The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (6-5, 4-3 Sun Belt) may be bowl-eligible after a 48-38 win over South Alabama (2-9, 1-6 Sun Belt), but there’s still a lot of work to do based off of how competitive it was on Saturday afternoon at Cajun Field.
Things looked really good for the Cajuns early on with a 23-yard Kyle Pfau field goal followed up by an interception of Cole Garvin by Deuce Wallace. That quickly turned into seven points when Andre Nunez connected with JaMarcus Bradley on a screen pass to make it 10-0.
South Alabama cooled off the Cajuns offense with a methodical 20-play drive that took 10 minutes off the clock and was capped off by an eight-yard touchdown run by Kawaan Baker. The Jags evened things up with a 15-play drive that ended with Gavin Patterson nailing a 31-yarder.
The stalemate didn’t last long as Levi Lewis aired it out with a 44-yard pass to JaMarcus Bradley, making it 17-10 with 4:20 left until halftime. The Cajuns showed some guts, opting for an onside kick, which they recovered at their own 46-yard line and ended with Nunez finding Bradley for his third touchdown reception of the day to go up by 14 points with a little more than two minutes left until halftime.
The Jaguars saw the offensive outburst and responded with a 13-play drive that resulted in Cole Garvin connected with Jamarius Way for an 18-yard touchdown, making it 24-17 at the break.
South Alabama took very little time to get on the board to start the second half with a nine-play drive that ended with Tra Minter running it in from five yards out to knot things up at 24. It didn’t take much time right after that for the Cajuns to get back out in front with Elijah Mitchell going virtually untouched for a 45-yard touchdown run.
Things got a little weird after that touchdown when Tra Minter fumbled at the Jags 29-yard line and Zi’Yon Hill recovered it. Three plays later, Nunez was picked off by Darian Mills in the endzone to give them the ball right back, but Garvin wound up coughing it up not long after and that set up a 41-yard field goal by Pfau.The defense forced South Alabama to punt on the next drive and that resulted in Mitchell finding the endzone once again to make it 41-24 late in the third quarter.
South Alabama made it a 10-point game when Baker found the endzone from 13 yards out, but the game was sealed when Mitchell got his third TD of the game from three yards out.
The Cajuns will look to win the Sun Belt West Division on Saturday when they take on UL Monroe (6-5, 4-3 Sun Belt) with kickoff set for 2 pm.