The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns may be below .500 after last weekend in Boone, North Carolina but their season is still in front of them as they return to the Cajundome on Saturday when they play host to one of the top teams in Sun Belt Conferece.
Let’s get started with the preview!
Last Time Out:
The last time the Ragin Cajuns took the field, they came up short on the road against App State by the score of 27-17. Meanwhile, the Red Wolves looked dominant last Thursday night when they took out their aggression against Georgia State with a 51-35 win.
The last time these two teams faced off, the Red Wolves rolled to a 47-3 win in Jonesboro. While the Cajuns hold the overall series lead 23-20-1, the last four matchups have been won by the home team with Louisiana winning in 2014 and 2016 and Arkansas State winning in 2015 and 2017.
Storylines to Watch:
Big Game Needed From Secondary
The Cajuns secondary is about to be put to the ultimate test when Justice Hansen takes the field on Saturday. Every time he’s faced off against the Cajuns, he’s dominated the game through the air, especially in 2016 where he threw for almost 400 yards.
It was in a losing effort thanks to an absolute bonkers finish, but it still stands that the senior quarterbacks is going to be a key for the Red Wolves to come away with the win and get into the driver’s seat when it comes to the Western Division.
Establish Run Game
Looking at the Cajuns offense, they’re going to have to establish the run game early and often.While the gap between the Cajuns and the Red Wolves isn’t that deep of a chasm, there needs to be a healthy dose of Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell.
Arkansas State was dismantled on the defensive side of the ball a couple weeks ago against Darrynton Evans and the App State Mountaineers. Imagine what the dynamic duo of Ragas and Mitchell can do against a Red Wolves defense that has allowed an average of 227 yards on the ground.
Battle Between Trenches
In terms of stats, both offensive lines have been susceptible to giving up some sacks this year and aren’t far off in terms of conference rankings. The defensive line for the Red Wolves is slightly better in terms of getting at the quarterback and with the Cajuns relying on the two quarterback system, that could throw them out of sync if either Nunez or Lewis are out of the ballgame.
It’s strange to say this about a Sun Belt conference matchup, but the game could very well be determined between the trenches.
Louisiana Will Win If:
The Cajuns can put their fate in their own hands on Saturday if they can effectively attack the front line of the Red Wolves. We’ve seen Ragas and Mitchell do some monstrous things against teams like New Mexico State and Texas State. Those are cellar dwellers, but they need to have these two guys go off if they want to get the win.
Arkansas State Will Win If:
The Red Wolves can get some momentum rolling their way as the calendar flips to November if Justice Hansen is able to get two or more touchdown passes. I mentioned the bizarre 2016 ballgame at Cajun Field and his big performance, but he only had one passing touchdown on the afternoon. If he can get the air raid going this weekend at Cajun Field, it could be a long night for the Cajuns fans.