LAFAYETTE – The Michael Desormeaux era at Cajun Field officially kicks off on Saturday when the defending Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Football team hosts in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana in the annual Herbert Heymann Classic.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game will be available live on ESPN+ with fans able to listen to the game on the Varsity Network, Hot 107.9 FM and ESPN 1420 AM. Fan can receive additional information by visiting the Gameday Central [ragncaj.co] page.
Louisiana, which finished 13-1 last season and enters the 2022 season with the nation’s longest win streak, returns 13 starters and 97 players who saw action from last season.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who finished the regular season at No. 16 in the AP Top 25, No. 18 in the USA Today/AFCA Coaches Poll and No. 23 in the College Football Playoff Top 25, was picked to win the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference for a fourth consecutive year while looking to reach the SBC Championship Game for the fifth straight time.
Desormeaux, a former Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback and New Iberia native, owns a 1-0 career record after replacing current Florida head coach Billy Napier and leading Louisiana to a 36-21 win over new Sun Belt Conference member Marshall on Dec. 18, 2021, in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
SLU, the preseason Southland Conference favorite, is one of six FCS teams to be ranked in the top 25 in each of the past three years. The Lions, who finished 9-4 overall and reached the second round of the Division I FCS Playoffs, head into the 2022 campaign looking for its third playoff appearance in the past four seasons under head coach Frank Scelfo.
Season tickets for the 2022 campaign are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Account Manager. For more information call the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the CAJUNDOME at (337) 265-2104.
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GAME 1 INFORMATION
Who: Louisiana (13-1, 8-0 Sun Belt in 2021) vs. Southeastern Louisiana (9-4, 6-2 Southland in 2021)
Where: Cajun Field (41,426); Lafayette, La.
When: Saturday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.
On the Call: Dan McDonald (play-by-play), Eric Mouton (analyst)
Listen: Varsity Network, Hot 107.9 FM, ESPN 1420 AM
On the Call: Jay Walker (play-by-play), Gerald Broussard (analyst), Cody Junot (sideline)
All-Time Series: Louisiana leads, 20-17-3
Last Meeting: W, 51-48 (Sept. 2, 2017)
LOUISIANA OPENS 2022 CAMPAIGN AGAINST SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
• Louisiana looks to win its sixth-straight home opener at Cajun Field when it hosts in-state foe Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. The contest will mark the first time the two programs have squared off since Sept. 2, 2017, a game that the Ragin’ Cajuns won, 51-48, in Lafayette.
• Louisiana is 28-22 in home openers.
• Louisiana Head Coach Michael Desormeaux owns a 1-0 career record after leading the team to a 36-21 win over new Sun Belt Conference member Marshall on Dec. 18, 2021, in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
• Over the last four seasons, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have won four Sun Belt Conference West Division titles, won the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Championship, were the 2020 Sun Belt Co-Champions and have been victorious in two bowl games (LendingTree Bowl  and SERVPRO First Responder Bowl ).
• Louisiana owns a perfect 16-0 record against Sun Belt West Division opponents and is 26-7 overall against Sun Belt opposition over the last four seasons.
• Louisiana won its first outright Sun Belt Conference Championship and its first outright title in 53 years with its 24-16 victory over App State on Dec. 4.
• Louisiana enters the 2022 season boasting the nation’s longest winning streak at 13. The Cajuns have not lost since Sept. 4, 2021.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns were one of four teams in the nation with 13 or more wins, joining Georgia (14), Cincinnati (13) and Alabama (13).
• Louisiana completed a perfect regular season in Sun Belt Conference play (8-0). The Ragin’ Cajuns had been perfect in league play just one time in their history prior to last season, posting a 5-0 mark in Gulf States Conference play during the 1970 season.
• Louisiana finished the regular season at No. 16 in the AP Top 25, No. 18 in the USA Today/AFCA Coaches Poll and No. 23 in the College Football Playoff Top 25.
• Louisiana earned five Preseason All-Conference selections, four of which were First Team performers. Zi’Yon Hill-Green (DL), Eric Garror (DB), Rhys Byrns (P) and Chris Smith (AP) were all named to the First Team, while Andre Jones (LB) garnered Second Team recognition.
• For the fourth consecutive season, the Ragin’ Cajuns were predicted to win the West Division after picking up a league-best 95 points and earning a league-best 12 first-place votes in the Sun Belt’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns defense returns five players who started in at least 50 percent of the team’s games, with Andre Jones and Eric Garror starting in all 14 of the team’s contests.
• Last year’s defense ranked first in the Sun Belt and 11th nationally in scoring defense (18.5), while leading the league and ranking 22nd in the nation in total offense (404.8).
• Louisiana’s secondary looks to continue its impressive play after the Cajuns ranked first in the Sun Belt and 14th in Division I in passing yards allowed (190.1).
• The Ragin’ Cajuns return 69.5 percent of their takeaways from a season ago, including 80 percent of their interceptions. Eric Garror led the unit with two picks in 2021.
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