After a tough road loss last weekend against Old Dominion, Louisiana traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to battle with Trent Dilfer and UAB. After a nearly two-hour rain delay at the end of the first quarter, Louisiana exploded for 27 straight points en route to a 41-21 victory over the Blazers.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The first quarter was full of punts, turnover on downs, and inaccurate playmaking. However, the biggest storyline of the first quarter was Louisiana quarterback Ben Wooldridge leaving the field with a foot injury. At the end of the first quarter, a lightning delay sent the teams back to their locker rooms for over an hour.
In the second quarter, Louisiana’s offense came out to play. On 3rd and 1, Jacob Kibodi scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Cajuns. UAB answered with a drive down the field, but Jacob Zeno threw an interception in the endzone to Tyler Guidry and gave Louisiana the football back.
The very first play of the next drive new quarterback Zeon Chriss diced up the Blazers’ defense for an 80-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 Louisiana lead with 5:35 left in the first half.
After a quick UAB punt, Louisiana orchestrated a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Chriss getting his second rushing touchdown of the night to make it 21-0 Cajuns.
Then, Tyree Skipper got his first career interception for the Cajuns by picking off Zeno for the second time in the quarter. After four plays lost seven yards, Louisiana ended the first half with a 46-yard field goal from Kenneth Almendares to make it 24-0 at the break.
Nine minutes into the second half, Louisiana tacked on another three points thanks to an Almendares 37-yard field goal to put the advantage to 27 points. Three minutes later, UAB finally got on the scoreboard with a 41-yarder from Matt Quinn to cut it back to 24 points at 27-3. But Louisiana got moving again, going 75 yards on three plays to score from 11 yards out on a pass from Chriss to Terrance Carter that made it 34-3 after three quarters.
Louisiana wasn’t done scoring, however, as Elijah Davis punched it in from 2 yards out to make it 41-3 with 7:11 remaining in the contest.
Jacob Zeno found his way into the endzone three minutes later for UAB’s first touchdown of the game. An unsuccessful two-point try left the score at 41-9 with four minutes remaining.
In the next Louisiana possession, Chandler Fields was intercepted on third down by Chris Bracy and returned all the way down to the Louisiana four-yard line with 2:22 remaining. Two plays later, Lee Beebe punched it in from one yard out to cut into the Cajuns’ lead a bit further at 41-15 following another failed two-point attempt.
Louisiana committed another turnover on their ensuing possession, this time a fumble by Davis that was recovered by UAB. The Blazers cashed in on fourth and goal with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Zeno to Samario Rudolph that made the score 41-21 with just 10 seconds left in the game.
BIG NUMBER: 27
After the prolonged rain delay and an injury to their starting quarterback, Louisiana scored 27 straight points to create a huge advantage over UAB in a big win for the Cajuns.
BIG NUMBER II: 515
Louisiana finished with 515 yards of total offense on the road tonight, including 307 yards on the ground.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Zeon Chriss
Chriss came in after Ben Wooldridge left with an injury and dazzled. The redshirt freshman had 277 total yards of offense and three touchdowns (an 80-yard touchdown run in the game as well).
UP NEXT: Louisiana will return to the friendly confines of Cajun Field next Saturday to host Buffalo. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.