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Cajuns Prepare for the SEC's Texas A&M

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RAGIN CAJUNS RAGIN CAJUNS

LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 16) when it travels to College Station, Texas to face Southeastern Conference member Texas A&M at historic Kyle Field.
 
Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (color) and Dawn Davenport (sideline) providing the commentary. The game will also be available on the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Radio Network with Jay Walker (play-by-play), former UL receiver Richie Falgout (color) and Cody Junot (sideline) on the call.
 
Louisiana (1-1) opened its road schedule last week in a 66-42 loss at Tulsa. Texas A&M (1-1) snapped a 14-all deadlock in the fourth quarter to defeat FCS opponent Nicholls, 24-14.
 


GAME 3
LOUISIANA RAGIN' CAJUNS (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Head Coach:
 Mark Hudspeth (Delta State, 1992) • @ULCoachHud
Record at LA: 25-32* (seventh season), Career Record: 91-53* (14th season)
 
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (1-1, 0-0 SEC)
Head Coach:
 Kevin Sumlin (Purdue, 1988)
Record at A&M: 45-22 (sixth season), Career Record: 80-39 (10th season)
 
Sept. 16, 2017 • 11:01 a.m. • College Station, Texas • Kyle Field (102,733)
Series History: 
Texas A&M leads, 5-1
At Lafayette: Louisiana leads, 1-0 | At College Station: A&M leads, 5-0 | Hudspeth vs. A&M: 0-0
First Meeting: Sept. 15, 1990 at College Station • Texas A&M, 63-14
Last Meeting: Sept. 9, 2006 at College Station • Texas A&M, 51-7
 
SEC Network | WatchESPN • Dave Neal PXP • Matt Stinchcomb Analyst • Dawn Davenport Sideline
KPEL 1420 AM (Flagship) • Jay Walker PXP • Richie Falgout Analyst • Cody Junot Sideline
 
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Louisiana is the only FBS school to be ranked nationally in the top 10 in both punt returns (3rd, 26.0) and kickoff returns (10th, 37.2).
• Kicker Stevie Artigue has made his last 10 field goals dating back to last season.
• Louisiana's 596 yards of total offense against Tulsa was the third-highest total under head coach Mark Hudspeth and its most since totaling 620 against Nicholls in 2013.
• The Ragin' Cajuns are expected to play in front of their largest crowd in school history today, and first with over 100,000 spectators, when it plays at Kyle Field.
• Louisiana's scoring production in the first two games is the best in school history.
 
GAME NOTES
THE LOUISIANA-TEXAS A&M SERIES

• Today's meeting between Louisiana and Texas A&M will be the seventh on the gridiron between the schools with the Aggies holding a 5-1 lead.
• The home team has won each contest in the series with Texas A&M winning the last three meetings in College Station by a combined score of 148-14.
• Louisiana's only win in the series came at Cajun Field on Sept. 14, 1996 when the Ragin' Cajuns, led by the pitch-and-catch combo of Jake Delhomme and Brandon Stokley, posted a 29-22 upset win over the No. 25-ranked Aggies before a then-record crowd of 38,783.
 
LOUISIANA VERSUS THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE
• Today's game is the first of two on the schedule this season for Louisiana against teams from the SEC with the Ragin' Cajuns visiting Ole Miss on Nov. 11 in Oxford.
• In its history, Louisiana is 1-63 all-time in games played against current members of the SEC and 0-41 against SEC members at the time of the game.
• The lone win for Louisiana against a current SEC team was the Ragin' Cajuns 29-22 win over Texas A&M in 1996.
 
LONE STAR CAJUNS
• Sixteen players on the current Ragin' Cajuns roster hail from the state of Texas. Below is a list of players from Texas with hometowns:
 
Beaumont (2) - Michael JacquetKen MarksBrenham - Earnest PattersonBurkeville -Robert HuntCarthage - Adrian GoodacreCedar Hill - DJ Miller; Groesbeck - Matt BarnesHouston (2) - Ryheem MaloneJulius PerkinsHumble - Daniel ChapmanMagnolia -Damar'ren MitchellMansfield - Justin MiddletonPearland - Terrence JonesPort Arthur -Kadon HarrisonRichmond - LeRoy FranklinSpring - Jordan DavisTomball - Hayden Yezak.
 
