No. 25 Louisiana downs South Alabama to clinch Sun Belt title game berth
Led by senior quarterback Levi Lewis’ three touchdown passes, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns punched their return ticket to the Sun Belt Conference championship game on Saturday with a 38-10 victory over South Alabama in Lafayette, La.
Louisiana (7-1, 5-1) clinched the top seed in the Sun Belt’s West division and will play for the conference championship for the third consecutive time since the title game was introduced in 2018. The Ragin’ Cajuns lost the previous two Sun Belt finals against Appalachian State.
Lewis, who announced earlier this week he would stay at Louisiana for one more season, completed 21 of 31 passes for 252 yards, one interception and threw his touchdown passes to three different receivers. Lewis completed passes to 12 different receivers overall.
South Alabama (3-5, 2-3) mustered 123 yards rushing, led by Terrion Avery’s 62 yards on 14 carries, but Carlos Davis — one of the Sun Belt’s leading rushers — was held to 18 yards on six carries.
Jaguars sophomore quarterback Desmond Trotter, the conference’s most accurate passer (70.1 percent completion rate) entering the game, completed 15 of 28 attempts, but was held to 133 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Louisiana junior safety Percy Butler recorded that takeaway when he intercepted Trotter on South Alabama’s first possession, which led to Louisiana’s first score. Late in the first half, Butler nailed Trotter on a safety blitz forcing a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill.
Senior receiver Kawaan Baker caught six passes for 43 yards, including South Alabama’s lone touchdown on a 7-yard catch-and-run from Trotter in the second quarter.
Louisiana, ranked No. 25 by AP, finished with a nearly equal offensive output, also rushing for 254 yards, led by Chris Smith’s 99 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Elijah Mitchell ran for a touchdown and finished with 61 yards on 15 carries while Trey Ragas ran for 78 yards on 10 carries and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
–Field Level Media