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Nov 1, 2009 11:53 PM by Travis Webb

UL Falters Down Stretch, Loses to FIU in OT

Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns wasted too many chances on Saturday afternoon, falling 20-17 in overtime at FIU stadium.

The two teams were locked in a defensive battle most of the game until the final minutes. 

The Cajuns marched down into the FIU red zone with less than three minutes to play and faced a first-and-goal at the FIU six-yard line.  The Cajuns could only get to the two-yard line and settled for a 20-yard field goal by Tyler Albrecht.

FIU then moved 69 yards in 13 plays, scoring on a three-yard fourth-and-goal pass from Paul McCall to Greg Ellingson with 10 seconds showing on the clock.

In overtime, FIU scored first on a 24-yard field goal by Dustin Rivest.  The Cajuns attempt to answer in their portion of overtime was blocked.

Louisiana falls to 4-4 (2-2), while FIU improves to 2-6 (2-3).

The Cajuns were unable to increase their 14-10 halftime lead in the third quarter, as both of the teams' drives began at their own three-yard line.  A 33-yard pass from Masson to Richie Falgout helped the Cajuns threaten, but UL turned the ball over on downs deep in Panthers' territory for the second time in the game.

Fortunately, the UL defense held FIU at bay in the third quarter to keep the margin 14-10 in favor of the visitors heading into the final quarter.

The Panthers threatened inside the Cajuns' red zone to start the fourth quarter, but Derreck Dean forced a fumble that was recovered by Antwyne Zanders at the UL 18-yard line.

The Cajuns moved the ball, but eventually punted, giving FIU the ball back at their 16-yard line with 10:25 remaining in the game.

The Panthers threatened again, but Hall Davis came up with a huge sack near midfield, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Topp at the FIU 40-yard line.

The overtime loss is the second straight for the Cajuns in the extra frame.  UL last played in OT on Oct. 20, 2007, falling to FAU 39-32 in the first extra frame.

The defense handed the Cajuns optimal field position on their first series of the game.  After the Cajuns' offense was forced to punt, Terrell Richardson recovered a fumble on the second FIU snap to give the Cajuns the ball on the FIU 30-yard line.

Chris Masson completed a 13-yard pass to Luke Aubrey and then a 14-yard pass to Andrew Joseph.  Yobes Walker rumbled into the end zone from one-yard away, scoring his first career touchdown to give UL a 7-0 lead.

A sack by Tyrell Gaddies forced FIU to punt from their own end zone two series later, but the Cajuns' offense continued to struggle.  In three first quarter series following their touchdown, UL had just 48 yards of offense.

FIU tied the game late in the first quarter thanks to a 12-play, 80-yard drive.  Running back Kendall Berry's one-yard scoring plunge evened things at 7-7 with 2:02 remaining in the opening quarter.

Gerren Blount's second interception of the season handed the Cajuns the ball near midfield at 8:46 of the second quarter.  Unfortunately, UL turned the ball over on downs inside FIU territory.

The Cajuns mounted only 25 yards of offense in the second quarter until a long drive gave UL the late lead.

In hurry-up mode, Masson directed the team 84 yards in six plays, taking only 1:13 off the clock.  Masson connected on long passes of 18 yards to Marlin Miller and 20 yards to Falgout.  The Cajuns led 14-7 following a 40-yard pass from Masson to Louis Lee.  Originally just a short completion, Lee was given free running room down the right side after a pair of vicious cut blocks by Miller cleared the way.

In prevent mode, the Cajuns' defense watched the Panthers go 60 yards in 10 plays, kicking a 26-yard field goal to close the gap to 14-10 at the break.

UL will now prepare for a trip to Jonesboro, Ark. on Nov. 7 as the Cajuns look to take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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