Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-4) at Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (5-1)
Game Time: 11 a.m.
Radio: ESPN 1420
Mic'd Up Preview with Chris Hudgison
Throw out the records: In a strange homecoming match-up (sighs at 2020) Louisiana faces one of its most bitter rivals, Arkansas State. A-State has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster, from beating Kansas State to getting smacked around in three of four Sun Belt games. But when Louisiana and Arkansas State meet, you usually get a very good game. Louisiana owns the all-time record, 23-18, and won the last two. The series doesn't always create the closest match-ups, the average margin of victory is 10.8 points, but from 1997-2005 all games were decided by 6 or fewer points. The betting line favors Louisiana by 14. The Cajuns are 3-0 straight up as a double-digit favorite, but have yet to cover that spread this season.
Slowing down the pass: It's a classic strength-on-strength match-up with A-State's dynamic passing game, against Louisiana's opportunistic secondary. The Red Wolves are averaging 355.3 yards passing each game, which is tops in the SBC, fourth in the nation. Their two quarterback system, featuring Layne Hatcher and Logan Bonner is unique. Both quarterbacks are pocket passers and split the workload evenly. They're each completing 61-percent of their passes, they've each thrown 11 touchdowns. Wide receivers Jonathan Adams and Dahu Green have capitalized, ranking first and third in the conference in yards-per-game, Adams has 8 touchdowns in 7 games. On the other sideline Patrick Toney's defense has limited passers. Only Georgia Southern has thrown for more than 202 yards on Louisiana. In the Sun Belt the Cajuns rank third in passing yards allowed, third in yards-per-attempt, second in completion percentage and tops in interceptions (tied with two others with 8.)
Another big day for the Cajuns' offense: Louisiana's 614 yards of offense against Texas State was the first time Louisiana's offense really let loose this fall. In fact it was the most yards Billy Napier's offense has put on an FBS opponent. Certainly a poor defense played a role. Texas State is allowing opponents 481 yards-per-game. But Louisiana won't face a unit who's much better, in fact, statistically they're worse. Allowing 488 yards-per-game, A-State ranks 101st out of 113 teams in the FBS. Their run defense has been average, the pass defense can only wish. The Red Wolves are allowing better than 300-yards-per-game to opposing passers, and have surrendered a nation worst 22 touchdowns. Against Texas State, Cajuns' quarterback Levi Lewis threw for 332 yards, his second 300-yard passing game of his career. Back at home the senior could be primed for another big day.
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