TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Louisiana Football, playing against the No. 1 team in the country for the first time in school history, dropped its second straight game, 56-14, losing to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Louisiana’s record on the season falls to 1-3 (0-1 SBC) while Alabama remains unbeaten improving to 5-0 (2-0 SEC).
On the ground Louisiana was led by sophomore Trey Ragas’ 111 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown and sophomore Elijah Mitchell’s 85 yards rushing on 11 carries. While on defense sophomore Chauncey Manac and freshman Kris Moncrief each had career games finishing with six tackles each.
HOW IT HAPPENED (First Half): Alabama opened the game by scoring on their first drive of the game, going 72 yards on eight plays, capped off by a Josh Jacobs nine-yard touchdown rush. That set off a stretch where Alabama scored a touchdown in each of its next six possessions, to stretch out a 49-0 lead heading into halftime.
Following Alabama’s opening touchdown drive, Louisiana went three-and-out which resulted in the Ragin’ Cajuns lining up for a punt, which the Crimson Tide blocked at the Louisiana 14-yard line. Alabama scored two plays later on a Tua Tagovailoa 13-yard pass to Henry Ruggs. Louisiana’s next drive was another punt that Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
The Crimson Tide’s next four drives of five plays for 69 yards, five plays for 80 yards, 10 plays for 70 yards and seven plays for 62 yards all resulted in touchdowns to finish off the half scoring all seven times they touched the ball.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Second Half): Louisiana’s opening drive of the second half finished the same way its final drive of the first half did, with senior quarterback Andre Nunez throwing an interception on a deep ball, giving Nunez two interceptions in the game. A missed field goal on the ensuing drive for Alabama, ended the Crimson Tide’s seven straight scoring possessions to open the game.
Alabama scored on a 94-yard pitch and catch by Waddle from Mac Jones, to push the score to 56-0, but Louisiana responded with a six play 78-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by a career-long 40-yard run by sophomore Elijah Mitchell, that put Louisiana on the one-yard line. Ragas capped off the drive by crashing into the end zone from the one to get Louisiana on the board for the first time in the game and put the score at 56-7.
Another missed field goal from Alabama allowed Louisiana to go off on a 11 play 80-yard scoring drive that was finished off with an 18-yard touchdown pass to junior Ja’Marcus Bradley from Nunez to put the score at 56-14. Alabama then controlled the clock for the final few minutes of the game to wrap things up with the final score sitting at 56-14 in favor of Alabama.
– Coin Flip Winner:
– Alabama won the toss and elected to receive the kickoff to open the game
– The Cajuns are now 2-2 on coin flips this season
– Still Prefect:
– Louisiana made two trips to the red zone late in the fourth quarter, scoring touchdowns on both visits, to remain perfect in the red zone during the 2018 season
– The Cajuns are now 12-for-12 in the red zone through the first four games of the season
– 100 On Bama:
– Ragas’ 111 yards on the ground was the first time this season that Alabama has allowed a 100-yard rusher in a game.
– It is the second straight game that Ragas has run for at least 100 yards and the third time this season.
– Career First:
– Freshman Kris Moncrief recorded half a sack in the second quarter for his first career sack
– Three Straight:
– Nunez tossed a touchdown pass to Ja’Marcus Bradley late in the fourth quarter to make it four straight game with at least one touchdown pass for Nunez
– 100,000 For The First Time:
– The attendance at the game was 101,471, which is the largest crowd that Louisiana has ever played in front of and it is the first time that the Cajuns have ever played in front of at least 100,000 people
– Opponent Firsts:
– Alabama’s blocking of Louisiana’s first punt attempt of the game was the first time since Georgia Southern blocked a punt on Nov. 10, 2016
– Waddle’s punt return for a touchdown was the first time an opponent has returned since Max Lyons from Southeastern Louisiana returned a punt for a touchdown on Sept. 2, 2017.
– Game Highs:
– Junior Jacques Boudreaux had a team high seven tackles while Chauncey Manac and Kris Moncreif each had six tackles in the game.
– Nunez finished 9-for-15 with 75 yards passing, one touchdown pass and two interceptions
– Trey Ragas finished with 111 yards rushing on 16 carries, scoring one touchdown, to lead Louisiana on the ground. Elijah Mitchell was not far behind finishing with 85 yards on 11 carries including a career-long 40-yard run that led to Louisiana’s first touchdown of the game.
UP NEXT: Louisiana stays on the road with a trip to San Marcos, Texas for the second conference game of the season, when on Oct. 6 the Cajuns take on Texas State with that game scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPN+.
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