The Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns travel to face the North Texas Mean Green in Sun Belt action on Tuesday, October 16th. This contest will be nationally televised on ESPN 2 at 9:00 EST. Lafayette has certainly had the Mean Green’s number, winning five straight meetings in this series.
That includes a 30-10 home victory last season as an 8.5-point favorite. The Rajun Cajuns pulled away by scoring 23 unanswered points to finish the game, including 17 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Blaine Gautier completed 14 of 20 passes for 238 yards with four touchdowns in the win.
Taking a look at the odds for Week 8, I find a spread of Louisiana-Lafayette -4 over North Texas.
The Rajin’ Cajuns (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) are one of the most underrated teams in the entire country. They are one of the favorites to take down the Sun Belt and for good reason. Their only loss came at Oklahoma State 24-65, but they have taken care of business in conference play with double-digit wins over Florida International and Troy.
Louisiana-Lafayette is coming off a 41-13 home victory over Tulane last Saturday. It outgained the Green Wave 444-226 for the game while forcing three turnovers. It did whatever it wanted to on the ground, rushing for 294 yards while averaging 5.5 per carry.
Alonzo Harris led the way with 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, while Effrem Reed added 85 yards on 12 attempts. Quarterback Terrance Broadway went 9 of 22 passing for 150 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 36 yards and a score.
The Rajin’ Cajuns rank 58th in the country in total offense (411.2 yards/game) and 69th in total defense (401.8 yards/game). Their strength is a ground game that ranks 39th in the land at 190.4 yards/game, and a run defense and ranks 19th at 107.2 yards/game. Their weakness is a pass defense that ranks 111th in the land at 294.6 yards/game.
The Mean Green (2-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) have been done no favors from the schedule makers this season. They’ve already played on the road at LSU and Kansas State, actually putting up a fight in each game as they covered the spread in both. Their two wins have come against Texas Southern and Florida Atlantic.
North Texas is coming off a 21-44 loss at Houston on October 6th. It never really threatened in this one after falling behind 17-0 after the first quarter. The Cougars had their way with the Mean Green, outgaining them 623-483 in a shootout.
Derek Thompson went 20 of 38 passing for 252 yards with two interceptions. Brandin Byrd rushed for 96 yards on 19 carries, while Jeremy Brown, Antoinne Jimmerson and Thompson all scored rushing touchdowns for the Mean Green. Ivan Delgado led the receiving corps with four grabs for 85 yards.
The Mean Green rank 76th in the country in total offense (381.9 yards/game) and 64th in total defense (395.3 yards/game). Their strength is the 50th ranked rushing offense (175.2 yards/game) and the 49th ranked pass defense (218.8 yards/game). Their weakness is the 85th ranked passing offense (206.7 yards/game) and the 78th ranked run defense (176.5 yards/game).
The Ragin’ Cajuns are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a losing home record, but just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. win.
The Mean Green are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game, but just 6-20 ATS in their last 26 vs. a team with a winning record.
The Over is 6-2 in Ragin’ Cajuns last 8 road games. The Over is 18-8 in Mean Green last 26 home games.
The Mean Green are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings in this series. The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.