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Ragin’ Cajuns open up their Sun Belt schedules against Coastal Carolina

Both the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Chanticleers look to start off 1-0 in Sun Belt play this Saturday in Lafeyette.

NCAA Football: UL Lafayette at Mississippi State Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup: The University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Location: Cajun Field, Lafeyette, Louisiana

Date: Saturday, September 22nd

Time: 6:00 PM Local Time (CDT)

Coverage: ESPN+


Outlook

Louisiana is coming off of a demoralizing loss against Mississippi State last week. Coastal Carolina is coming off of a nice victory that was played 72 hours earlier than scheduled due to Hurricane Florence. Both teams are poised to open up their Sun Belt Conference schedule coming from polar opposite types of games. The Chanticleers will look to use their momentum and extra few days of rest (if you can call it rest with a devastating hurricane looming) to knock off the Ragin’ Cajuns in the teams’ first ever meeting.

It’s weird how much of a difference one phase of the offense can completely change the composition of the game. In game one against Grambling State, the Cajuns commanded a lot of respect in the run game, a big chunk of that courtesy of Trey Ragas. That part of the offense was completely absent against Mississippi State and it exposed how important the run game is for the Ragin’ Cajuns. They absolutely need to be productive on the ground if they want to recover against the Chanticleers this week.

Coastal Carolina had to endure their own pounding this year against South Carolina, and they were subjected to the same kind of game flow issues. Juxtapose that with the complete offensive performance they put together against UAB the next week, and there are many parallels between that performance and the Cajuns’ performance against Grambling.

What does that mean? We may see two teams that are pretty evenly matched this weekend. They both seek a lot of balance on the offensive side of the ball and try to limit as much damage as they can on defense. They seem to believe that if they can score enough, it doesn’t matter how many points they give up on defense. Sounds eerily like the Big-12 mentality to me... minus the whole “quarterbacks throwing for 500+ yards on each side” thing. But we won’t go there.

I think this philosophy can work well in the Sun Belt Conference, but there are definitely teams on their schedule that can do it better. That’s why this is a great time of year for a matchup like this. These two teams need to use these types of games to work out the kinks and figure out their identity for the year.

That’s how they can nab a win or two against some of the stronger members of the Sun Belt later in the season. The talent is definitely available on both rosters to do that, so it’ll be fun to see the type of game they play this Saturday and whether or not they are taking positive steps toward being competitive during the bulk of their conference schedules.

This game has all the trappings of a shootout in my mind. There may not be eye-popping stat lines, but there will certainly be plenty of points on the board. It’s just a nice bonus that the teams happen to have two of the best mascots in the whole country. The mascot of the Ragin’ Cajuns is obviously one of the best, but, I mean, have you seen the Chanticleer statue?

From a biological standpoint, roosters can definitely eat peppers... so nature favors the Chanticleers in this matchup. Don’t underestimate how spicy cayenne can be though! I guess we will have to wait until it is decided on the field.

The schedules for these teams this year haven’t really shown us much in the way of what these two teams are made of. This game will answer a lot of those questions, hopefully in a way that easily covers the 64.5 O/U on ESPN’s preview page for the game. Who doesn’t wanna see a ton of points? I’m predicting that the Chanticleers and the Ragin’ Cajuns will oblige us accordingly.