Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Red Wolves and Ragin’ Cajuns.
Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 26 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA
No one bothered to tell Arkansas State that the Nov. 12 game between Troy and Appalachian State was going to decide the Sun Belt Conference champion. It’s not like the Red Wolves would have listened anyway. ASU, overlooked following an 0-4 start, absolutely throttled the 25th-ranked Trojans last week to seize control of the pole position. If the Red Wolves win their next two over Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State, they’ll be the outright league champ. One stumble, though, could open the door for a shared crown with the Mountaineers. The 4-6 Ragin’ Cajuns have their own motivation for winning out, a .500 record and a shot to land a bowl bid.
What To Know About Arkansas State
The way the Red Wolves are playing these days, it’s hard to imagine that they lost to FCS Central Arkansas back on Sept. 24. Under the guidance of Blake Anderson, Arkansas State has completely turned things around, flourishing on both sides of the ball. During the current six-game winning streak, the offense is averaging 34 points while the D is giving up just 14. Balancing the attack are quarterback Justice Hansen and running back Warren Wand. The even bigger story has been a defense led by ends Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones that’s putting opposing backs in a vice.
What to Know About Louisiana-Lafayette
The Cajuns are coming off a loss to Georgia in which they actually outgained the Bulldogs. The running game is going to challenge the Arkansas State front with running back Elijah McGuire and agile quarterback Anthony Jennings, an LSU transfer. Jennings, though, makes too many mistakes as a passer, a concern again this week. Defense has been a mixed bag in Lafayette. Headlined by linebackers Otha Peters and Tre’maine Lightfoot, the team allows just 3.4 yards per carry, but the pass defense has been soft and has produced only six picks in 10 games.
Offense: Arkansas State. Both teams boast quality backs, but the Red Wolves are more consistent behind center.
Defense: Arkansas State. The Red Wolves have steadier against the pass, aided by the pressure applied by Odom and Rolland-Jones around tackle.
Special Teams: Louisiana-Lafayette. Punter Steven Coutts and placekicker Stevie Artigue will both put a dent in the ball with their leg drive.
Coaching: Arkansas State. Two quality head coaches in Mark Hudspeth and Anderson, who gets the nod for rallying the troops following a winless September.
Intangibles: Arkansas State. The Red Wolves haven’t been this confident or fired up all season, knowing they’ve cleared their biggest hurdle to a conference championship.
Matchup To Watch
Odom and Rolland-Jones vs. Louisiana-Lafayette tackles D’Aquin Withrow and Grant Horst
Jennings is an ineffective passer, ranking 82nd nationally in passing efficiency. But his accuracy and effectiveness as a distributor will sink even further if Withrow and Horst are unable to keep Odom and Horst from looping around the edge and rushing the senior’s delivery.
Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Betting Odds
Spread: Arkansas State -6
Over/Under: No line as of post
Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Prediction
A letdown after the huge Troy upset? It’s possible, especially since Arkansas State will remain on the road for a second straight week. But the Red Wolves are playing too well in too many key areas to squander this chance to win a championship. The Ragin’ Cajuns lack the balance to defeat the ASU defense, which will dare Jennings to beat it through the air. The Red Wolves, meanwhile, will have more options in the event that Wand and Johnston White experience resistance finding uncongested running lanes.
Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Score Prediction: Arkansas State 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 17