Monday, January 30, 2023

Ohio Bobcats @ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Ohio Bobcats

The Ohio football team (0-2) opens a three-game road trip this week when they head to Lafayette, La. to take on Louisiana (1-1) in a short week. Kickoff is set for Thursday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. where Matt Barrie, Roddy Jones and Harry Lyles Jr. will have the call from Cajun Stadium.

The Bobcats’ matchup with the Orange can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 14th season as the “Voice of the Bobcats” and will be joined by Ohio alum Rob Cornelius, who has been a part of the broadcasts for two decades.

Redshirt fifth year wide receiver Cameron Odom surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards on Sept. 11 against Duquesne, catching a 60-yard pass in the first quarter to secure the milestone. Odom has played in 44 games at Ohio, collecting 76 receptions for 1,060 yards and five touchdowns. Redshirt junior running back O’Shaan Allison also surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards on Sept. 11 against Duquesne.

Ohio is 2-1 all-time against Louisiana
in a series that started in 2013. The
Bobcats and Ragin’ Cajuns last met
in 2019.

Ohio and Louisiana last met on Sept. 21, 2019 with the Bobcats falling, 45-25 in Athens. At the time, the loss halted a school-record home winning streak at 10 games. The Ragin’ Cajuns outgained Ohio, 489-380. The Bobcats could not overcome five turnovers. Ohio trailed by just six with under eight minutes to play, but the Bobcats turned the ball over three times and the Ragin’ Cajuns scored two touchdowns over the final four-plus minutes. Nathan Rourke finished 18-of-38 passing for 277 yards and a touchdown and three interceptions. He also led Ohio in rushing with 37 yards on nine attempts and lost a fumble. Running back Ja’Vahri Portis Portis
gained a career-high 35 yards and scored two touchdowns on nine attempts.

Louisiana finished with 285 yards on the ground thanks in large part to Mitchell and Ragas. Mitchell piled up a game-high 143 rushing yards on 17 attempts and scored three touchdowns while Ragas picked up 129 on 15 attempts and found the end zone once. Lewis completed 19 of his 29 pass attempts for 188 yards and two scores. Bradley led all receivers with five receptions, gained a team-high 75 receiving yards and caught a touchdown.

Louisiana enters the matchup with the Bobcats with a 1-1 record after falling to Texas to open the season, before taking down Nicholls, 27-24 on Saturday. In the game on Saturday, Louisiana totaled 417 yards of total offense, complimenting the passing yardage with 113 yards on the ground. Defensively, the Ragin’ Cajuns recorded 69 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and three sacks. Safety Percy Butler paced Louisiana with 10 tackles, including two tackles in the backfield. Quarterback Levi Lewis is 47-of-73 over two games, passing for 586 yards, three touchdowns and has not thrown an interception. On the ground, Chris Smith leads with 22 attempts for 103 yards and one touchdown.

The Ohio Bobcats (0-2) logged their second loss of the 2021 season Saturday afternoon (Sept. 11), falling to Duquesne (1-1) 28-26. The Bobcats were lead by De’Montre Tuggle on offense, as the redshirt fifth-year scored two total touchdowns and logged 175 all-purpose yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio’s Jett Elad lead the team in tackles with 11.

Ohio is 0-2 to start the season for the first time since 2008, in a year in which they started the season 0-4. Overall, the Bobcats are averaging 17.5 points per game to go along with 326.0 total yards per game. O’Shaan Allison leads on the ground with 119 yards, while DeMontre Tuggle adds 109 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Kurtis Rourke is 35-of-50 with 310 yards, one touchdown and one interceptions. While, Jerome Buckner leads the receivers with seven catches for 102 yards.

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

Following a thrilling 27-24 victory in its season-opener against Nicholls, Louisiana prepares for a quick turnaround when it welcomes in the Ohio Bobcats for a prime time showdown on Thursday, Sept. 16. The two teams have faced off before during the Billy Napier era, a game that the Ragin’ Cajuns won by a final score of 45-25 in Athens, Ohio, on Sept. 21, 2019.

