2016 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Prediction, Game Preview

2016 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Prediction, Game Preview

Sun Belt

2016 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Prediction, Game Preview

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Prediction, Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Game Preview, History, Scores

Three reasons why you should watch the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl between Southern Miss (6-6) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6), why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


Date: Saturday, December 17th
Game Time: 9:00 pm
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Network: ESPN

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Scroll down for the video preview and bowl history

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness (1 best-40 worst): 39 out of 40

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Bowl

The energy will be there. Louisiana-Lafayette has been to four bowl games, all of them the New Orleans Bowl, and all wins. The 2014 16-3 win over Nevada might have been one of the biggest clunkers of that bowl season, but the other three games have been great, partly because the crowd is into it. The Ragin’ Cajuns show up.

Southern Miss will at least bring the passing game. The Golden Eagles might have been a disappointment – they should’ve been deep in the Conference USA title hunt – but at least they’re bombing away. When they get on a roll, the air show is fun.

Louisiana-Lafayette is playing reasonably well. It was starting to look like a lost season with a few shocking losses on the way to a 2-4 start, and hopes to go bowling were reasonably done after losing to Idaho, but the Ragin’ Cajuns won three of the last four games, beating Arkansas State and losing in a decent battle to Georgia along the way.

Here’s Why Southern Miss Will Win The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

That passing game … it should work. The Ragin’ Cajun secondary hasn’t been all that bad, but it’s been hit hard by teams committed to hitting the midrange passes in a groove. Sun Belt teams didn’t have a whole lot of success against ULL, but USM should be able to fire away in the dome.

The Louisiana passing game … it shouldn’t work. If you’re holding Louisiana Tech to 246 yards and no scores, you’re doing something right. There were problems with a few deep plays here and there, and coming up with picks was a problem at times, but the USM secondary is solid.

The Eagle offensive line should be a big plus. USM has the best player on the field in Cameron Tom, a next-level caliber center who leads a solid front five that’s okay in pass protection, but fantastic at getting Ito Smith and the ground game working here and there. The Eagles should be able to pound for a hard yard when absolutely needed. However …

Here’s Why Louisiana-Lafayette Will Win The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

The Ragin’ Cajun run defense has been terrific. Georgia was able to have its way with the ULL front seven, but that’s Georgia. Everyone else struggled to get the O going on the ground, with no one other than the Dawgs hitting the 200-yard mark.

The USM defense can be run on. The overall stats aren’t as good as the actual production. The Golden Eagles have a few defensive stars, but when UTSA and Charlotte were able to get on a roll, forget it. USM allowed way too many long dashes and allowed way too many scores when pressed.

The Louisiana-Lafayette backfield should rock. Elijah McGuire has been one of the Sun Belt’s best backs for the last four years, but he has yet to bust out in a bowl game. The 1,000-yard back will be fed the ball over and over in his final game, while LSU transfer QB Anthony Jennings should add some pop, too.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Yeah, the environment should matter. It’s a late-night game in New Orleans at the end of a long day of bowl games. You might be a little bowled out after four other mid-level matchups, but again, the energy should be there from both teams.

Give it a few minutes, and Southern Miss will just give you the ball. Why was the Southern Miss season just okay? The O couldn’t stop giving the ball away, turning it over 30 times this year. The Golden Eagles won the turnover margin just twice this year.

Don’t be shocked if the defenses take over early. The last thing you want between a Sun Belt and a Conference USA team at 9:00 on a Saturday night is a grindy slugfest, but that could be what we get for a while. USM’s D is fantastic on third downs, and ULL has only allowed more than 26 points twice in regulation – against Georgia and Boise State.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl?

Southern Miss is better. The offense is better, the defense is better, and it has more top talents to potentially take over the game early on and put it away. But it’s Louisiana-Lafayette, and it’s in the New Orleans Bowl – you never mess with a streak. Bowl games sometimes blow past logic and X-and-O reason, but the Ragin’ Cajuns match up well with the Eagles, too. If ULL can control the clock a bit, they’ll pull this off by capitalizing on takeaways.

Final Score

Louisiana-Lafayette 27, Southern Miss 23


Southern Miss -6, o/u: 58

ATS Confidence: 2
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Must See Rating: 2.5
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0: New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Special Co-Host Kathy Griffin

Get Tickets For The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Bowl game info and where to buy tickets

New Orleans Bowl History, Results

Dec. 19, 2015 Louisiana Tech 47 Arkansas State 28
Dec. 20, 2014 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Nevada 3
Dec. 21, 2013 Louisiana-Lafayette 24 Tulane 21
Dec. 22, 2012 Louisiana-Lafayette 43 East Carolina 34
Dec. 17, 2011 Louisiana-Lafayette 32 San Diego State 30
Dec. 18, 2010 Troy 48 Ohio 21
Dec. 20, 2009 Middle Tennessee 42 Southern Miss 32
Dec. 20, 2008 Southern Miss 30 Troy 27 (OT)
Dec. 21, 2007 FAU 44 Memphis 27
Dec. 22, 2006 Troy 41 Rice 17
Dec. 20, 2005 Southern Miss 31 Arkansas State 19
Dec. 14, 2004 Southern Miss 31 North Texas 10
Dec. 16, 2003 Memphis 27 North Texas 17
Dec. 17, 2002 North Texas 25 Cincinnati 19
Dec. 18, 2001 Colorado State 45 North Texas 20

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