Louisiana Wins Ninth Straight, Beats Troy 35-21 on the Road
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns won a school-record ninth straight victory by beating the Troy Trojans 35-21 on the road.
With the win, Louisiana improved to 9-1 overall and 7-0 in Sun Belt play this season. With Georgia State's win against Coastal Carolina today, the Cajuns will host the Sun Belt Conference Championship on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Cajun Field.
Louisiana won the coin toss and started the game on defense. The Trojans offense converted a big third and fourth down during an impressive eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The Cajuns were in a quick 7-0 hole.
On the first play for Louisiana's offense, running back Chris Smith exploded for a 43 yard gain.
On fourth-and-two in the red zone, quarterback Levi Lewis scrambled for two yards to extend the drive. Freshman wide receiver Dontae Fleming took a drop off by Lewis 15 yards for a touchdown to tie the game up. It was a nice drive to answer the opening score by the Trojans.
On their second possession, the Trojans were faced with a fourth-and-10 in Louisiana territory and they converted. When faced with another fourth down, Troy elected to attempt a 30-yard field goal which they hit to take a 10-7 lead.
It did not take long for the Cajuns to take their first lead of the day. On the third play of their next drive, Lewis threw a beautiful 52-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Jefferson.
The big play sparked Louisiana's defense, who forced their first three-and-out punt of the day to give the ball back to Lewis at the end of the first quarter.
The Cajuns offense drove into Troy territory, but on fourth-and-seven at the Trojans 36, an incompletion ended the possession with a turnover-on-downs.
Both teams then traded drives that went three-and-out and ended in punts. After four straight scores opened the game, each defense seemed to adjust and start to take control.
Troy converted a couple of third downs on a long, 10-play drive before hitting a 47-yard field goal to get within a point at 14-13. Louisiana's offense answered by going three-and-out for the second straight drive.
The clock ran out and the Cajuns went into halftime with the slight, one-point edge.
Louisiana absolutely dominated the third quarter.
Lewis started off the second half with two big completions, including a 40-yarder to tight end Neal Johnson. A 13-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Kyren Lacy gave the Cajuns their largest lead of the game to start the second half.
On Troy's first drive of the third quarter, a sack by linebacker Chauncey Manac on third down forced a three-and-out. The offense had great field position for their second possession.
The Cajuns drove deep into Trojan territory, and, on fourth-and-10, Lewis scrambled for a 27-yard touchdown run to make it 28-13. Louisiana had all the momentum and started to pull away.
For the second straight possession, a sack by a Cajuns defensive lineman on third down forced a three-and-out. This time Andre Jones got to the Trojans quarterback and Louisiana had an excellent opportunity to break the game open.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Troy finished off a long drive with a touchdown and two-point conversion to cut the lead to 28-21.
Lewis was sacked two straight times on Louisiana's next offensive possession, and the Cajuns punted again with the momentum beginning to shift back to the Trojans.
However, linebacker Ferrod Gardner intercepted a ball for the first turnover of the day by either team at midfield to give Lewis and the offense another chance to pull away.
This time, the offense executed perfectly, using their strong rushing attack to go 51 yards in eight plays ending in a six-yard touchdown where the offensive line pushed running back Montrell Johnson into the end zone. It ran nearly five minutes off the fourth quarter clock and stretched the lead back to 35-21.
Troy started a nice drive, but a fumble in Louisiana territory gave the Cajuns the ball back with less than four minutes in the game.
Louisiana punted, and Troy's final drive ended in their third turnover. The Cajuns ran out the clock to clinch their ninth straight win for the first time in school history.
Up next, Louisiana travels to Lynchburg, Virginia for a non-conference matchup against the Liberty Flames on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 3:00 p.m.