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Texas State at Louisiana: Preview & Prediction

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The Ragin’ Cajuns are on a roll and the Bobcats desperately try to find their footing.

NCAA Football: Texas State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Location: Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA

Kickoff: Saturday, November 2nd 4:00 p.m. CT

TV/Radio: ESPN+/San Marcos: AM 1300, 930 AM, 89.9 FM. Lafayette: ESPN 1420 AM, KHXT 107.9 FM

Series Record: Rajin’ Cajuns lead series 5-0.

Last Meeting: LA won in 2018, 42-27.

Betting Line: LA, -24, 58 1/2 o/u


I’m sitting at my desk researching stats and wondering how I’m going to relate the numbers to anything I say. Right now I’m down right lost. To put it another way I missed most of the games last Saturday because of a family event (Grandma’s birthday; lots of relatives drunk and tearing their ACL’s dancing) and I wish I hadn’t.

I didn’t get to see the live abomination of a performance in the 38-14 loss to Arkansas State. I’m glad I didn’t but I wanted to know what happened.

We (the college football fans) are at a seasonal crossroads. Some teams have taken that high road all while galloping toward a conference championship or the sweet payday of a bowl game. Some unfortunates are scraping by trying to find that victory that boosts the spirits of the fans and players disguised as spoilers to the above .500 programs.

So whether your crossroads had you missing your Uncle Charles who was taken outside his home or you follow a different crossroads and want to go on a road trip with Gamora from Gaurdians of the Galaxy just hang in there with your team. Better things are on the horizon. Maybe.

Louisiana Outlook

Sitting at a healthy 5-2 with the only losses being by 10 points each to the likes of Mississippi State of the SEC and perennial Sun Belt powerhouse Appalachian State is an impressive position. What’s even more impressive is how they’ve managed to keep their consistency.

For the Ragin’ Cajuns it all starts on the offensive line. They’ve been a dominant force in the trenches and historically they don’t get as much love as the skill positions but the stats the o-line have put up have been nothing short of great.

The stats I refer to are referenced and categorized by the stat-hawks at Football Outsiders. It’s a really interesting way of measuring the effectiveness of the offensive line. Here is the article containing the current ranking as of this week.

I won’t go into the exact measurables but the Cajun o-line ranks 4th in the country in line yardage meaning the average 3.14 yards a rush where they get credit for all runs between 0-3 yards and 50% credit for runs between 4-8 yards. Long story short: They rank just below Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State and right above Alabama. That’s some heavy hitting.

Those big uglies open holes for the running backs who run a Cerberus-style attack.

Elijah Mitchell leads the team with 11 touchdowns (579 yards), Trey Ragas leads the team with 583 yards (7 touchdowns) and Raymond Calais adds 479 yards and four touchdowns. Impressively all three have notched two 100-yard games a piece and as a team the Ragin’ Cajuns average 6.9 yards a carry.

Texas State

Last week QB Tyler Vitt got the call under center after Gresch Jensen was kept under concussion protocol. Jensen is still under and Vitt will get the call again.

The sophomore went 15/27 for 146 yards a touchdown and two picks.

The big problem lies within the Bobcats time management. Offensively they fail to keep drives sustained which keeps the defense on the field longer. Sans the victory over FCS Nichols State the ‘Cats have been outdone in the time-of-possession In every game and have allowed over 200 yards of rushing in 5 of 7 games this year.

That’s going to be a problem with Texas State only rushing at 2.9 yards a carry average.

For State to have a chance the o-line needs to have a big game and open up some holes for running back Caleb Twyford and give Tyler Vitt some time. If anytime is the right time for the offensive line to break out is this Saturday.

Conclusion

On paper it’s a total mismatch. Louisiana averages over 38 points a game while giving up only 20. ESPN even has the Ragin’ Cajuns with a 96% chance of winning. But as we’ve seen this year the Sun Belt is unpredictable. Gimme the 29-28, Texas State win.