Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 – 7:30 PM EDT at Cajun Field
The Appalachian State Mountaineers will look to continue their three-game winning streak on the road against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, who have a four-game winning streak. The Mountaineers lost to Maimi earlier this season but have since knocked off Elon, Marshall, and Georgia State.
They’re led by quarterback Chase Brice who has thrown for 1,360 yards and eight touchdowns along with three interceptions. Brice has played well but could play better if his offensive line decided to step up and protect him a bit more.
The Mountaineers have plenty of playmaking ability but if there’s anything that will cost them moving forward, it’ll be that offensive line. Either way, Appalachian State is averaging 197.2 yards per game on the ground and totaling 481.4 yards per game this season.
Defensively, they’re holding opponents to 364.8 yards per game along with just 117.6 yards per game on the ground. The defense has stepped up in a big way and is allowing just 20 points per game. To be honest, there’s really not a single weakness on this defense. Tackling can be a bit improved but overall, this defense is playing extremely well. On the flip side, Louisiana is a bit more inconsistent but is also 4-1 on the season.
Since losing 38-18 to Texas in their first game of the season, the Ragin’ Cajuns have won four straight games with wins over Nicholls, Ohio, Georgia Southern, and South Alabama. Those last three of those four wins have been one-score games for Louisiana, which is a bit concerning.
But overall, they’re winning those close contests which is a positive. Still, Louisiana is averaging fewer yards per game than giving up, with 395 yards per game on offense and 407.2 yards on defense. The passing game is led by Levi Lewis who has thrown for 1m096 yards and seven touchdowns along with an interception. But to be fair, he doesn’t have the receivers that
Appalachian State has. Although, he does have much more protection and time in his pocket. If Appalachian State gets free in space, Louisiana will have a hard time making tackles. The coverage has also been suspect this season, giving Brice the chance to move the ball with his arm down the field.
To win football games, you need to win at least two of the three phases between offense, defense, and special teams. While Louisiana certainly has the edge in special teams, Appalachian State has more playmakers on offense and has been more consistent in every area on defense.
Therefore, I’ll take the road team in Appalachian State -3.5 for my NCAAF picks. Louisiana is sticking around in games and winning those games but they haven’t faced a team like the Mountaineers. At home, this game might be a close contest early, but I like Appalachian State to find more success as the game approaches the end.
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