Cajuns Fall To Arkansas St., 37-27
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun football team fell on the road on Tuesday night, dropping a 37-27 decision to the Arkansas St. Red Wolves in Sun Belt Conference action in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Arkansas St. jumped out to a 27-point lead, before Louisiana fought back, getting to within 10 points, before the Red Wolves eventually held on for the win.
The loss, the third in as many road games for Louisiana this season, is also their first conference setback.
Arkansas St. scored the first points of the game at the 8:13 mark of the opening quarter, when Michael Gordon scored on a 7-yard touchdown run, capping off a 7-play, 76-yard drive, to give them a quick 6-0 lead after a missed conversion.
The Red Wolves added to their lead at the 1:15 mark of the initial frame, when Johnston White scored on a 21-yard touchdown run, ending a 7-play, 57-yard drive, to extend the lead to 13-0.
Arkansas St. scored again at the 13:24 mark of the second frame, when Fredi Knighten connected with Darion Griswald on a short 2-yard touchdown pass, completing 7-play, 64-yard drive, to make it 13-0.
The Red Wolves made it 27-unanswered points to begin the game at the 11:29 mark of the second quarter, when Cody Brown intercepted an errant Jalen Nixon pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, to widen the advantage to 27-0.
Louisiana scored their first points on the next play from scrimmage, when Nixon raced 75 yards for a touchdown, to trim the deficit to 27-7 with 11:16 left to go in the half.
Arkansas St. grabbed the momentum right back at the 3:55 mark of the second quarter however, when Knighten threw his second touchdown of the half, this one to Chris Murray from 46 yards away, putting an exclamation point on 4-play, 83-yard drive, to give them a 34-7 lead.
The Cajuns did score the final points of the half, courtesy of an 8-yard touchdown run by Elijah McGuire, culminating a 10-play, 75-yard drive, to cut the Arkansas St. advantage to 34-14, a lead they would take with them into the locker room for halftime.
The Red Wolves scored the first points of the second half, when J.D. Houston booted through a 42-yard field goal, capping off a 10-play, 55-yard drive, to widen their lead to 37-14 at the 2:35 mark of the third period.
Louisiana scored the final points of the third quarter, when Nixon threw his first touchdown pass of the night, this one to Al Riles from 17 yards away, completing a 5-play, 73-yard drive, to bring them to within two scores, at 37-21.
The Cajuns continued to chip away, when Nixon threw a touchdown pass, his second of the evening, to McGuire, from 20 yards out, ending a 7-play, 59-yard drive.
UL failed on their two-point conversion attempt however, and with 11:02 left Arkansas continued to lead, 37-27.
Louisiana, on their next possession, moved the ball to the Arkansas St. 33-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
That proved to be the clincher, as the Red Wolves hung on for the 10-point victory.
Arkansas St. outgained Louisiana, in terms of total yards, 270-226, in the first half, including a 211-176 advantage in passing yards, as well as a 59-50 edge in rushing yards.
Knighten led the way for the Red Wolves over the first 30 minutes, throwing for 59 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for another 36 yards.
Nixon paced the Cajuns in the opening half, rushing for 162 yards, including a score, while passing for another 50 yards.
Louisiana outgained Arkansas St., in terms of total yards, 485-435, including a 253-129 advantage in passing yards, while the Red Wolves finished with a 306-232 edge in rushing yards.
Knighten led the way for the Red Wolves, passing for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns, while rushing for another 72 yards.
In a losing cause for the Cajuns, Nixon completed 17-of-44 passes for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air, while rushing for a career-high 201 yards, along with a score, on 19 carries on the ground.
With the victory, Arkansas St. improved to 4-3, overall, and 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play, while Louisiana fell to 2-4, and 1-1, respectively.
The Cajuns return to action on Saturday, October 31, when they host the ULM Warhawks at Cajun Field.