Drive down I-10 and the distance between Houston, TX and Lafayette, LA can be covered in roughly three hours. Despite the close proximity between the programs, the Houston Cougars and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have not played since 2006.
That drought is set to end on Friday, Dec. 23 when the Cougars and Cajuns square off in the 2022 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA. The matchup was first confirmed by The Action Network breaking news reporter Brett McMurphy on Sunday afternoon.
Houston (7-5, 5-3 AAC) is bowling for the third-straight year under fourth-year head coach Dana Holgorsen. The Cougars won their previous postseason contest by sliding past Auburn in 17-13 fashion last December in Birmingham. Due to their upcoming move to the Big 12 in July, this will be the Cougars’ final game with AAC logos and branding on the uniforms.
Louisiana (6-6, 4-4 Sun Belt) qualified for the postseason for the fifth consecutive season. This is the first bowl appearance under rookie head coach Michael Desormeaux, who took over last December when Billy Napier left for Florida. Louisiana carries a three-game bowl winning streak heading into this matchup.
Despite the game operating in the Ragin’ Cajuns home state, this is Louisiana’s first Independence Bowl appearance in program history. The Sun Belt landed a deal as a backup bid for the game earlier this year, and Louisiana will be the second team from the conference to participate in Shreveport, following 2012 ULM. This also marks the first Independence Bowl for the Cougars.
This is only the second time the Independence Bowl is held before Christmas since 1991. UAB holds the title of reigning champions of the event after upsetting No. 12 BYU, 31-28, on Dec. 18, 2021.
The 2022 Independence Bowl kicks off at Independence Stadium in Shreveport at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN.