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Football: No. 23 Louisiana Falls In Opener At No. 19 Texas, 38-18
Louisiana returns home to host Nicholls on Sept. 11 at Cajun Field
9/11/2021 | 6 P.M.
KHXT 107.9 FM / ESPN 1420 AM
AUSTIN, Texas – Freshman Hudson Card completed 14 of 21 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns and No. 19-ranked Texas scored TDs on four consecutive drives to pull away and defeat the No. 23-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 38-18, before an announced crowd of 91,113 on Saturday afternoon at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium.
Bijan Robinson recorded 165 all-purpose yards and scored twice, including the go-ahead touchdown on an 18-yard reception from Card in the first quarter as Texas (1-0) won its first game under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. Louisiana, which had its seven-game road winning streak snapped, fell to 0-1.
Levi Lewis completed 28 of 40 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown to lead Louisiana on offense with Chris Smith rushing for 55 yards and touchdown. Jalen Williams and Errol Rogers, Jr., each caught five passes to lead the Ragin' Cajuns with Kyren Lacy scoring on a 19-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
After both teams went three-and-out on their opening drive, Louisiana would open the scoring with 8:16 remaining in the first quarter as Kenneth Almendares capped off an 8-play, 42-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal.
Texas responded on the following drive as Card and Robinson combined on an 18-yard TD that capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive. Card kept the drive alive for the Longhorns when he scrambled and gained six yards on fourth-and-6 to the UL 34 before finding a wide-open Robinson for the score five plays later.
The Longhorns controlled the football for over 11 minutes in the second quarter and converted on 4 of 6 opportunities on third down. Texas opened the second quarter with a 9-play, 65-yard drive but missed on a scoring opportunity when Cole Dicker's 45-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
After forcing Louisiana to a three-and-out on its next drive, Texas increased its lead to 14-3 as the Longhorns put together a 14-play, 72-yard drive which consumed 7:45 off the clock and was capped by Card's 6-yard scoring pass to Cade Brewer.
Louisiana drove 44 yards in nine plays to close out the half as Almendares booted a career-long 48-yard field goal at the buzzer to cut the Ragin' Cajuns deficit to 14-6 at the break.
Robinson capped off Texas' opening drive of the second half when scored from seven yards out to cap a 65-yard drive. The Longhorns were aided by a pair of third-down conversions on the 8-play drive as Robinson gained five yards on third-and-2 from the UT 43 before Card connected with Jordan Whittington on a 41-yard pass on third-and-11 to the UL 12.
Louisiana, which finished 4-for-13 on third down overall and missed its first six attempts until Smith's 7-yard gain in the third quarter, would cut the deficit to 21-12 on the following possession as Smith would scamper in from 27 yards out with 5:50 remaining.
But after an attempted on-sides kick was recovered by the Longhorns, Texas would drive 48 yards in six plays with Card scoring on a 3-yard TD and push the lead to 28-12.
Louisiana refused to go down after Whittington scored on a 14-yard TD pass as the Ragin' Cajuns drove 75 yards in nine plays to reach the end zone. Lewis kept the drive alive when he connected with Williams on a 7-yard pass on fourth-and-1 at the UL 34 and the duo would connect one play later when Williams caught a 26-yard pass to the UT 33.
Five plays later, caught a pass from Lewis in the right flat, spun past a trio to Longhorn defenders and scored from 19 yards out to cut the deficit to 35-18 with 9:31 left.
Three Ragin' Cajuns – Zi'Yon Hill, Andre Jones and Bralen Trahan – each recorded six tackles to lead Louisiana. Chauncey Manac, AJ Washington and AJ Riley each recorded sacks for the Ragin' Cajuns while Rhys Burns averaged 53.0 yards per punt, including a 62-yard boot in the third quarter.
Louisiana will return home for a pair of games in the next 12 days beginning on Sept. 11 in the home opener against Nicholls. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., and will be available on ESPN3. The Ragin' Cajuns will then turn around five days later to host Mid-American Conference member Ohio on Sept. 16 in a nationally-televised contest on ESPN.
With safety being a top priority for all patrons during the 2021 season, the following guidelines will be in place.
It is recommended that fans wear a mask inside the stadium and self-monitor for symptoms prior to arriving for the game. Hand sanitizer stations will also be located throughout the facility on game day.
Socially distant seating will be available for fans in the general admission areas on the east side of the stadium, in the upper deck and on the hill. Concessions line queuing will also be in place to further promote safety and ease congestion on the concourse.
All Ragin' Cajuns should continue to be responsible and practice good decision-making, while having fun at all Louisiana Athletics events and tailgates. The Department of Athletics will follow the state and CDC policies and procedures and will make adjustments if necessary.
Louisiana Football will play six games at Cajun Field this year, the first coming on Saturday, Sept. 11, when the Ragin' Cajuns take on Nicholls. To view the team's complete schedule, click here.
Fans are encouraged to secure tickets now. More information can be obtained by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the CAJUNDOME, (337) 265-2170, or by visiting the office in-person.
The Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation is excited to announce reduced tailgating prices for the 2021 season. For more information on securing a tailgate or RV spot, call the RCAF office at (337) 851-7223 or email RCAF@louisiana.edu.
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsFB), Facebook (Ragin' Cajuns Football) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsFB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Football.
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