Cajuns Steamroll Texas State, 49-27
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns spotted Texas State a 14-7 lead, then scored 28 unanswered points and scored a decisive 49-27 win over the Bobcats before a crowd of 21, 377 at Cajun Field Saturday night.
And in the process, the Cajuns found themselves a quarterback.
Jalen Nixon completed 22-39 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 45 yards and another score to lead the Cajuns to the win, breaking a two game skid.
The Cajuns had a balanced attack, rushing for 289 yards and passing for 238, with Elijah McGuire leading the way on the ground, gaining 170 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. Torrey Pierce added 56 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown as well.
Texas State (1-4, 0-1 Sun Belt) scored on its first possession as quarterback Tyler Jones found Robert Lowe out of the backfield for a 37 touchdown strike to give the Bobcats an early 7-0 lead.
After failing on fourth down from the Texas State 32 on their first possession, the Cajuns came right back with a 75 yard drive on ten plays, with Nixon hitting Al Riles for a 22 yard touchdown to tie the score with 5:05 left in the first quarter.
The Bobcats regained the lead on a touchdown run by Jones of 31 yards, capping a 78 yard drive on eleven plays to give Texas State a 14-7 lead.
Then the Cajuns' defense took over.
After giving up 165 yards on Texas State's first three possessions, the Cajuns' defense then allowed just 13 yards on the Bobcats next 23 offensive plays. By that time the Cajuns had a 35-14 lead.
After stalling on its next two possessions, Louisiana (2-3, 1-0) ran its two minute offense, driving 59 yards on nine plays, with Nixon capping the drive on a 17 yard touchdown pass, with wide receiver Jamal Robinson making a circus catch to tie the game at halftime.
After forcing a punt on the first possession of the second half, the Cajuns struck quickly on just three plays with Nixon hitting Robinson in stride for a 31 yard touchdown pass to give Louisiana the lead for good. The Cajuns' defense forced a turnover on the next possession as Savion Brown recovered a Lowe fumble at the Bobcats' 36 yards line and the Cajuns got right back in the end zone on a three yard run by McGuire six plays later.
The Cajuns forced another three and out and then had their best drive of the night, going 88 yards on 12 plays. McGuire had 30 yards on four carries during the drive, capped by Nixon's 18 yard run and it was 35-14 Cajuns with 2:31 left in the quarter.
Texas State showed some life on the ensuing kickoff as Brandon Smith scored on a 95 yard kickoff return, the third such return by Texas State at Cajun Field in two games. But Louisiana's Jerryl Brazil did Smith one better with a 100 yard kickoff return to get the lead back to 21 points, 42-21.
Texas State finally got something going offensively after the Cajuns' defense had allowed just 13 yards on 26 snaps after the Bobcats' second touchdown. Texas State drove 90 yards in ten plays with Jones hitting Tyler Sludzinski for 33 yards to the one yard line. Sludzinski scored two plays later. The extra point was blocked and the Cajuns led 42-27.
But, after an onside kick went out of bounds, the Cajuns answered with a 34 yard touchdown drive as Pierce scored from two yards out for the final margin.
Thanks to the 90 yard drive after the Cajuns had taken control, Texas State was able to finish the game with 351 yards in offense, more than 100 yards lower than their average. Jones completed just 13-33 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown. The junior signal caller also led Texas State in rushing with 65 yards.