Although ranked at the bottom in the preseason polls, the Cajuns have won 5 straight, and have overcome both front runners, FIU, and tonight, Troy. The only out-of-conference games this week were USA, which downed UTSA in a double over-time thriller, and FIU which beat Akron on the road.

UL Tops Troy 
The Ragin' Cajuns football team extended its winning streak to five games, leading from start to finish in a 31-17 victory over Troy Saturday evening at Cajun Field in front on 29,775 fans, the sixth-largest crowd in school history.

The win improved Louisiana to 5-1, the best start for the program since 1970 which was the last time the Cajuns played in a bowl game (1970 Grantland Rice Bowl). As the 2011 season reached the midpoint, UL is now one win shy of becoming bowl eligible in head coach Mark Hudspeth's inaugural season.

The Cajuns also tied the 2001 Middle Tennessee squad for the best start by a team in Sun Belt Conference history.

Chris Masson threw for 211 yards on 21-of-29 passing. Javone Lawson posted a team-high eight receptions for 131 yards. Alonzo Harris gained 81 of the Cajuns' 117 yards rushing.

The Cajuns defense limited the Trojans to 77 yards rushing. Troy entered the contest averaging 138.2 rushing yards per game.

Cornerback Melvin White intercepted the ball with with three seconds left in the first half, and returned it 89-yards for a touchdown. The "pick six" was the fifth of the year for UL and the first of the season for White. It was also the longest interception returned for a touchdown by a Cajuns player at Cajun Field.

Alonzo Harris made it three straight games with a rushing touchdown after his two-yard touchdown plunge at the 1:50 mark in the third quarter gave the Cajuns a 31-10 edge.

Louisiana concludes its current three-game homestand next Saturday as North Texas visits Cajun Field. The game serves as the University's 66th Homecoming contest. Kickoff is set for 4:08 p.m., in a live broadcast on the Ragin' Cajuns Television Network.

Troy Falls to Louisiana 
Lafayette, La. – The Troy Trojan football team fell behind Sun Belt conference for Louisiana-Lafaye early Saturday night on Cajun Field and were unable to bounce back as the Ragin Cajuns' took away a 31-17 victory.

“They played awfully well and had a good plan and got it to the point to where they could make us work hard throwing the football,” said head coach Larry Blakeney.

Troy fell to Louisiana for the first time since 2005.

The Trojans now prepare for Louisiana Monroe when they visit Troy next Saturday in more Sun Belt action on Larry Blakeney field. “ULM got us last year at their place and we should have great motivation, not only to recover but to pay a little debt,” said Blakeney.

FIU Thumps Akron 
The Panther offense racked up 524 yards and the FIU defense limited Akron to just 269 as the Panthers beat the Zips, 27-17, Saturday afternoon in Akron, Ohio.

Sophomore running back led the way for FIU, rushing for 126 yards and a score. Wes Carroll completed 26-of-38 passes for 308 yards, and T.Y. Hilton caught an FIU-record 12 passes for 144 yards to power the Panther aerial attack. Darriet Perry added a pair of rushing touchdowns, moving into sole possession of first place on the FIU all-time rushing touchdown leaderboard.

FIU has a bye week next before going to Jonesboro, Ark. on Tuesday, October 18 to face Sun Belt Conference foe Arkansas State at 8 p.m. That game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

 

USA Topples UTSA in Double OT 
SAN ANTONIO – Demetre Baker scored on the University of South Alabama’s first play of the second overtime Saturday, clinching a 30-27 football victory over Texas-San Antonio at the Alamadome.

The Jaguars improved to 3-2 on the season after winning their first-ever overtime game, while the Roadrunners — who had a chance to win the contest at the end of regulation — dropped to 2-4.

“We have a fighting spirit about us,” Jag head coach Joey Jones commented. “It looked kind of bleak there for a minute when they had the ball down on the five-yard line. But we rushed through and sacked the quarterback and we block a kick, so they [the team] never quit. It was a big win for our program. I’m just so proud of them for fighting.

“We lost two games on the road, and to have another road game right behind them and to come back and win was real big for us.”

Baker finished with a game-high 87 yards on 11 carries and his second straight outing with multiple touchdowns — he’s scored at least once in each of the last four contests. Kendall Houston added 72 yards and a touchdown on 19 attempts as USA finished with 175 yards rushing and 176 through the air.

