCHEDULES

APPALACHIAN STATE (4-1, 1-0)

Sept. 2 East Carolina, W 33-19

Sept. 11 At Miami, L 25-23

Sept. 18 Elon, W 44-10

Sept. 23 Marshall, W 31-30

Oct. 2 At Georgia State, W 45-16

Oct. 12 At Louisiana, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 20 Coastal Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 ULM, 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 At Arkansas State, TBA

Nov. 13 South Alabama, 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 20 At Troy, 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 27 Georgia Southern, 1:30 p.m.

UL (4-1, 2-0)

Sept. 4 At Texas, L 38-18

Sept. 11 Nicholls, W 27-24

Sept. 16 Ohio, W 49-14

Sept. 25 At Georgia Southern, W 28-20

Oct. 2 At South Alabama, W 20-18

Oct. 12 Appalachian State, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 At Arkansas State, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 Texas State, TBA

Nov. 4 Georgia State, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 13 At Troy, TBA

Nov. 20 At Liberty, TBA

Nov. 27 ULM, TBA

THE ADVOCATE SAYS …

Appalachian State 34, UL 28

There just seems to be so many things the Mountaineers do well. They’ve always run it well and now they’re passing it in a very explosive way. UL’s defense was burned badly by deep routes in its last game. The Cajuns’ offense, meanwhile, haven’t displayed the ability to consistently run it or pass it against opponents not as good as Appalachian State. Also unsettling for the Cajuns is kicking field goals are a challenge, while the Mountaineers haven’t missed a kick of any kind all season long. UL’s defensive line dominated the game last season. Forcing turnovers by pressuring the quarterback seems to be UL’s most available avenue to a victory.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.