Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Kickoff Time: 4:00 p.m. CT
Location: Cajun Field, Lafayette, Louisiana
All-Time Series: Louisiana leads, 11-9
Last Meeting: 11/3/18. Troy 26, Louisiana 16
Betting Lines: Louisiana -13.5, O/U 73
After winning on the road against South Alabama last weekend to secure the program’s first undefeated season on the road in nearly half a century, Louisiana returns home for their final two games of the regular season.
Their first opponent: Troy. The Trojans, led by first year head coach Chip Lindsey, present a very intriguing matchup for the Cajuns. If you’re a fan of hard-nose, smash mouth football, this matchup is one you should pay close attention to.
Louisiana (8-2, 5-1 SBC) Outlook
The Ragin Cajuns continued their winning ways last week on the road against South Alabama, 37-27. Quarterback Levi Lewis had an efficient night, but that’s been the story all season for the junior. His numbers hardly ever jump off the page, but in the same regard, he never gives a game away. Last week, Lewis went 16-29 for 136 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. These numbers put Lewis up to 1,907 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only three interceptions on the season; he also carries a 70.1 QBR, which is good for 37th nationally.
However, the storyline for the Cajuns all season has been their dominating rushing attack. The three-headed monster of Elijah Mitchell, Trey Ragas, and Raymond Calais have been nothing short of remarkable this season. Mitchell, a junior, leads the groups with 874 yards on 143 carries, an average of 6.1 yards per carry. Mitchell also has 13 touchdowns this season for the Cajuns. Ragas is second in the group with 669 yards and nine touchdowns. Calais has 650 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mitchell led the Cajuns last week against the Jaguars with 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Look for the Cajuns to keep riding their rushing attack this week, which ranks 6th in the country.
As for receiving, Ja’Marcus Bradley has been a force in the Louisiana offense for four years now. His numbers on the season are 39 receptions for 537 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, Louisiana combines a mixture of veteran leadership and youthful talent, Jacques Boudreaux, Joe Dillon, and Michael Jacquet III team up with Kris Moncrief, Ferrod Gardner, and Percy Butler to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. However, the Cajuns will be without their starting nose tackle Zi’yon Hill, who’s out with a shoulder injury.
Troy (5-5, 3-3 SBC) Outlook
Don’t let Troy’s record throw you off: this is a great football team. Troy is led by first year head coach Chip Lindsey, who has had a solid year in his first career head coaching job after following in the footsteps of Troy great Neal Brown. Lindsey’s offense runs through quarterback Kaleb Barker, who has been rewriting the school’s record books this season. Barker has 3,152 yards this season, the most in Troy history since the school became D1 in 2001. Barker currently ranks 5th nationally in passing yards. His 30 TDs this season also ranks 5th in the country. The Trojans also have a solid running back in DK Billingsley, the sophomore from Scottsboro, AL. Billingsley has 140 carries for 819 yards and nine touchdowns this year. In football, every great quarterback needs a good receiver. Kaylon Geiger has 68 receptions, 802 yards, and five touchdowns this year for Troy.
Defensively, Troy is led by Carlton Martial, a sophomore from Mobile. Martial has 101 total tackles (58 solo), four sacks, three forced fumbles with a recovery, and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). Other solid contributors to the Troy defense are Will Choloh Jr. and Will Sunderland.
Vegas has this contest as a 13.5 point spread. Advantage Louisiana. This rivalry has produced some classic games, and I don’t anticipate that changing this weekend. Look for Louisiana and Troy to go back and forth all night long. Honestly, this could be one of the best games in the country for Week 13.
Louisiana 41, Troy 33