Jake Johnson led the Jaguar defense with 12 total stops, which included three for loss, while B.J. Scott chipped in with a career-high 11. Ken Barefield and Enrique Williams were credited with eight tackles apiece, while Clifton Crews became the first player in school history to force two fumbles in a game.

“For a first-year program, they are a heck of a team. They had some great players and had a good game plan against us,” Johnson observed. “I’m glad we came out on top. We had a few mistakes here and there, but that is all correctable. I’m just glad we got out of Texas with a win.”

Eric Soza accounted for 311 yards of total offense, completing 15-of-22 attempts for 263 yards while pacing UTSA on the ground with 48 yards on 15 attempts. Evans Okotcha posted 25 yards rushing and caught three passes for 70 yards, and Kenny Harrison added 105 all-purpose yards for the Roadrunners with 36 on the ground, 29 on three catches and a pair of kick returns for 40 more.

For the game, the Roadrunners would finish with 409 total yards.

Lamontis Gardner paced the Jags with a career-best four receptions for 70 yards, his highest total of the year. Joey Jones and Bryan Lavender each made two catches, with the former ending up with a career-high 113 all-purpose yards. C.J. Bennett was 11-of-17 passing for 176 yards.

Steven Kurfehs matched Johnson with 12 tackles overall to lead UTSA, with two of those for loss including a sack. Mark Waters made nine stops, Brandon Reeves had six, and Lekenwic Haynes and Richard Burge each credited with five.

“I want to congratulate UTSA. I thought they came out and played a tremendous game — it was a big game for them,” Jones stated. “The crowd was into it; it was that typical home atmosphere. They had a great game plan and great coaching, and probably deserved to win the game in some ways. But on the other side of it, we said at halftime we were not going to quit.”

The Jaguars will return to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the first time in five weeks when they play host to Tennessee-Martin Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The contest can be seen live on Comcast Sports Southeast as well as UTV 44, and will also be available on the Internet at ESPN3.com.

North Texas Gets 2nd Win, Knocks off FAU 
DENTON, Texas (10/8/11) - A 24-point explosion in the third quarter led to a 31-17 Mean Green victory against the Florida Atlantic football team at Apogee Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mean Green improves to 2-4 and 1-1 in the Sun Belt, while the Owls fall to 0-5 and 0-2 in the conference. North Texas won its first game against FAU at home and trails the series, 6-2. The Mean Green is now 2-1 at its new home this season.

"This was a big win for us," said North Texas head coach Dan McCarney. "It was a very good team win. We showed great effort on both sides of the football. It is great to get a win against Florida Atlantic and a great coach like Coach Schnellenberger. Everyone knows what he has meant to this great game and to get a win over him is a great accomplishment."

Lance Dunbar recorded his 19th career 100-yard rushing game with 105 yards tonight and moved into second all-time in career rushing yards with 3,589 yards. With his two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Dunbar set the total points career record with 252. He surpassed Nick Bazaldua, who held the record at 247. Dunbar needs 462 more yards to surpass Patrick Cobbs as NT's all-time leading rusher.

For the second straight home game, North Texas held its opponent scoreless at the half.

Derek Thompson completed 13 of 27 passes for 108 yards. He rushed for a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

North Texas returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 15 when it faces Louisiana at 4 p.m. on the road.

ASU Rebounds to Beat ULM 
MONROE, La. (10/8/2011) — Arkansas State senior wide receiver Dwayne Frampton set a school record with 13 receptions and the Red Wolves overcame a 13-10 halftime deficit to defeat the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 24-19 in Sun Belt Conference action Saturday night at Malone Stadium. With the win, ASU improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in SBC action while ULM slipped to 1-4 on the season and 0-1 in league play.

Frampton’s 13 receptions were good for a career-high 147 yards and a touchdown, all coming from quarterback Ryan Aplin who completed 27-of-43 passes on the night for 261 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Red Wolves were led by junior cornerback Chaz Scales with a career-high 10 tackles. Kelsie McCray intercepted two passes on the night, cornerback Darryl Feemster added another pickoff. Safety A.J. Hills added nine tackles and a fumble recovery for the Red Wolves and linebackers Nathan Herrold and Demario Davis each added eight tackles, with Davis registering a quarterback sack as well.

