Cajuns TD 14:02 Chris Smith 10 Yd Run (Nate Snyder Kick)
Cajuns TD 11:10 Levi Lewis 22 Yd Run (Nate Snyder Kick)
Cajuns TD 11:23 Emani Bailey 15 Yd Run (Nate Snyder PAT failed)
Jags TD 1:33 Bryan Hill 1 Yd Run (Diego Guajardo PAT blocked)
Jags TD 4:20 Bryan Hill 2 Yd Run (Diego Guajardo PAT failed)
Jags TD 12:51 Jake Bentley 1 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)
20-18 Louisiana FINAL
The weather was sloppy Saturday night in Mobile, which made for some sloppy performances from both teams, as Billy Napier’s Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (4-1, 2-0 SBC) was able to overcome South Alabama (3-1, 0-1 SBC) 20-18 at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Louisiana began the game in the best possible way; Chris Smith returned the opening kickoff 86 yards to the South 15, and then punched it in the end zone two plays later. Having the early 7-0 lead gave the Louisiana defense an extra boost, forcing the Jaguars to punt on their first possession. Next thing you know, Levi Lewis is scampering to paydirt to make it 14-0 Cajuns 4 minutes into the contest. If you’re Louisiana, you’re ready to run away with this game. You’ve been gashing their defense with your rushing attack, the defense has been making stops and special teams has already made some big plays.
But, then it all comes crashing down.
Leading 20-0 early in the second quarter, Nate Snyder misses the PAT. Then he misses a field goal, which gives South Alabama the field position they need to march down the field and put it in the endzone for the first time.
Luckily for the Cajuns, Diego Guajardo was having just as bad of a night as Snyder.
Between the two kickers, 12 points were left off the scoreboard (7 for the Cajuns, 5 for the Jags).
Louisiana shied away from the rushing attack in the 2nd half, which really allowed the Jags to stay in this game. The Cajuns had 225 yards rushing and averaged nearly 7 yards a carry. Meanwhile, the passing game was nonexistent. Levi Lewis went 9/20 for 49 yards and a QBR of 37.9. Lewis did add 61 yards rushing and a score. Emani Bailey was dominant in this game, getting 81 yards and a touchdown on 7 carries.
For South, Jake Bentley was fairly efficient. Bentley’s stat line was 19/29 for 243 with no TDs or INTs. His star receiver Jalen Tolbert showed up in a big way late, however, racking in 6 catches for 143 yards. Leading the Jags in rushing was Bryan Hill, carrying the ball 22 times for 81 yards and 2 TDs.
For Louisiana, they get a few days to rest before preparing for a massive ESPN2 showdown at Cajun Field with App St on 10/12.
For South Alabama, they travel to San Marcos, TX next Saturday to battle with a struggling Texas State program.