RAGIN' CAJUNS COACHING EXPERIENCE
• The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns coaching staff brings a combined total of 196 years of collegiate experience to the table along with 82 bowl/postseason appearances.
• Defensive coordinator Mike Lucas (36 years) and offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue (32 years) are the most experienced coaches on the staff with co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison (19) and Rodrigue (15) the most experience in post-season/bowl games.
• Both coordinators for the Ragin' Cajuns - Will Hall (West Alabama/West Georgia) and Mike Lucas (Southeastern Louisiana) have been head coaches during their collegiate careers.
 
NEW SURFACE FOR CAJUN FIELD
• Louisiana's 2017 season-opener against Southeastern Louisiana marked the first contest for the Ragin' Cajuns on the new Matrix Turf surface.
• The previous synthetic surface, which was installed in 2008, was replaced with the same surface used at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
• Hellas Construction, based in Austin, Texas, installed the new surface in August.
 
CURRENT NFL CAJUNS
• When the NFL regular-season officially kicks off the 2017 season this weekend, three former Ragin' Cajuns on listed on respective rosters:
Justin Hamilton (DT) - Philadelphia (signed to Practice Squad)
Elijah McGuire (RB) - New York Jets
Christian Ringo (DT) – Cincinnati
 
#RAGINGRADS - AMONG BEST FBS PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY
• Louisiana is one of two in-state FBS schools (LSU) and seven Sun Belt Conference schools (Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, South Alabama, Arkansas State, Idaho and Troy) among a list of FBS schools across the country with at least five graduates on its roster.
• TE Matthew Barnes, OT Grant Horst, LB T.J. Posey and WR Devin Scott all earned their bachelor's degrees from UL with punter Sam Geraci earning his degree from Cincinnati.
• Here is a list of FBS schools with five or more graduates on their current 2017 roster.
 
18 – Northwestern
14 – Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina
13 – Toledo
12 – TCU, Alabama, Oregon, Virginia
11 – Georgia State, Kansas State, Maryland, UCF, USF
10 – Kent State, Nevada, New Mexico, South Alabama, Texas Tech, West Virginia
9 – Houston, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple
8 – Auburn, Clemson, Iowa, Kentucky, NC State, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss, Penn State, SMU, Syracuse, UAB, Western Kentucky
7 – Arizona State, Georgia, Kansas, Marshall, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, North Texas, Utah, Virginia Tech
6 – Akron, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, UMass, UTEP, UTSA, Troy, Tulsa, Washington
5 – Arkansas, Baylor, UConn, FAU, Idaho, Louisiana, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, USC, Washington State
 
CAJUNS ADD CINCY TRANSFER GERACI AT PUNTER
• Looking to replace Ray Guy Award semifinalist Steven Coutts at punter, Louisiana picked up former Cincinnati punter Sam Geraci as a graduate transfer.
• Geraci played three seasons with the Bearcats where he averaged 41.5 yards per punt in three seasons with 67 punts placed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
• Geraci averaged 46.3 yards per attempt in 2015 with 17 attempts of 50 yards or more. He averaged 40.0 yards per attempt in 2016, with 37 punts resulting in fair catches and 31 attempts landing inside the 20-yard line.
 
HOMEGROWN CAJUNS
• As with most schools, Louisiana has placed a heavy emphasis on recruiting players within its state borders as 57 players on the roster, including 26 from the nine-parish Acadiana region, hail from the state of Louisiana.
• Fifteen players on the current roster come from Lafayette with 19 coming the talent-rich New Orleans metro area.
 
THE CAJUNS HAVE THE INTERNATIONAL FLAIR
• Reserve lineman Christian Cederquist (Denmark) is the lone international player on the Ragin' Cajuns roster. The Copenhagen native spent last season as a redshirt after transferring from Eastern Arizona College.
 
THE BOOK OF ELI: CHAPTER 2
• With the departure of four-year letterwinner Elijah McGuire at running back, a new chapter  begins this season as true freshman Elijah Mitchell
• Wearing the same number (15) that McGuire wore for his final three seasons, Mitchell carried a team-high 11 times for 56 yards and a touchdown in a season-opening win over Southeastern Louisiana.
• Mitchell added a pair of TDs in Louisiana's game at Tulsa on Sept. 9, scoring on a 20-yard run in the second quarter and hauling in a 19-yard pass from Jordan Davis to open the second half.
 
