Half of the 2015 season will be in the books at this point and the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns should be looking at a 4-2 record and a 2-0 Sun Belt record. Let's take a look at the second half of the schedule.
Louisiana-Monroe: A Halloween kickoff for the matchup between these two in-state rivals should tilt in favor of the Ragin' Cajuns this fall. ULM has a sturdy defense led by defensive lineman Gerrand Johnson. The Warhawks can throw the ball all over the field and have three good receivers, including stud receiver Rashon Ceaser, that can give Louisiana trouble.
Georgia State: This is a tricky game because Louisiana should be able to have their way with the Panthers on offense but struggle to stop Georgia State on defense. Georgia State's quarterback Nick Arbuckle was one of the hidden gems of the Sun Belt in 2014 and almost singlehandedly kept the Panthers in several games last season. The Georgia State defense was a joke in 2014 and should better this fall but not to the level of competing with the top teams in the conference.
South Alabama: The Jaguars are a tricky team to predict for this season with the sheer number of transfers from UAB that will play pivotal roles. Quarterback Cody Clements was the starter at UAB in 2014 with over 2,200 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. If he can give similar or even better numbers aided by a strong running game, the Jaguars could be a surprise team in the Sun Belt this fall. Louisiana tends to match up well overall with South Alabama in the game but may get a scare before pulling away in the second half.
New Mexico State: In a similar fashion to the Georgia State game earlier in the season, the Aggies have the ability to move the ball on offense with second team All-Sun Belt wide receiver Teldrick Morgan (75/903/7TD) and sophomore running back Larry Rose III (186/1,102/9TD) leading the way. NMSU is not expected to improve significantly on defense and will struggle to stay in the game as the Ragin' Cajuns offense should pile up lots of points in the win.
Appalachian State: With Louisiana having as many as eight wins on the season heading into this game, the Ragin' Cajuns want revenge for a 35-16 loss to the Mountaineers last fall. This game, being played at Appalachian State, will come down to the running game with the Mountaineers winning that matchup in rushing for 232 yards and holding Louisiana to 99 total rushing yards. Do not expect the Ragin' Cajuns to lay an egg in this return matchup versus Appalachian State. Louisiana wins this game an gets to 9-2 on the season.
Troy: Already at the magical number of nine wins with one game left in the season, the Ragin' Cajuns have a great chance to get to 10 wins with a matchup versus the Trojans. Troy will struggle to stop running back Elijah McGuire in the game and we could easily see the junior running back break 1,500 or more yards for the season in this matchup. Expect Louisiana to roll in this game.
Overall, I may be on the optimistic side but the schedule is set up for the Ragin' Cajuns to finally break that 10 win plateau for the first time in school history. As long as Louisiana gets through that first section at 4-2, a 6-0 second half of the schedule is very possible with only the Appalachian State game as one that could truly go either way.