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Football: LendingTree Bowl victory gives Cajuns school-record 11th win + game photo gallery

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Jan. 6, 2020

Please click here for game photo gallery.

MOBILE, Ala. — Levi Lewis threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns, both to Ja’Marcus Bradley, as UL beat MAC-champion Miami (Ohio) 27-17 in Monday night’s LendingTree Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium here. 

The win was UL’s first in a bowl since it beat Nevada in the 2014 New Orleans Bowl, and it gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a school-record 11th win this season.

Elijah Mitchell added a touchdown run and Stevie Artigue two field goals for the Cajuns, who won the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division.

Lewis was named MVP of the game, Bradley Offensive MVP and Artigue Special Teams MVP.

More: LendingTree Bowl about the ring and more for the Cajuns

UL quarterback Levi Lewis runs for some yardage at Monday night's LendingTree Bowl game against Miami (Ohio) in Mobile.

UL quarterback Levi Lewis runs for some yardage at Monday night’s LendingTree Bowl game against Miami (Ohio) in Mobile. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)


Lewis threw touchdown passes of 9 yards and 12 yards in the third quarter to Bradley, who is headed to the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Bradley’s second score came after a 38-yard Miami (Ohio) and helped put the Cajuns up 24-10 with 2:53 left in the period.

Running back Jaylon Bester’s 1-yard run with 11:35 remaining, and the PAT that followed, got Miami to within seven at 24017. It was Bester’s second TD of the night.


With seven-and-a-half minutes left, and only after a replay review, UL came up with a big turnover as safety Percy Butler forced a fumble by Bester and defensive lineman Ja-Quane Nelson made the recovery.

Artigue followed with a 38-yard field goal for UL that gave the Cajuns a 27-17 lead.

Two plays after a would-be Butler interception was negated by an interference call, Miami QB Brett Gabbert completed a 63-yard pass to the 2. Miami lined up to go for it on 4th down, but a wild snap got away from the RedHawks and the Cajuns took over on downs.

More: UL’s Boudreaux one to watch in his final game as a Cajun


After both teams punted twice in the opening quarter, Bester punched it in from 5 yards out with 10:25 left in the first half to help put Miami (Ohio) up 7-0.

Four minutes later, Artigue hit a 33-yard field goal for UL at the end of a 10-play, 69-yard drive.

With 1:05 to go in the first half, Mitchell ran in from 2 yards out and Artigue hit the extra point to make it 10-7 Cajuns. Mitchell’s TD was set up by his own 19-yard gain and a 12-yard run by Lewis.

UL had 217 yards of total offense at the break to 145 for Miami (Ohio).

More: UL back Mitchell will return


Early in the second half, Lewis became the first quarterback in UL history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season. He entered the game with 2,804. The only two QBs with 2,900-plus yards in season: Blaine Gautier and ex-NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme.  … Artigue handled kickoff duties for the Cajuns; usual kickoff guy Kenneth Almendares did not play. UL spokesman called Almendares’ absence a "coach’s decision." … Cajuns captains were their permanent ones: Lewis, linebacker Jacques Boudreaux, safety Deuce Wallace and offensive guard Kevin Dotson.


Lewis finished 19-of-26. … Gabbert threw for 248 yards. … UL outgained Miami 401-351. … Dotson made his 52nd career start. … Terik Miller had a team-high eight tackles for UL and Eric Garror seven. … Temperature at kickoff was 58 degrees with a 6 miles-per-hour wind.

More: Family ties helped turn UL’s Dotson into All-American


UL: 11-3; Miami (Ohio) 8-6


Spring practice is right around the corner.

More: UL coach Napier ‘not a candidate’ at Mississippi State