Grambling State Tigers (0-1) at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (5-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 1, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns -- Over/Under:
The Grambling Tigers will travel to Cajun Field to take on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns this upcoming Saturday night in College Football action.
The Grambling Tigers won the SWAC Conference of the FCS for the 2nd consecutive season last year after finishing the year with an overall 11-2 record (7-0 SWAC). The Tigers didn’t get a bid into the FCS playoffs and ended up playing in the Celebration Bowl which they lost to the North Carolina A&T State Aggies, 21-17. Grambling will need to replace QB Devante Kincade (58.97 Comp %; 23 TD; 4 INT; 223.5 yds/g) and it still looks like a 3-man race between Geremy Hickbottom, Aldon Clark, and Charles Wright. The Tigers will also have to replace their top rusher in the backfield in Martez Carter (65.7 yds/g, 10 TD) which the starting spot will most likely go to DeSherris Flowers who had 49 carries for 129 yards last season. Grambling will have some solid experience returning at the receiver position as WR Darrel Clark (40.6 yds/g; 5 TD), WR Calief Samon (30.6 yds/g; 2 TD), and TE Jordan Jones (24.3 yds/g; 5 TD). Defensively, Grambling held their opponents to an average of 20.5 ppg on 336.4 total yards per game (105.9 rushing yds/g; 230.5 passing yds/g). Grambling should once against be solid on the defensive end as they will return both LB De’Arius Christmas and DL La’Allan Clark who were both All-SWAC performers last season.
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns lost 4 of their last 6 regular season games fell just short of a bowl appearance after finishing their season with a 5-7 (4-4 Sun Belt) record. Louisiana was decent on the offensive end last season as they finished the season averaging 28.2 ppg on 398.5 total yards per game (183.7 rushing yds/g; 214.8 passing yds/g). Louisiana will be returning 7 starters on the offensive end however, won't be with QB Jordan Davis (56.7 comp %l 10 TD; 8 INT; 195.8 passing yds/g; 5 rushing TD) who decided to transfer in April after spring practice. Louisiana is still determinig who will be under center to start the season as it's a battle between senior Andrew Nunez (61.6%; 4 TD, 2 INT; 195.8 passing yds/g) and sophomore Levi Lewis (51.9 Comp %; 2 TD; 1 INT; 94.3 passing yds/g). In the backfield, Louisiana will have their top rusher back in Trey Ragas who had 9 TD’s while averaging 67.8 rushing yds/g. The Ragin’ Cajuns will be returning their top three WR’s from last year’s squad in Ryheem Malone (4.0 rec/g; 61.5 yds/g; 4 TD), Keenan Barnes (3.7 rec/g; 53.9 yds/g; 2 TD), and Ja’Marcus Bradley (3.3 rec/g; 39.6 yds/g; 2 TD). Defensively, it was a real struggle for the Ragin’ Cajuns last season as they allowed their opponents to average 40.0 ppg on 492.7 total yards per game (236.6 rushing yds/g; 256.1 passing yds/g). Louisiana will be returning 3 starters on the defensive end and will be led by DE Joe Dillon.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished last season with a 4-8 ATS record and is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games.
Grambling has been a very solid FCS program and although they lost some key offensive players, the Tigers are still going to be one of the teams to beat in the SWAC as they are loaded on the defensive end. Louisiana has shown some promise on the offensive end of the ball and will be happy to get a healthy Jordan Davis back, however, for the Ragin’ Cajuns to have any success this season, they’ll need to hope that first year defensive coordinator can plug some major holes on a defense that almost allowed 500 total yards per game last season. This game has yet to be lined, however, as I’m under the assumption that Grambling would be getting a few points in this one, I like the Tigers in this one as I think the Tigers defense can limit the damage of the Ragin’ Cajun offense and that their new look offense can do enough to keep this one close. Please check back when/if the line is posted.