• Louisiana is 8-4 in non-conference games under Billy Napier, including a 5-0 mark at Cajun Field.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns are 29-5 under Coach Napier when scoring more than 20 points.
• Louisiana has eight “super seniors” on the roster this year in quarterback Levi Lewis, linebacker Ferrod Gardner, offensive lineman Ken Marks, wide receiver Jalen Williams, linebacker Chauncey Manac, nose tackle Tayland Humphrey, safety Cameron Solomon and kicker Nate Snyder. Of the eight, Ken Marks and Ferrod Gardner are in their seventh season of eligibility.
• Levi Lewis needs eight passing touchdowns to set the program record for career passing scores. The current record of 64 is held by Ragin’ Cajun legend Jake Delhomme.
• In the win against Nicholls, Lewis threw for 304 yards, marking the third time in his career he has eclipsed the 300-yard mark. The yardage total was also the 37th 300-yard passing performance in program history.
• Lewis leads the Sun Belt Conference and ranks 19th nationally in total passing yards (586), while leading the league and checking in at 16th in the nation with his 293.0 passing yards per game.
• Four of Louisiana’s offensive linemen have started in at least 26 games over the last two years. Ken Marks leads the way with 29 starts, while Shane Vallot has started in 27 games and Max Mitchell and O’Cyrus Torrence have each started in 26.
• Kenneth Almendares has been consistent for Louisiana so far in 2021, going a perfect 4-for-4 on his fieldgoal attempts. He has made two field goals in each of the team’s first two games, matching a career.

• In Billy Napier’s first three seasons, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have won three Sun Belt Conference West Division titles, were the 2020 Sun Belt Co-Champions and have won two bowl games(LendingTree Bowl (2020) and SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (2021)).
• The Ragin’ Cajuns are 8-4 overall and 5-0 at home in non-conference games under Coach Napier.
• The team is 4-0 in home openers at Cajun Field under Coach Napier and is 28-22 in home openers in program history.
• Louisiana is 29-5 when scoring 20 or more points in the Napier era.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns’ passing game has been electric to start the season, averaging 293.0 yards through the air. That mark is good for 29th nationally.
• Louisiana has done a good job limiting penalties so far this season, ranking 14th in the nation and third in the Sun Belt with only eight flags thrown against.
• Louisiana has eight “super seniors” on the roster this year in quarterback Levi Lewis, linebacker Ferrod Gardner, offensive lineman Ken Marks, wide receiver Jalen Williams, linebacker Chauncey Manac, nose tackle Tayland Humphrey, safety Cameron Solomon and kicker Nate Snyder. Of the eight, Ken Marks and Ferrod Gardner are entering their seventh season of eligibility.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns boasted a 6-1 record in one-score games last season.
• Per ESPN’s Bill Connelly, Louisiana returns 96 percent of its production entering the 2021 season. The team has 93 percent of its offense returning and 98 percent of the defense coming back.
• Louisiana placed nine on the Sun Belt’s All-Conference teams after having 14 All-Conference selections at the end of the 2020 campaign.
• Former Ragin’ Cajun running back Elijah Mitchell was drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft back in April after he was selected with the 194th pick in the Sixth Round by the San Francisco 49ers.
• Mitchell was the fourth player drafted during the Napier era.
• Louisiana’s play-by-play announcer Jay Walker is entering his 30th year covering the Ragin’ Cajuns.


QB Levi Lewis
• Levi Lewis is 23-7 as the starting quarterback of the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
• The senior currently leads the Sun Belt and ranks 19th nationally in total passing yards (586), while leading the league and checking in at 16th in the nation with his 293.0 passing yards per game. Additionally, he ranks 17th nationally and leads the league in completions per game (23.5).
• Lewis had a strong showing against Nicholls (Sept. 11), going 19-for-33 for 304 yards and throwing two touchdown passes.
• Lewis’ 304 passing yards were the third-most of his career and marked the third time he eclipsed the 300-yard passing threshold. It was also the 37th 300-yard passing performance in program history.
• The quarterback has now thrown a touchdown pass in 20-straight games.
• Louisiana is now 17-1 when Lewis throws two or more touchdowns in a game.
• Lewis went 28-for-40 for 282 yards and a touchdown in the team’s Week 1 loss at No. 21/19 Texas.
• His 282 passing yards were the fifth most in his career and the most in a season opener by a Ragin’ Cajun since Chris Masson threw for 283 yards against Southern on Sept. 5, 2009.
• The yardage total also marked the most by a Ragin’ Cajun against a Power 5 opponent since Blaine Gautier threw 236 yards against Oklahoma State on Sept. 15, 2012.
• Lewis is second in program history for career passing touchdown and third in career passing yards.
• Lewis and Jake Delhomme are the only quarterbacks in program history to throw for more than 6,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in their careers.
• Was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, AFCA Good Works Team Watch List, Wuerffel Trophy Preseason Watch List, CFPA National Watch List, Manning Award Watch List, Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch List and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Preseason Watch List.

