LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Football will put the finishing touches on a historic 2019 campaign when it matches up with Mid-American Conference foe Miami (Ohio) in the 21st Annual LendingTree Bowl, held in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, Jan. 6, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The postseason bowl appearance will be the team’s ninth in program history and the second under Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Billy Napier. Louisiana holds an official record of 4-2 in bowl games.
With a victory, the Ragin’ Cajuns will secure their first bowl win since defeating Nevada, 16-3, in the 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 20, 2014, and mark the program’s first bowl win outside the state of Louisiana since defeating Arkansas A&M, 24-7, in the 1944 Oil Bowl in Houston.
Louisiana is familiar with the MAC and the state of Ohio, having faced the Ohio Bobcats earlier this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns won that game, 45-25, in Athens and improved to 7-6 all-time against MAC opposition in the process.
Tickets for the 2019 LendingTree Bowl start as low as $15 (additional fees may apply) and can be requested by clicking here, visiting the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome or calling the ticket office at (337) 265-2357.
Who: Louisiana (10-3, 7-1 SBC) vs. Miami (Ohio) (8-5, 6-2 SBC)
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile, Ala.
When: Monday, Jan. 6 – 6:30 p.m. (CST)
On the Call: Dave LaMont (play-by-play), Gene Chizik (color), Lauren Sisler (sideline)
On the Call: Jay Walker (play-by-play), Chris Lanaux (color), Cody Junot (sideline)
All-Time Series: Miami (Ohio) Leads, 2-0-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 11, 1993 (Miami (Ohio) Won, 29-28)
Inside the Game
• Louisiana and Miami (Ohio) will meet for just the third time ever when the two teams square off in Mobile, Ala., for the LendingTree Bowl on Monday, Jan. 6.
• Miami (Ohio) leads the all-time series, 2-0.
• The Redhawks won the last meeting between the two programs on Sept. 11, 1993, a 29-28 victory over Louisiana in Oxford. The only other meeting came on Oc.t 5, 1991, in Lafayette, a game which the Redhawks also won, 27-14.
• Louisiana has already faced a Mid-American Conference opponent this season, defeating Ohio, 45-25, in Athens on Sept. 21.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns are currently 7-6 all-time against teams from the MAC.
How the West Was Won
• For the second-straight season, the Ragin’ Cajuns claimed the title of Sun Belt West Division Champions after putting together a complete team performance in a 53-3 rout of Troy at Cajun Field on Saturday, Nov. 23.
• It was all Louisiana from start to finish after it compiled 598 yards of total offense and scored 53 points, the second-highest point total of the season and the most against a conference opponent since scoring 55 against Arkansas State on Oct. 21, 2014.
• Louisiana faced Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7, falling to the Mountaineers, 45-38.
Win, Win, Win, Win
• With its 31-30 victory over ULM in the regular-season finale on Nov. 30, Louisiana clinched its first 10-win season in program history.
• The win was the team’s seventh Sun Belt victory of the season, also a program high.
• After it defeated Troy (Nov. 23), the team clinched its first nine-win season since 1976 and just the fourth nine-win campaign in program history.
• Through 13 games in 2019, Louisiana ranks eighth in country and leads the conference in total offense per game (501.3) and 10th in the nation in scoring offense (38.8).
• Louisiana has 6,517 yards of total offense on the season, one of nine schools in the country with more than 6,500 yards on the year and the only team in the Sun Belt. The team’s 6,517 total yards is currently the ninth most in the nation.
Lighting Up the Scoreboard
• Louisiana has scored 504 points through 13 games this season, averaging 38.8 points per contest.
• With its 31 points against ULM on Nov. 30, Louisiana broke the school record for the most points scored in a single season, which was previously held by the 2012 team (461).
• In the 2012, the team averaged 35.4 points per contest.
• Louisiana scored at least 30 points in all but two games this season, going over the 40-point mark on four different occasions, the 50-point mark once and scored 77 points against Texas Southern (Sept. 14).
Rushing Game on Top
• Louisiana has rushed for 3,449 yards through 13 games this season, the fifth most in the country.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns currently rank second in the nation in yards per attempt, averaging 6.39 yards per carry. The team ranks behind Clemson (6.46) in that category.
