New Orleans Bowl preview: East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

The 2012-13 college football postseason continues Saturday as East Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette collide in the New Orleans Bowl.

Let's take a glance at this matchup between the Pirates and the Ragin' Cajuns.

East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) at Noon ET on ESPN
New Orleans, Louisiana

Terrance BroadwayUS PRESSWIRETerrance Broadway has passed for 2,526 yards and rushed for 661 more this year.

Louisiana-Lafayette returns to the Big Easy one year after its 32-30 victory over San Diego State in its first-ever bowl game. The Cajuns' only loss in their final five games of this season was a 27-20 heartbreaker at Florida, a game they lost on a touchdown off of a blocked punt with two seconds remaining. Louisiana-Lafayette will continue to have dual-threat Terrance Broadway at quarterback after he took over for Blaine Gautier, who broke his left hand on Sept. 29. Gautier returned for the final two games but just came off the bench. Broadway has 2,526 passing yards and 661 on the ground. Meanwhile, East Carolina is back in a bowl game after finishing 5-7 in 2011. Sophomore quarterback Shane Carden threw for a school-record 439 yards in a 65-59 overtime victory over Marshall in the season finale, and his favorite target is fellow sophomore Justin Hardy, who has 83 catches for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hardy needs 78 yards to surpass Dwayne Harris' single-season school mark from 2010.

Mark Hudspeth will certainly be able to parlay his strong work at Louisiana-Lafayette into a bigger gig in a BCS league sometime soon. The program had just two bowl berths in its history before last season. Expect another pro-Cajuns crowd for this one, and I expect the Ragin' Cajuns to feed off of that energy. Meanwhile, Ruffin McNeill's East Carolina squad won't back down from a challenge because the Pirates have scored at least 40 points in four of their last six games. However, they have just one win in their last six bowl appearances.

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