TEAM CAPTAINS
• Quarterback Jordan Davis, linebacker T.J. Posey, offensive tackle Grant Horst and nose tackle Taboris Lee were voted as team captains for the 2017 season.
 
SBC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COMING IN 2018
• The Sun Belt Conference will hold its first ever football championship game as the league's presidents and chancellors, as well as athletic directors, voted unanimously to play the game beginning in 2018.  The announcement was made on June 8, 2016.
• Details regarding how the two participants will be selected will be available at a later date.  Rules set forward by the Division I Council in January require conferences with fewer than 12 members to hold championship games in football, as long as they meet one of two conditions. 
• A conference can choose to either play their championship game between division winners after round-robin competition in each division or between the top two teams in the conference standings following full round-robin, regular-season competition between all members of the conference.
 
HUDSPETH HEADS THE SUN BELT COACHING FRATERNITY
• Now in his seventh year at Louisiana, head coach Mark Hudspeth is the dean of the Sun Belt Conference coaching fraternity, having taken over the reins of the Ragin' Cajuns program in 2011.
• Hudspeth, in his 14th season as a head coach, spent seven years as head coach at North Alabama and was an assistant at five schools, including FBS programs Navy and Mississippi State.
 
CUE UP SOME WILLIE ... THE CAJUNS ARE ON THE ROAD AGAIN
• For the first time since the 2011 season, Louisiana will play seven football games on the road, including trips to SEC opponents Texas A&M and Ole Miss, along with American Athletic Conference member Tulsa.
• Also on the road schedule are dates at Sun Belt Conference co-championships Arkansas State (Oct. 19) and Appalachian State (Dec. 2), plus league rivals Idaho (Oct. 7) and South Alabama (Nov. 4).
 
ARTIGUE NAMED TO LOU GROZA WATCH LIST
• Ragin' Cajuns kicker Stevie Artigue was named to the 30-player Watch List for the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
• Artigue, a junior and former Lafayette High product, was the lone Sun Belt Conference kicker named to the Watch List and was one of two players from the state of Louisiana joining Jonathan Barnes of Louisiana Tech.
• Named a second-team All-Louisiana member last season, Artigue made 19 of 24 field goals on the season and was 29-for-31 in extra point attempts for the Ragin' Cajuns. His 19 field goals made were tied with former Ragin' Cajuns kicker John Roveto (1977) for the second-most in a single-season in school history.
 
HORST NAMED TO WUERFFEL WATCH LIST, AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM
• Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns offensive lineman Grant Horst was one of 109 student-athletes, including 11 from the Sun Belt Conference, named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list.
• Horst, a senior right tackle, played in 11 games at right tackle last season for the Ragin' Cajuns before earning his degree in marketing this past spring.
• The native of Spanish Fort, Ala., was earlier named to both the AllState AFCA Good Works Team and the 2017-18 Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team.
• During his career with the Ragin' Cajuns, Horst has participated in community service in the Lafayette area by visiting local hospitals and participating in Habitat for Humanity and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
 
2017 PRESEASON HONORS
Tracy Walker, DB, Sr.

• Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (3rd)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (4th)
 
Joe Dillon, DE, So.
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
 
Taboris Lee, DT, Sr.
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (4th)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (4th)
 
Stevie Artigue, K, Jr.
• Lou Groza Award Watch List
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (1st)
 
Grant Horst, OT, Sr.
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
• Sun Belt Leadership Team
• AllState AFCA Good Works Team
• Wuerffel Award Trophy Watch List
 
Robert Hunt, G, So.
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (3rd)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (4th)
 
Keenan Barnes, WR, Jr.
• Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (3rd)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (3rd)
 
Kevin Dotson, G, So.
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
• Athlon Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
 
Damar'ren Mitchell, DB, So.
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (2nd)
 
D'Aquin Withrow, OL, Sr.
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (3rd)
 
Trey Ragas, RB, Fr.
• Phil Steele Preseason All-Sun Belt (4th)

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