The Troy Trojans (3-8, 2-5) will close out their regular season schedule with a contest against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (4-7, 3-4) Saturday afternoon. Louisiana Lafayette has won the last four meetings, including a 42-23 road win as a 9.5 point favorite on November 29, 2014 in the most recent matchup between the schools.
Troy lost their second straight and third in the last four games with a 31-21 defeat to Georgia State on the road last week. Louisiana Lafayette dropped their third in a row as they were dumped 28-7 on the road by Appalachian State last week. The game kicks off from Cajun Field in Lafayette, Louisiana at 5:00 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3. Louisiana Lafayette is currently a 2 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 59 points.
Troy couldn’t make things happen against Georgia State to ensure that they won’t make the postseason. The Trojans were outgained 519-374, gave up 23 first downs while picking up 20 and allowed Georgia State to win the time of possession battle by a 38:06 to 21:54 margin in the contest. Both teams committed a pair of turnovers in the contest. After tying the game at 7 midway through the second quarter; Troy allowed the next 24 points over a 16 minute span between the second and third quarters and never recovered.
The Trojans have struggled offensively as they average 233.6 yards per game (55th in the nation) through the air and 118.3 yards per contest (118th in the nation) on the ground. Troy is tied for 87th in the nation in scoring offense as they average 26.6 points per game while they are allowing 29.3 points per game on the year, which leaves them currently 84th in the nation in scoring defense. Brandon Silvers has completed 180 of 302 passes for 2,058 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions; Dontreal Pruitt (20 of 31, 160 yards, 2 INT, 105 rushing yards, TD) started against Mississippi State. Dallas Tidwell started against Idaho; he’s 25 of 54 passing for 298 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Brandon Burks leads the Trojans on the ground as he has run the ball 176 times for 887 yards and seven scores; Andre Flakes is next in line with 64 carries for 243 yards plus three scores. Teddy Ruben leads the team with 55 receptions for 748 yards and seven scores; Jarvis Bentley (20 grabs, 248 yards, TD), Emmanuel Thompson (26 grabs, 275 yards, 3 TD), John Johnson (22 receptions, 243 yards) and Bryan Holmes (19 catches, 295 yards, 3 TD) are good secondary options. Two kickers have combined to kick 34 of 35 extra points and 14 of 19 field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards.
Louisiana Lafayette is playing out the string as well following a disappointing campaign as they struggled against Appalachian State last week. The Ragin’ Cajuns were outgained 402-246 and gave up 25 first downs while giving up 17. Louisiana Lafayette held the edge in time of possession, 30:43 to 29:17, and forced the game’s only two turnovers but their offense was stifled from the outset. The Ragin’ Cajuns only points came in the final minute of the contest with the game already long decided; all that score accounted for was pride.
The Ragin’ Cajuns enter this contest 83rd in the nation in passing offense (208.6 yards per game) and 57th in the nation in rushing as they put up 178.2 yards per game on the ground. Louisiana Lafayette averages 27.6 points per game and they are tied for 90th in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 31 points per contest. Jalen Nixon has completed 75 of 141 passes for 812 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions while ranking second on the team with 406 yards and five scores. Brooks Haack (121 of 197, 1407 yards, 5 TD, 6 INT, 83 rushing yards, 2 TD) is the backup quarterback. Elijah McGuire is the team’s leading rusher with 195 carries for 972 yards and 12 scores while Torrey Pierce has contributed 84 carries for 388 yards and four touchdowns. Gabe Fuselier is the team’s third leading receiver with 36 catches for 352 yards and a score; McGuire has 30 catches for 282 yards and two scores out of the backfield. Al Riles has collected 44 receptions for 459 yards plus four scores and Jamal Robinson (team high 52 grabs, team high 807 yards, 5 TD) are good secondary options. Stevie Artigue is 26 of 28 on extra points and 8 of 15 on field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards. Aaron Bird has hit all four extra point attempts and both field goal attempts on the year with a long of 31 yards.
Louisiana Lafayette is 6-1 ATS in their last seven in December, 4-1 ATS in their last five after scoring less than 20 points and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight after an ATS win.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are playing out a disappointing campaign and has to hope that next season will be better after having success in recent years. Troy has struggled to play consistent football all year long as even in good efforts they have found ways to fall short this season. The Trojans haven’t been good this season on the road; in a close game, give the Ragin’ Cajuns the edge here.