QB Chandler Fields
• Took one snap in the season opener against No. 21/19 Texas.
• Made two appearances during the 2020 season, attempting six passes in those contests.
• Enters the season having appeared in five career games, going 3-for-9 for 16 yards through the air.

QB Ben Wooldridge
• Transferred to Louisiana from Fresno State.
• Appeared in five games for Fresno State, going 8-for-16 for 117 yards as a sophomore in 2020.
• Played in three games in 2019 for the Bulldogs, going 4-for-6 and throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass.

QB Lance LeGendre
• A four-star recruit who transferred in from Maryland, LeGendre enters his first season with the Ragin’ Cajuns program.
• Appeared in six games for Maryland over the last two seasons, earning one start.
• In 2020, he completed 11 of his 14 pass attempts for 91 yards.
• Saw action in three games as a true freshman in 2019, went 1-for-3 for seven yards through the air while rushing for 104 yards on 13 carries.
• Appeared on Season 3 of the Netflix show, “QB1: Beyond the Lights”.

QB Hunter Herring
• Tabbed as the No. 50 overall player in the state and the No. 47 dual quarterback in the country by
• Threw for 2,769 yards with 34 touchdowns during his career at Ouachita Christian High School.
• Also ran for 2,181 yards and 48 scores, highlighted by back-to-back 20+ rushing touchdown seasons to end high school career.


RB Chris Smith
• Leads all Louisiana running backs with 22 carries for 100 yards through two games.
• Carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards against Nicholls (Sept. 11).
• Ranks ninth in the Sun Belt with 50.0 rushing yards per game.
• Totaled 100 all-purpose yards through the first two weeks, ranking seventh in the conference.
• Opened his 2021 campaign with 54 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown at Texas (Sept. 4).
• The 54 yards were the fourth-most in his career, while the 11 carries mark a new career-high.
• One of only two running backs on the current squad who scored a rushing touchdown last season.
• Joins Baylor’s Tristan Ebner as the only two running backs in the country who produced two kickoff return touchdowns and at least one rushing touchdown last season.
• Took first-team reps during Training Camp for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

RB Emani Bailey
• Notched five carries for 27 yards against Nicholls (Sept. 11).
• Toted the ball six times for 14 yards at Texas (Sept. 4).
• Appeared in five games as a true freshman, carrying the ball 10 times for 60 yards in 2020.
• Took the majority of the No. 2 reps at running back.
• Was rated as the 61st-best running back in the country out of high school by

RB Montrell Johnson
• Recorded a career-high nine rushing attempts for 19 yards against Nicholls (Sept. 11)
• Saw his first career action at Texas (Sept. 4), carrying the ball six times for 27 yards.
• A highly-regarded recruit out of high school, Johnson will compete for playing time in 2021.
• Rated as the 48th-best running back in the country according to

RB TJ Wisham
• Played in four of the first five games of the 2020 season before missing the remainder of the year due to injury.
• A key special teams player, picking up a tackle against Georgia Southern.

RB Michael Orphey Jr.
• Appeared in four games in 2020 for the Ragin’ Cajuns, carrying the ball four times for 61 yards and a \touchdown.
• The only other running back to return a touchdown from a season ago, joining Chris Smith.

Former RBs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas
• Louisiana lost two of the program’s all-time great backs in Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas following the 2020 season. The pair combined for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2020.
• Mitchell was drafted with the 194th overall pick in the Sixth Round by the San Francisco 49ers, while Ragas signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
• Ragas finished his career with 3,572 rushing yards, the third-most in program history, and 38 rushing touchdowns, the sixth most in program history, while Mitchell ranked fifth in career rushing touchdowns (41) and sixth in career rushing yards (3,267).

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