Saturday, November 14, 2020, Cajun Field, Lafayette, Louisiana, 2 p.m. ET
Jaguars at Ragin’ Cajuns Betting Preview: Jaguars (+15.5), Ragin’ Cajuns (-15.5)
Despite their losing record after their 23-6 loss at Coastal Carolina last week, the Jaguars (3-4, 2-2 Sun Belt) remain in contention in the Sun Belt’s West Division race and could get into the league’s championship game by winning out against Louisiana, Georgia State, Arkansas State, and Troy.
“I told the guys in the locker room that of the five teams in our division, only one has one conference loss and we play them next week,” South Alabama coach Steve Campbell said. “If we can go on the road and beat Louisiana, we’ll own the tiebreaker over them. We still control our own destiny.”
The Jaguars were very competitive in their loss to the undefeated Chanticleers and had the opportunity to make it a one-score game until being stopped on fourth-and-1 at the goal line trailing only 17-6.
“Everybody was hitting on all cylinders and doing their job,” South Alabama senior linebacker Riley Cole said. “The defensive line was holding their gaps, the linebackers were flowing, and the safeties and corners were playing well.”
Giving quarterback Desmond Trotter better protection is crucial for the Jaguars against the Cajuns. Trotter has completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 188.8 yards a game with just two interceptions even though the Jaguars have given up 18 sacks.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Betting Preview
The No. 25 Ragin’ Cajuns (6-1, 4-1 Sun Belt) can clinch a berth in the Sun Belt Conference championship game when they host the Jaguars. Their 27-20 victory last week against Arkansas State coupled with a win over the Jaguars will lock up the top spot in the Sun Belt’s West division.
The Cajuns have won three consecutive games since suffering their lone loss against unbeaten Coastal Carolina, the current leader in the Sun Belt East division, and have shown a knack for winning close games.
All five of their conference games have been decided by 10 points or less, including three of them by four points or less.
Despite a losing overall record, the Jaguars could be a stern test for the Cajuns. They held undefeated Coastal Carolina to a season low in a 23-6 loss last week.
“This will be one of the more impressive teams we’ve played despite the record,” Louisiana coach Billy Napier told ESPN 1420 during a radio interview this week. “We have to make sure our focus is on them.”
The matchup will put on display two of the conferences’ top five running backs in South Alabama’s Carlos Davis (586 yards) and Louisiana’s Eric Mitchell (502 despite missing a game to injury).
The Cajuns’ prolific rushing attack also features Trey Ragas and Chris Smith as well as quarterback Levi Lewis. All have run for 175 or more yards. Lewis leads the Sun Belt in passing with 1,624 yards on 117 of 195 attempts while throwing 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Defensively, Louisiana ranks fifth among FBS schools with 10 interceptions and is ranked 19th in passing yards allowed per game (187.1). Junior safety Bralen Trahan and junior cornerback Eric Garror each have three interceptions — tied for second-most in the conference — with the latter recording his three over the last two games.
“Eric is a consistent practice player,” Napier said. “He’s very engaged all the time and from the minute he got here we knew he was going to be a factor.”
Jaguars at Ragin’ Cajuns Betting Pick for November 14, 2020
The Ragin’ Cajuns have a four-game winning streak working in the series with the Jaguars after their 37-27 win last year. With neither quarterback having a big day (Lewis threw for 136 yards for the Cajuns, Trotter 116 for the Jaguars), it came down to running backs with Mitchell rushing for 117 yards and Raymond Calais 77 for the Cajuns and Tra Minter 137 and Carlos Davis 122 for the Jags. Of those running backs, only Mitchell and Davis are back.
Jaguars at Ragin’ Cajuns Betting Pick:
Ragin’ Cajuns 28, Jaguars 19
Jaguars at Ragin’ Cajuns Best Bet for November 14, 2020
The Cajuns have scored 20 or more points in 15 consecutive games, including all five this season. The Jaguars have scored only 23 points in their last two games combined (24-17 loss at Georgia Southern, 23-6 loss at Coastal Carolina. They recorded their season high in a 38-14 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Jaguars at Ragin’ Cajuns Best Bet: UNDER 53.5