Cajuns head coach Billy Napier as ULM Warhawks take on the Louisisana Ragin Cajuns Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Cajuns Football Vs Ulm 6349

News Articles

Billy Napier closes out Louisiana career vs. Appalachian State

Billy Napier has one more thing to accomplish at Louisiana.

The 24th-ranked Ragin’ Cajuns (11-1, 8-0) have won the Sun Belt Conference West Division title in each of Napier’s four seasons as head coach and lost in the championship game twice.

After seeing last year’s championship game against Coastal Carolina canceled because of COVID-19, Louisiana hosts the Sun Belt title game for the first time when it faces Appalachian State (10-2, 7-1) on Saturday in Lafayette, La.

Napier, who was named head coach at Florida on Sunday, will coach the Cajuns on Saturday in search of their first title game victory. It’s undetermined whether he will coach them in their bowl game. The winner of Saturday’s game goes to the New Orleans Bowl.

“We set out to build a program that would make this University and Louisiana proud,” Napier said.

Louisiana lost its season opener at Texas, 38-18, but has won a school-record 11 games in a row, tying the win total under Napier two years ago.

The distraction of Florida’s courting of Napier was nothing new to the Cajuns. Napier has been a frequent target the last couple of years. Last year he reportedly spurned overtures from two other SEC schools – South Carolina and Auburn.

“It hasn’t been difficult,” safety Kam Pedescleaux said. “I feel like as a team we don’t really focus on those outside things.”

One of reasons for Napier’s lack of interest in other jobs a year ago was that Louisiana was returning 20 starters and expected to have a chance to succeed as it has.

“We know that this group is special,” Pedescleaux said. “All we want to do is bring a championship to Lafayette.”

The Cajuns, who went undefeated in Sun Belt play for the first time, defeated the Mountaineers 41-13 on Oct. 12 in Lafayette.

“After the Louisiana game we came back and we regrouped,” Appalachian State head coach Shawn Clark said. “We didn’t coach well in that game and we didn’t play well in that game.”

The Mountaineers have won six straight since then. The streak started with a 30-27 victory at Coastal Carolina and each of the subsequent victories has come by at least 24 points.

“We’ve been performing at a high level these last couple weeks, and I think that just goes to our preparation,” linebacker D’Marco Jackson said.

The Mountaineers are coming off a dominant defensive effort in a season-ending 27-3 home victory against Georgia Southern last Saturday. They had four sacks and allowed just 194 yards. They’ve allowed a total of just 31 points in their last four games.

“We went back to keeping things a little simpler,” Clark said. “We have really been rallying to the football, getting 11 hats to the football and playing fast. That has shown the last four or five games.”

Like Louisiana, Appalachian State is a very experienced team. The Mountaineers have a group of seven sixth-year seniors who have been part of compiling a 62-15 record.

“This is the third time (the Sun Belt Championship Game) has been played, and it’s been us and Louisiana the whole time,” Clark said. “I think it’s big any time you can have a chance to play for championships and that’s what we sell in our programs.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Sep 29th, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

South Carolina

@

Sep 29th, 8:00 PM

Utah State +24 -135

BYU (19) -24 -135

@

Sep 30th, 7:00 PM

Tulane +3.5 -110

Houston -3.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 7:30 PM

UTSA -6.5 -110

Middle Tennessee +6.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 8:00 PM

San Diego State +5 -110

Boise State -5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 10:30 PM

Washington (15) -3 -110

UCLA +3 -110

@

Sep 30th, 11:00 PM

New Mexico +15 -110

UNLV -15 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Kentucky (7) +4 -110

Ole Miss (14) -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Texas Tech +8 -110

Kansas State (25) -8 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (18) -5 -110

TCU +5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Louisville -13.5 -110

Boston College +13.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Michigan (4) -9.5 -110

Iowa +9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Purdue +10 -110

Minnesota (21) -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Illinois +9 -110

Wisconsin -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Georgia State +7.5 -110

Army -7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Navy +16 -110

Air Force -16 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Temple +20 -110

Memphis -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 1:30 PM

Texas State +19.5 -110

James Madison -19.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Oregon State +11 -110

Utah (12) -11 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Massachusetts +20 -110

Eastern Michigan -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

NIU -3.5 -110

Ball State +3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:30 PM

East Carolina -8.5 -110

USF +8.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Alabama (2) -14.5 -110

Arkansas (20) +14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma State (9) +1 -110

Baylor (16) -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Iowa State -3 -110

Kansas +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Wake Forest (22) +3 -110

Florida State (23) -3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Virginia Tech +9 -110

North Carolina -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Michigan State +6 -110

Maryland -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Rutgers +41 -110

Ohio State (3) -41 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Northwestern +24.5 -110

Penn State (11) -24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Fresno State -24.5 -110

UCONN +24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

SMU +4 -110

UCF -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Central Michigan +7 -110

Toledo -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Bowling Green -6 -110

Akron +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +1.5 -110

Buffalo -1.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Ohio +7 -110

Kent State -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

The Citadel

Appalachian State

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Gardner-Webb

Marshall

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Texas A&M (17) +1 -110

Mississippi State -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Georgia Southern +10 -110

Coastal Carolina -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -4 -110

North Texas +4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

Wagner

Syracuse

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

South Alabama -6 -110

Louisiana-Lafayette +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:30 PM

California +4 -110

Washington State -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

Liberty -2.5 -110

Old Dominion +2.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

New Hampshire

Western Michigan

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

UTEP -3 -110

Charlotte +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

LSU -7.5 -110

Auburn +7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Cincinnati -11.5 -110

Tulsa +11.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +9.5 -110

Arkansas State -9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Troy +6 -110

WKU -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Georgia (1) -28 -110

Missouri +28 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +10 -110

Texas -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

NC State (10) +6.5 -110

Clemson (5) -6.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Virginia +2 -110

Duke -2 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Indiana +3.5 -110

Nebraska -3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

San Jose State +1 -110

Wyoming -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB -10.5 -110

Rice +10.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Georgia Tech +19 -110

Pittsburgh (24) -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Florida International (FIU) +14.5 -110

New Mexico State -14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 9:30 PM

Colorado +19 -110

Arizona -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 10:30 PM

Arizona State +24 -110

USC (6) -24 -110

@

Oct 1st, 11:00 PM

Stanford +15 -110

Oregon (13) -15 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Eastern Washington

Florida

@