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DUPLICATE***UL linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill (2) tackles App State running back jammer Smith (9) during their Sun Belt Conference game at Cajun Field on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 in Lafayette, La..

INSIDE THE GAME

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Win would improve UL to 14-0 against Sun Belt West teams under Billy Napier and be Cajuns’ 12th straight regular-season road win in conference play. It would also be a fourth straight win over Arkansas State, which would be the longest winning streak in this series since UL won six in a row from 1993-98.

KEY MATCHUP

UL defensive front vs. ASU line – Despite having a potent passing attack, protecting the quarterback has been a big issue for the Red Wolves so far this season, which could open the door for an active UL defensive front.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Cajuns: Redshirt junior LB Lorenzo McCaskill leads the Cajuns with 42 tackles on the season.

Red Wolves: Senior WR Corey Rucker has 32 receptions for 492 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, which is eighth nationally.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Cajuns trail the all-time series 27-21-1, including the last three meetings … The Cajuns now 22-7 in Sun Belt play under coach Billy Napier ... QB Levi Lewis need three TD passes to become program’s all-time leader and only 15 yards to move into second place on all-time passing list, surpassing Terrance Broadway … UL is 17-4 in games starting at 6 p.m. under Napier … DL Zi’Yon Hill has a team-high four sacks this season and the defense has 15 overall … WR Dontae Fleming still leads the Cajuns in receptions with 15 … UL tight ends have combined for 18 receptions through six games this season … Arkansas State PK Blake Grupe has made 9 of 12 field goals and 19 of 20 extra points this season … Also, ASU punter Ryan Hanson has 14 punt inside the 20, which is second in the Sun Belt ... Emani Bailey is UL’s third-leading rusher with 283 yards, but is averaging 6.9 yards a carry … True freshman Montrell Johnson leads the Cajuns with 335 yards and five TDs on 59 carries (5.7) … No players on either team has more than one interception on the team … Arkansas State has played two QBs all season – Florida State transfer James Blackman (109-183-4, 1344 yds, 8 TDs) and Layne Hatcher (62-108-3, 806 yds, 9 TDs) – but Blackman is out with shoulder injury … Red Wolves are averaging 30 points and 437.8 total yards per game, while giving up 46.6 point and 584 total yards … Cajuns are averaging 30.5 points and 405 total yards a game, while allowing 21.2 and 377.8.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

16 – Consecutive seasons with winning records for the Red Wolves at Centennial Bank Stadium. So far, ASU is 1-2 at home.

50 – Number of penalties Arkansas State’s six opponents have combined for this season for 462 yards, compared to 33 received by UL.

24 – In addition to all-around subpar defensive statistics, the Red Wolves have allowed 24 sacks in six games to open the eyes of UL’s excellent defensive front.

FOUR DOWNS

1 – Rushing games

The Red Wolves are only averaging 79.5 yards rushing a game with Lincoln Pare leading the way with 146 yards, compared to UL with 179.3 yards rushing a game.

2 – First down machines

Despite being 1-5, Arkansas State actually has 140 first downs this season, more than its opponents (138) and more than UL (133) — thanks to 20 by penalty. UL only has nine by flags.

3 – Slow starters

If you add up the points Arkansas State’s scored in the first and second quarters this season (62) that still wouldn’t match its offensive point totals for any quarter (with 63 in the third being the lowest).

4 – Defense stingier

UL’s defense has now held opponents to under 25 points in five straight games. Since 2018, UL is 24-1 when that happens.

SCHEDULES

ARKANSAS STATE (1-5, 0-2)

Sept. 4 Central Arkansas, W 40-21

Sept. 11 Memphis, L 55-50

Sept. 18 At Washington, L 52-3

Sept. 25 Tulsa, L 41-34

Oct. 2 At Georgia Southern, L 59-33

Oct. 7 Coastal Carolina, L 52-20

Oct. 21 UL, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 At South Alabama, TBA

Nov. 6 Appalachian State, TBA

Nov. 13 At ULM, TBA

Nov. 20 At Georgia State, TBA

Nov. 27 Texas State, TBA

UL (5-1, 3-0)

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, W 41-13

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

Oct. 30 Texas State, 11 a.m.

Nov. 4 Georgia State, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 13 At Troy, 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 20 At Liberty, TBA

Nov. 27 ULM, TBA

THE ADVOCATE SAYS …

UL 47, Arkansas State 20

The numbers just don’t look good for the Red Wolves. Arkansas State’s defense is allowing 46.6 points and 584 yards total a game. Meanwhile, the Cajuns are coming off their best game in some time with the four-touchdown win over Appalachian State. On one hand, one could expect the game after a midseason bye week to be the best performance of the season under a new coaching staff. But the resting part of that doesn’t even benefit Arkansas State much considering the Cajuns haven’t played since last Tuesday. Turnovers are the great equalizer, but short of being plus-three or better, it would be hard to foresee the home team winning this one.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.