Sun Belt Showdown: Texas State Bobcats vs Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
The Ragin Cajuns discovered something in Idaho believed long lost: defense. But will Louisiana even need a defense to put away the hapless Texas State Bobcats?
Kitties (1-5) @ Cajuns (2-3), Thursday, October 12, 6:30CST on ESPNU
Sun Belt management probably isn’t wild about this matchup receiving national, ESPNU exposure. The Bobcats are losers of four straight and don’t seem motivated to move out of the Sun Belt Cellar. The Cajuns have some cache and some interesting playmakers, but Mark Hudspeth’s squad is a reclamation project. Texas State staggerings into Lafayette a 14-point dog, which doesn’t sound like a game made for TV. Except, Wednesday night’s “Jags over Trojans” upset reminds us that nothing – NOTHING – is predictable in the Sun Belt.
When last these titans met
The Cajuns are a crisp 3-0 against the Bobcats, last trouncing Texas State 27-3 in San Marcos. WR Keenan Barnes (6-3 208) hauled in an 18 yard TD pass that evening, and he will likely play a starring role in the Thursday Night matchup.
Bobcats can win this, right?
Sure, why not? Before slogging out a 21-16 win over Idaho on Saturday, the Cajuns had lost three straight, surrendering a staggering amount of points each time (66, 45, 56). The Bobcats aren’t much for scoring points (14.5 per game), but they put up 20 in the first quarter last week against ULM. Bobcat QB Damion Williams (6-1 215) put up his best numbers against the Warhawks suspect defense, throwing one TD, running two in and tossing no picks. If the normally tough-ish Bobcats defense can regroup, Williams could lead Texas State to a Jaguars-like upset of Louisiana.
If the Cajuns really rediscovered its defense, uh-oh…
Mark Hudspeth’s crew, who allows 46 points per game, didn’t play anything resembling defense all season long until rolling into Moscow on Saturday. The Cajuns held the Vandals to 16 points, with DE Joe Dillon and company pounding Matt Linehan for three sacks. The Ragin Cajuns have a decent offense, with freshman RB Trey Ragas (5-11, 217), WR Barnes and step-up QB Andre Nunez (6-3 2015) generating 37 points per game. If the defense that stymied Idaho can stick around for Thursday nights game, the the Bobcats are dooooooooooomed.
I didn’t think the Jaguars had even a remote chance against Troy, and they made the Trojans look like punks on Wednesday night. I think the Bobcats are infinitely worse than the Jaguars, but if the Sun Belt teaches us anything, it’s that nothing is for certain in the Sun Belt.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.