Football: Cajuns dominate defensively to beat Texas State + Homecoming Parade & Game photo galleries
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Nov. 2, 2019
Texas State stuck close for a while, but UL dominated defensively and pulled away late in the half and early in the second to win 31-3 on homecoming at Cajun Field.
With that, the Ragin' Cajuns became bowl-eligible for the seventh time in nine seasons.
Leading 10-3 at halftime, UL opened the second half with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Levi Lewis to tight end Nick Ralston. The Cajuns extended their lead with a 24-yard Chris Smith TD run later in the third quarter, and before the period was done Lewis hit Raymond Calais Jr. with a 34-yard TD throw.
UL had 210 yards of total offense in its 21-point third quarter alone.
The Cajuns limited the Bobcats to just 264 total yards, 107 of them coming in the fourth quarter, while compiling 479 themselves.
With Texas State threatening for a late TD, Cajuns safety Bralen Trahan made an interception in the end zone off a deflection by Kam Pedescleaux.
Much of the first half was a defensive struggle as Texas State opened with four straight punts and UL had two punts before turning the ball over on downs.
But the Cajuns took a 7-0 lead on Elijah Mitchell's 39-yard TD run with six minutes and 28 seconds to go before halftime. The score was set up by a 19-yard pass from Lewis to Jalen Williams two plays earlier.
Texas State answered with a 33-yard field goal from Joshua Rowland.
But UL's Stevie Artigue hit from 46 yards out to end the first half, sending the Cajuns into the break up 10-3.
Calais started at running back for UL. It was the first start of the season for the senior who had 144 yards and two touchdowns in the Cajuns' last outing, a win at Arkansas State. ... UL cornerback Michael Jacquet III also had a second-half interception. ... Ja'Marcus Bradley's streak of consecutive games with at least one catch ended at 34. ... Cajun captains were running back Trey Ragas, receiver Jarrod "Bam" Jackson and defensive linemen Chauncey Manac and Bennie Higgins.
BY THE NUMBERS
Mitchell ran 13 times for 126 yards and Calais 21 for 83. ... Lewis finished 13-of-21 for 183 and two TDs (no interceptions). ... Williams had a team-high three catches for 50 yards. ... Artigue's field goal from 46 was his longest make of the season; his prior long was 27 with two misses from 42-plus. ... UL right guard Kevin Dotson made his 46th straight start. ... UL had 221 yards of total offense at halftime to 105 for Texas State. ... After three quarters UL had eight penalties for 80 yards and Texas State had no penalties. UL ended up with 12 for 128 yards and Texas State four for 40. ... Attendance was announced at 21,063.
Usual left tackle Max Mitchell started at right tackle over senior Robert Hunt, who was out with an undisclosed upper body injury. Rico Robinson started instead at left tackle. ... Manac hobbled off in the first half, but he returned in the third quarter. ... Ragas (ankle) dressed but did not play; with Ragas out, Smith was in the rotation at running back.
UL: 6-2, 3-1 in the Sun Belt. Texas State: 2-6, 1-3.
UL is at Coastal Carolina on Thursday night (6:30 p.m. central, ESPNU). Texas State plays host to South Alabama on Saturday.