After a tough loss last week to open their 2023 Sun Belt Conference schedule, the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (1-1, 0-1 SBC) will be back on the road to face the UAB Blazers (1-1) in a non-conference matchup.
These two programs last played each other in 2020, with the Cajuns squeaking out a close 24-20 victory over the Blazers. First-year head coach Trent Dilfer looks to turn the UAB program around with an offensive attack that averages 35 points per game.
WHO CAN FORCE TURNOVERS?
Heading into this contest, Louisiana has only forced one turnover and it wasn’t an interception. UAB has forced two fumbles while recovering one and also has one interception. So both teams will be looking to create more opportunities for their offenses, but the Louisiana secondary will need to step up and make plays against a pass-heavy offense so far in 2023.
This matchup will be the eighth all-time meeting between the programs, with UAB holding a slim 4-3 advantage. This will be the first meeting in the new stadium, Protective Stadium, that UAB opened in 2021.
There’s not a rivalry between these two teams, but that close of history in terms of a win-loss record can make for a very entertaining atmosphere and it should be a great game between two good teams.
CRITICAL GAME FOR CAJUNS
After last week’s loss on the road to ODU, Michael Desormeaux and the Cajuns need to get back on a winning track before they come home to play Buffalo next Saturday. The confidence level as a program needs to rise and winning against a lateral program like UAB goes a long way to doing that when the schedule is about to ramp up with Minnesota and the rest of the Sun Belt slate waiting in the wings. I won’t call it a must-win, but this certainly feels like a game Louisiana needs to perform well in.
Ben Wooldridge: 39-68, 508 yards, 5 TDs, 1INT
Jacob Kibodi: 19 carries, 103 yards
Robert Williams: 8 receptions, 89 yards, 1 TD
Jordan Lawson: 11 tackles, 4 TFL, 3.5 sacks
Kenneth Almendares: 2-2 FG (33), 8-8 XP
Jacob Zeno: 71-84, 678 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Isaiah Jacobs: 18 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD
Tejhaun Palmer: 10 receptions, 137 yards, 1 TD
Jackson Bratton: 17 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks
Matt Quinn: 0-2 FG, 8-8 XP