The Cajuns Clinch Bowl Eligibility With a Dominant Win Over Texas State in the Regular Season Finally
The Cajuns came into this last regular season matchup of 2022 with bowl eligibility on the line. Louisiana came into the contest with a record of 5-6 and the motto was simple, win and you're in. The Cajuns are coming off a tough loss to the nationally ranked Seminoles, but the Cajuns were looking to bounce back against a Texas State team that they haven't lost to in their series history. Texas State came into the day with a record of 4-7 and rumors swirling that they may be looking for a new head coach in the off-season. It was the final Sun Belt matchup for the Cajuns in this 2022 season and it was a must-win. Let's see how it all went down.
The Cajuns won the toss and elected to go on defense to start the game. The Bobcats quickly moved deep into Cajuns territory with a deep pass from Layne Hatcher to Brown. The Cajuns would stiffen in the red zone and force a 38-yard field goal attempt. The kick from Keller was up and good as Texas State would get on the board first to go up 3-0 over the Cajuns.
The Cajuns get anything going on offense as Chandler Fields would get sacked setting up a fourth-and-long. The Cajuns would punt it back to Hatcher and the Bobcat offense. The Cajun defense came back out onto the field with a different mindset than on the first drive. Louisiana didn't allow the Bobcats to move the chains on their second possession and would force a punt back to Fields on the offense.
The Cajuns would find their rhythm on offense on their second possession as they quickly moved into Bobcat territory with the help of the run game. The Cajuns would face fourth-and-four deep in Texas State territory and Chandler Fields would it off to Chris Smith for the Touchdown. That score would put the Cajuns on top 7-3 with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bobcats would go back to work on offense and looked to push the ball past mid-field before the ball came loose and recovered by the Cajuns' Zi'Yon Hill-Green.
The Cajuns would get the ball back in Texas State territory. Fields would pick up right where he left with a pass to Lance Legendre that would get the Cajuns inside the Bobcat ten-yard-line. The Cajuns faced a fourth-and-goal from the one but Zylon Perry was stopped short and turned it over on downs. That’s how the quarter would end as we started the second with Texas State taking over from their own 1-yard-line.
The Bobcats would give themselves some breathing room after a big run by Lincoln Pare to get Texas State past mid-field. Perry kept moving the chains as he carried the Bobcats inside the Cajun 20-yard-line. The Cajuns would stiffen up on defense after a big sack from Sonny Hazard would throw off the Bobcat’s momentum. The Bobcats would bring Keller back out for his second kick of the day and this one was good from 41-yards out to make it a 7-6 Cajun lead.
The Cajuns would go right back to their bread and butter as they ran their way deep into Bobcat territory. The Cajuns would get a little help from everyone in the ground game as Flemming, Fields, and Smith all played a part in getting the ball inside the Texas State red zone. The Cajun’s drive would stall and the Cajuns would settle for a 33-yard field goal attempt from Kenny Almendares. The kick was up and good to make it a 10-6 with 5:32 remaining in the first half.
The Bobcats would attempt to answer the Cajun’s scoring drive, but Eric Garror had other plans as he intercepted Hatcher and would return it to the house but a flag on the return would keep the Cajuns off of the board.
The Cajuns’ offense rewarded the defense on the very next play with a touchdown run by Dre'lyn Washington. That score would extend the Cajun lead to 17-6 with just over three minutes remaining in the Half.
Texas State would look to keep this game within reach as they mounted a drive that moved near mid-field with a 1:30 left in the half. The Cajun defense would stiffen up and force a punt back to Chandler Fields with less than a minute remaining. Fields and the offense would quickly work their way inside the Bobcat 20-yard-line before settling for a 27-yard field goal attempt from Alemdares. The kick was up and good to send the Cajuns into the half up 20-6.
The Cajuns would start the second half with the ball and Fields and this offense wasted no time at all. They methodically moved their way down with a nice mix of pass and run as they quickly worked their way inside the Bobcat 20-yard-line before Chris Smith ripped off a run to set up first and goal for the Cajuns. Chris Smith would finish the drive off on the very next play as he would punch it for the score. The Cajuns would go up 27-6 with 12:19 left in the third quarter.
The Bobcats wouldn't go away go away quietly as Lincoln Pare would strike fast with a 64-yard touchdown to make it a 27-13 game with 10:23 remaining. That run would put Pare at 190 rushing yards on the day.
The Cajuns would breathe a little more life back into the Bobcat sideline as Chandler Fields would throw an interception giving Texas State possession at the Bobcat 12-yard-line. Texas State would move the chains a few times thanks to the legs of Lincoln Pare who went over 200 yards rushing at this point in the game. The Cajun defense would stiffen up and force a punt.
The Cajuns couldn’t get anything going on their next offensive possession as Washington was dropped short of the line to gain on third-and-one. The Cajun defense would match the Bobcat defense with a stop of their own. The Cajuns would partially block the punt and set the Cajuns up at their own 44-yard-line. The Cajuns would head into the fourth quarter with the ball and the lead.
The Cajun rushing attack continued to stay hot as Smith would convert a third down to get into Bobcat territory. Chris Smith would rip off another run to get the Cajuns inside the Texas State 25-yard-line. The Cajuns would cap off the fantastic drive with a touchdown pass from Fields to Peter Leblanc. The three-yard score would make it 34-13 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Cajuns would get a quick stop on defense and would give the ball back to this offense which would see Zeon Chriss enter the game for Chandler Fields. Chriss and the offense would move the ball methodically down the field and well into Bobcat territory. The Cajuns would cap off another impressive drive with a touchdown pass from Zeon Chriss to Lance Legendre. That score would punctuate the game as the Cajuns increased their lead to 41-13.
Time would eventually expire as the Cajuns would come out on top in what was a dominant 41-13 performance for Louisiana. The Cajuns finish the regular season at 6-6 and get to bowl eligibility. The specifics on what bowl game the Cajuns will be invited to is unknown at this time. Look for bowl predictions and selections in the coming week. The Cajuns should have their answer by next Sunday.