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2021 New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana Finishes Magical Season With 36-21 Victory

Louisiana caps off the 2021 season with a bowl win in their home state and a program record 13 straight wins.

NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Marshall at UL Lafayette Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER

Louisiana TD 9:26 Kyren Lacy 9 Yd pass from Levi Lewis (Nate Snyder Kick)

13 plays, 81 yards, 5:34

7-0 Cajuns

Louisiana FG 1:29 Nate Snyder 42 Yd Field Goal

13 plays, 40 yards, 6:35

10-0 Cajuns

Marshall TD 0:50 Rasheen Ali 63 Yd Run (Shane Ciucci Kick)

3 plays, 75 yards, 0:39

10-7 Cajuns

SECOND QUARTER

Marshall TD 10:32 Rasheen Ali 14 Yd Run (Shane Ciucci Kick)

3 plays, 58 yards, 1:10

14-10 Herd

Louisiana FG 1:28 Nate Snyder 25 Yd Field Goal

8 plays, 75 yards, 4:27

14-13 Herd

Louisiana FG 0:00 Nate Snyder 24 Yd Field Goal

5 plays, 39 yards, 0:43

16-14 Cajuns HALF

THIRD QUARTER

Marshall TD 1:01 Rasheen Ali 9 Yd Run (Shane Ciucci Kick)

13 plays, 63 yards, 4:20

21-16 Herd

FOURTH QUARTER

Louisiana TD 8:20 Emani Bailey 4 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)

8 plays, 68 yards, 3:34

22-21 Cajuns

Louisiana TD 3:54 Montrell Johnson 3 Yd Run (Nate Snyder Kick)

6 plays, 73 yards, 2:34

29-21 Cajuns

Louisiana TD 1:41 Emani Bailey 2 Yd Run (Nate Snyder Kick)

6 plays, 52 yards, 1:45

36-21 FINAL


NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Marshall at UL Lafayette Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

1st Half

This game had the feel of a conference rivalry early on. Fitting, right?

Louisiana opened the game with a methodical drive, dissecting Marshall’s defense with short plays and moving the ball efficiently before Levi Lewis found Kyren Lacy for a nine-yard touchdown. 8 minutes later, Nate Snyder hit his first of three field goals in the half, this one from 42 yards away, to give the Cajuns a early 10-0 lead in front of a dominantly Cajun crowd.

But then came Rasheen Ali.

On the next drive, Ali burst through the Louisiana front seven for a 63-yard touchdown run to cut into the Cajun lead at the end of the first. However, the redshirt freshman from Cleveland, OH wasn’t done.

Early in the second quarter, Ali ripped off a few more big runs before finding the end zone again from 14 yards out to give Marshall the 14-10 lead. After a few stalled Cajun drives, it looked like the Herd would strike again, but Grant Wells was picked off by Bralen Trahan with a minute left in the half. Then on the first play of the Cajun drive, Levi Lewis found Jacob Bernard for a 42-yard strike to set up another field goal from Snyder to end the half with Louisiana on top 16-14.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

2nd Half

The 3rd quarter was a lot of back and forth without a whole lot of scoring. Play on the field become very chippy and physical during the second half. On the third play of the fourth quarter, there was a targeting call on a punt that was fair caught by Marshall. Jayrin Wilson was the Cajun that was disqualified from the contest with three minutes remaining in the game.

From there, Louisiana came to life. A big three-and-out gave the Cajuns the ball back, and Emani Bailey punched it in with 8:20 to go to put the Cajuns back on top and they never gave the lead back. Touchdown runs by Montrell Johnson and Bailey again put the game on ice as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns won the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl for the 5th time, 36-21.

Recap

Louisiana now ends the season with a phenomenal 13-1 record, reeling off 13 straight wins since their opening loss to Texas in September. The Cajuns will now look to truly begin a new era under Head Coach Mike Desormeaux.

Levi Lewis caps off his Cajun career as one of only two Louisiana QBs to pass for 9,000 yards in his career, joining Jake Delhomme in that elite group. Lewis finished the night 19-31 for 270 yards and a touchdown, adding 74 yards on the ground. This performance garnered the Baton Rouge, LA native the MVP award, which he selflessly handed off to RB Emani Bailey, who rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Michael Jefferson also had a sensational game, catching 3 balls for 108 yards to set the Cajuns up on multiple drives.

In a losing effort, Rasheen Ali was outstanding for Marshall, rushing for 160 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. Grant Wells struggled to get going, going 15-26 for 99 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Marshall at UL Lafayette Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports