Louisiana to Play Marshall in New Orleans Bowl
According to Brett McMurphy, college football reporter with Action Network, the Sun Belt Champion Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns will play the Marshall Thundering Herd in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8:15 p.m.
The Ragin' Cajuns went 12-1 with the Sun Belt crown in 2021. They finished the season ranked 16th in the AP poll, 17th in the coaches poll, and 23rd in the final college football playoff rankings.
With former head coach Billy Napier's departure to the University of Florida, new head coach Michael Desormeaux will lead the Ragin' Cajuns into New Orleans to face the Thundering Herd out of Conference-USA.
Marshall finished the regular season with a 7-5 record. They finished second in the Conference-USA East Division behind Western Kentucky. Their only common opponent with Louisiana this season was Appalachian State. The Mountaineers beat the Herd 31-30 in a Sept. 23 matchup, while the Ragin' Cajuns beat App State twice: 41-13 in the regular season and 24-16 in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game.
The Thundering Herd are set to move from Conference-USA to the Sun Belt no later than 2023, so the matchup will be a preview of future conference battles between them and Louisiana.
The Cajuns have history with the New Orleans Bowl. They made four consecutive trips from 2011-2014, where they beat San Diego State 32-30, East Carolina 43-34, Tulane 24-21, and Nevada 16-3. The wins against San Diego State and Tulane were later vacated by the NCAA, but from 2011-2013, Louisiana fans helped set New Orleans Bowl attendance records.
The Cajuns last trip to New Orleans was in 2016 where they lost to Southern Miss 28-21. Southern Miss is set to be another program making the jump from Conference-USA to the Sun Belt.
Since that loss, Sun Belt teams have won the last four New Orleans Bowls. Troy beat North Texas 50-30 in 2017, App State beat both Middle Tennessee 45-13 in 2018 and UAB 31-17 in 2019, and Georgia Southern crushed Louisiana Tech 38-3 in 2020.
The Cajuns will hope to continue that tradition by capping off an incredible season with a victory against Marshall on Saturday, Dec. 18.