Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Texas State Bobcats (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 8:00 pm EST
Where: Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, Texas
TV: ESPN2, DirecTV 209
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UL-La. +2.5/Tex. St. -2.5
Over/Under Total: 63
The small Texas town of San Marcos and the Texas State Bobcats will have their national coming-out party on Tuesday, when the Bobcats host the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns in a Sun Belt Conference matchup played in primetime on ESPN2.
Both teams will be coming into the national telecast fresh, with 10 days off since their last game. Both schools also enter the contest off harder than it should have been victories in said last game, with Lafayette scoring a late TD to beat Georgia State at home (as 16-point favorites), 34-31, while Texas State held off a late Idaho rally to save a 35-30 win (as 14.5-point home chalk).
For Texas State their last time out between the stripes was the Terrence Franks show, as the senior running back busted off a school-record 70-yard touchdown on his first carry, added a new record with a 95-yard scoring gallop on his second carry, then added another 70-yarder before tallying 284 yards on 15 carries in the win over Idaho that the Bobcats nearly threw away late.
For the Ragin Cajuns, a late touchdown strike from another Terrence, Terrence Broadway to Jamal Robinson allowed the Cajuns to save a game they almost gave away. But it a sign thats actually a sign of the type of season its been so far, the Cajuns missed the extra point and left the door open for Georgia State to try and tie it.
As of the start of business on Tuesday, sportsbooks were listing the point spread for the primetime affair with Texas State as 2.5-point favorites at home. The over/under total is currently sitting at 63.
The total is a fairly high number because neither of these teams play stellar defense one could almost argue they dont play defense at all. Texas State is currently ranked 85th in yards allowed in FBS (425 ypg), and since they allow over 214 yards rushing a game its really hard for the Bobcats defense to get off the field at times. And statistically speaking, the Bobcats have a better defense than the Ragin Cajuns. Lafayettes defense is ranked 106th in yards allowed (458 ypg), including 186 yards per game allowed to their opponents running backs. Lafayette has been allowing 35 points a game on defense, a number that is only slightly better (28 ppg allowed) on the Texas State sideline.
One intangible for this game that might get overlooked is the revenge factor, considering the Ragin Cajuns simply embarrassed the Bobcats in Lafayette last season, 48-24, in a game that was 45-3 before the second-string allowed a few scores to make it look closer on the scoreboard than it really was on the field. Broadway was outstanding in the game, throwing for 335 yards and four touchdowns. The Cajuns defense even held the Texas State attack to 196 total yards in the game, allowing the Cajuns to cover easily as 11-point favorites.
Much more was expected out of this senior-led Ragin Cajuns team, including a legit shot at a Sun Belt Conference title, so it will be interesting if they give the Bobcats life by falling behind early on the road. As far as balance on both sides of the ball and special teams, it may be the Bobcats in their second-year of Sun Belt Conference play that scores the big win on national televison to boost the profile of the newest football program in the football-crazy state of Texas.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I dont have a super strong lean to either side, so if forced to choose Id probably take the home team Texas State to cover, especially since the number is under 3. But Old Dominion laid a complete turd in primetime a few weeks back in almost the same circumstances new FBS program, first time in primetime, playing respectable and holding their own to this point and that was ugly. Im just going to take the safe play here and go with the over of 63.