The Red Wolves will now return to Jonesboro, where they will host Florida International in a nationally-televised Sun Belt Conference clash set for Oct. 18. Kickoff for the Tuesday night ESPN2 telecast is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Arkansas State Holds off Late ULM Rally 
MONROE, La. -- Arkansas State withheld a late ULM rally to defeat the Warhawks 24-19 Saturday night in Sun Belt Conference action at Malone Stadium. It was the first win by a road team in the series since 2004.

The Warhawks outgained the Red Wolves 367-345 on the night and dominated the time of possession by over 10 minutes. Each team turned the ball over four times and there were a combined 18 penalties -- 13 by Arkansas State. ULM held Arkansas State to just 88 yards of total offense in the second half.

Kolton Browning finished 21-of-39 for 197 yards and a touchdown and Wells was 5-of-15 for 101 yards and a score; Browning was intercepted twice and Wells once. Aplin was 27-of-43 for 261 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions. Dwayne Frampton finished the game with 13 catches for 147 yards.

The Warhawks hit the road for the fourth time in six games next week when they travel to Troy for a Sun Belt Conference game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised live by the Sun Belt Network.

WKU Gets 1st Win of Season over MT
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Kawaun Jakes completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Rainey on WKU's second overtime possession to give the Hilltoppers a dramatic 36-33 double-overtime victory over Middle Tennessee Thursday night at Floyd Stadium.

"I told our team heading into overtime that this is when big-time football teams step up, and if they wanted this win to go out and get it," said Hilltopper head coach Willie Taggart. "For our young team to come into a hostile environment and fight through adversity, it can be a big confidence booster moving forward. I'm really proud of these guys and really happy to get this win for Hilltopper nation."

"Coach Taggart has been preaching to us to keep believing in ourselves and playing for each other, and we did that tonight," said Rainey. "This feels great, and we're happy to get this win for our fans, but we have to stay focused. There is a lot of season left to play."

The Hilltoppers dominated time of possession in the first half, running 39 offensive plays and holding the ball for 21:24. The WKU defense was also able to pick off a pair of MTSU passes, including a diving interception by Derrius Brooks at the one-yard line. It also held the Blue Raiders to just 108 yard of offense, including 21 on the ground.

Defensively for WKU, Arius Wright finished with a game-high 11 tackles.

The Hilltoppers will continue their two-game roadtrip next Saturday (Oct. 15) when they visit Florida Atlantic for a 3 p.m. (CDT) contest with the Owls in Boca Raton.

Middle Tennessee Loses to WKU in Double Overtime 
(Thursday) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee played the first overtime game of the Rick Stockstill era but fell short during the second extra frame as Western Kentucky escaped with a 36-33 victory Thursday night in front of 23,307 fans at Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and countless others watching live nationally on ESPNU.

The Blue Raiders gained a three-point advantage after the first possession of the second overtime period, but the Hilltoppers countered with the winning touchdown, and not needing the extra point, came away with the triumph. Bobby Rainey hauled in a seven-yard pass from Kawaun Jakes to cap a five-play possession.

Rainey finished with a game-high 146 yards on 37 carries, while adding 57 yards on six touchdowns for 203 all-purpose yards. Kadeem Jones had just 15 yards on the ground but scored twice. Jakes completed one-half of his 34 attempts for 222 yards and the winning touchdown, finding Jack Doyle the most often for six times and 100 yards.

Logan Kilgore registered 282 yards on 23-of-47 through the air and two touchdowns. Middle Tennessee nearly had two players reach the century mark on the ground, led by William Pratcher’s career-best 106. D.D. Kyles nearly caught him, falling 10 yards short to contribute 96 yards on a team-high 19 rushes.

Anthony Amos and Malcolm Beyah each recorded a team-high seven catches with Amos reaching the century mark at 100 yards, while Beyah had 55.

Middle Tennessee returns to action in just over two weeks, Oct. 22, when it travels to Boca Raton, Fla., to battle Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Central in a Sun Belt Network televised game.


This is a submitted article.  Send your press releases and articles on UL, the UL District, and quality of life in Acadiana-- particularly education & culture-- to ultoday.com by clicking here.

Follow Cajuns Sports:

RaginPagin.com
Athletic Network
RaginCajuns.com

CajunRedZone
NOLA.com