• Louisiana has scored 41 rushing touchdowns this season, the third most in the country behind Navy (48) and Army (44).
• The 41 scores are the third most in Sun Belt history behind the Georgia Southern’s 55 (2014) and 54 (2015).
• The Ragin’ Cajuns rank seventh in average yards per game, tallying 265.3 yards on the ground.
• The Ragin’s Cajuns have rushed for over 300 yards in three games this season.
• Louisiana has had four different 100-yard rushers this year, one of seven teams in country to have at least four.
Running Into the Record Books
• Louisiana has 41 touchdowns on the ground this season, shattering the record of the most rushing touchdowns in a single season.
• The previous record of 34 was set during the 2005 season.
• Through 13 games this season, six different Ragin’ Cajuns have been responsible for at least one touchdown, with Elijah Mitchell leading the way with 15.
• Of those six players, the running backs alone have accounted for 38 touchdowns. Quarterback Levi Lewis was responsible for the other three rushing scores.
• Elijah Mitchell has gone over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career, totaling 1,092 yards in 13 games played.
• Mitchell crossed the 1,000-yard threshold after tallying 102 yards against ULM on Nov. 30.
• Mitchell is the sixth Ragin’ Cajun in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season, joining Tyrell Fenroy, Elijah McGuire, Michael Desormeaux, Brian Mitchell and Trey Ragas.
Mitchell is 174 yards shy of fifth all-time for rushing yards in a season, held by his currently teammate, Trey Ragas (1,181 in 2018).
• Fenroy eclipsed the mark four times and holds the school record for most rush yards in a season with 1,375, while Elijah McGuire went for over 1,000 yards three times.
• With two games remaining in 2019, Raymond Calais (818) is 182 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark, while Trey Ragas (777) is 223 yards shy.
Lewis Tossing the Ball Around the Yard
• Levi Lewis has continued to impress during his junior season, having thrown for 2,804 yards with a 63.6 completion percentage (224-for-352) and has notched 24 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
• Lewis had a career day against Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game, throwing for a career bests in yards (354), attempts (46) and touchdowns (4).
• The junior etched his name in the Louisiana record books during the team’s game against ULM, becoming just the fourth player in program history to throw for at least 20 touchdowns in a season after tossing three against ULM.
• Lewis had a stellar night against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 7, setting career bests in passing yards (296), completitions (26) and touchdowns (3).
• Lewis finished the game against the Chanticleers 26-of-30 through the air for a completion percentage of 86.7 percent, setting a new school record for a single game.
• Lewis opened the 2019 season throwing 267 yards with 24 completions on 39 attempts against Mississippi State on Saturday, Aug. 31.
• Lewis’ 267 passing yards is the most against a Power 5 school since Blaine Gautier threw for 315 yards against Arizona on Nov. 26, 2011.
• Furthermore, Lewis’ 267 passing yards is the most in an opener since Chris Mason opened the season with 283 yards against Southern on Sept. 5, 2009.
Aerial Touchdown Threat
• After throwing for four touchdowns in the Sun Belt title games against Appalachian State on Dec. 7, Levi Lewis now holds the single-season record for passing touchdowns with 24 in 2019.
• Lewis is the fourth quarterback in program history to pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a single season.
• Louisiana has thrown 25 touchdown passes this season, tying the school record for the most in a single season.
• The last time the Ragin’ Cajuns had 25 passing TDs in a season was 2011.
• Louisiana has been superb on defense this season, holding opponents to just 19.9 points per contest in 2019. That 19.9 points allowed ranks 21st in FBS and first in the Sun Belt Conference.
• Prior to the victory over ULM on Nov. 30 in Lafayette., Louisiana held its last nine opponents to less than 30 points and have held three of those opponents to less than 10 points.
Shaving Off the Points
• Louisiana is the most improved team in the FBS in terms of opponents points per game when comparing last season to this season, improving by 14.3 ppg.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns rank ahead of Illinois (14), Ohio State (13.7) Baylor (13.3) and Oregon State (13.2) this season in that category.