Looking for a Southern Miss vs. UL-Lafayette State preview ahead of their matchup in the New Orleans Bowl? Stick around. We’ve got all of the pre-game analysis before the big game.
Saturday, Dec. 17, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles take on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns in the New Orleans Bowl. The game, to be played at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, is slated for a 9:00 p.m. ET start time and will be broadcast on ESPN. Read on for our Southern Miss vs. UL-Lafayette preview.
According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, Southern Miss wins the matchup between the two teams 61.7% of the time. The spread, via OddsShark, has the Golden Eagles favored as well.
Spread: Southern Miss -2
Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Southern Miss vs. UL-Lafayette preview:
Southern Miss (6-6) ended the regular season with a 39-24 win over Louisiana Tech which snapped a three-game losing streak. UL-Lafayette (6-6) knocked off Louisiana-Monroe 30-3 to close out the regular season for its second straight win.
The Rajin' Cajuns had just 240 yards against Monroe, but allowed just 147 on the day as well. They did their damage on the ground rushing for 240 yards in the win. Anthony Jennings ended the year with 2,074 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Running back Elijah McGuire rushed for 1,028 yards during the regular season.
Southern Miss managed 426 yards of offense against Louisiana Tech in its regular season finale. Nick Mullens threw for 2,926 yards for the Golden Eagles to go along with 22 touchdowns. Ito Smith was electric for Southern Miss as he rushed for 1,321 yards and 15 scores.
Southern Miss lost to Washington in last year's Heart of Dallas Bowl. This marks Lafayette's fifth time in the New Orleans Bowl after winning it in 2014 over Nevada.
Southern Miss vs. UL-Lafayette Prediction:
Southern Miss' offense ranks 25th in the nation averaging 472 yards per game while the Rajin' Cajuns is far less impressive averaging just 365 yards.
The Golden Eagles also hold the edge on the defensive side of the ball allowing just over 330 yards per contest and this will be the difference maker.
Southern Miss 36, UL-Lafayette 20