Cajuns Fall Short On the Road Against Southern Miss
The Cajuns took on the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss in what was a pivotal Sun Belt matchup between two 4-3 squads. The Cajuns are coming off of back-to-back conference wins over Marshall and Arkansas State and have looked completely different with Ben Wooldridge at the helm. Southern Miss is also coming off a pair of wins against Arkansas State and Texas State. The Cajuns and the Golden Eagles renewed an old rivalry on ESPN 2, Let's take a look at how it all went down.
The Golden Eagles would start off with the ball and it was a dangerous first play for Southern Miss as the Cajuns, Chris Moncrief. This gave the Cajun defense the 13th of the season.
Ben and the boys couldn't take advantage of the great field position as Chris Smith would come short on fourth and short. The Cajun's defense would go right back to work forcing a punt, giving the Cajun offense the ball back. Ben Wooldridge would throw an interception to give the Eagles a great field position.
The Eagles would take full advantage of the short field and cash in on a Pittman rushing touchdown to put Southern Miss up 6-0. The Cajuns would block the PAT and take it the distance to make a 6-2 ball game in favor of the Eagles.
The Cajuns would get the ball back for their third offensive possession of the game. The Eagle defense forced a punt after getting a huge sack on third and long. The Eagles would move the chains a few times before a long strike from Frank Gore Jr. would give Southern Miss another touchdown to go up 13-2 with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
The Cajuns would go back to work with Ben Wooldridge under center, but the Eagle defense stay stingy as they would force another three and out. The Eagle offense stayed hot as Southern Miss would go one play and 75 yards to increase their lead to 20-2.
Wooldridge would look to find his rhythm as he would get a couple of first downs with his arm. The Cajuns would move deep into Eagle territory after starting the drive at their own 25-yard line. The Eagle defense would stiffen and force a 50-yard Kenny Almendares field goal to make it a 20-5 Southern Miss lead to end the first quarter.
The Cajun defense would for a punt after stopping Frank Gore Jr. just short of the line to gain on third and five to go. The Cajun's offense would go from bad to worse as the Golden Eagles would add a safety to the scoreboard after an intentional grounding was called on Ben Wooldridge while he was in the end zone. The Cajuns would give the ball back to Southern Miss down 22-5 with 10:21 remaining in the first half.
The Cajuns continued to struggle on offense while the Eagles stayed hot. After forcing a three-and-out, the Eagle would march right down the field and finish with a touchdown pass from Wilcke to Brownlee to make give the Eagles a 29-5 lead with just under six minutes remaining.
The Cajuns would finally get something going on offense with a 63-yard bomb from Wooldridge to Michael Jefferson. The PAT was blocked keeping the Cajuns within three scores of the Golden Eagles. This made it a 29-11 ball game with just under four minutes remaining in the half.
The Cajun defense decided it was their turn to provide a spark after Zi'Yon Hill-Green would get a huge sack on third and long to give the ball back to the Cajun offense. Wooldridge went right back to work as he got the Cajuns into Eagle territory with a quick strike to Jefferson. The Wooldridge to Jefferson connection stayed hot as they would link up again to get inside the Southern Miss 20-yard-line. The Cajuns would come away with nothing after a missed field goal attempt from Almendares from 43-yards out.
The Eagles would run the remaining time off the clock to go into the half leading the Cajuns 29-11 at the break.
The Cajuns would start the second half on offense and needed a big drive to get them back into the game. The Cajuns were moving the chains and driving deep into Eagle territory before a fumble from Chis Smith would give Southern Miss the ball back. The Eagles couldn't take advantage of the turnover as the Cajuns would force a punt giving Wooldridge and company another opportunity for points.
Dontae Fleming would get the Cajuns going with a huge run to get Louisiana into Eagle territory. Southern Miss would force a fourth and coach Dez would leave the offense on the field. Wooldridge's pass would fall incomplete and Louisiana would turn it over on downs. The Cajun defense started to look like we thought they would as they give the ball back to their offense after forcing the Golden Eagles to punt with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cajuns would continue their hot passing attack as Wooldridge would connect with Jefferson to get the Cajuns deep into Eagle territory. Wooldridge would cap the drive off with a touchdown pass to John Stephens. The Cajuns went for two, but the pass was intercepted to make the score 29-17 with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Eagles were on the move but faced a crucial third down as the third quarter came to a close with Southern Miss leading Louisiana 29-17.
The Cajun defense would get the fourth quarter started right with a big stop on third down to force a Golden Eagle punt. The Eagle defense would deliver with a big play of their own as they intercepted a deflected pass to get the ball back in Cajun territory.
The Eagles' offense would go to work in Cajun territory and found themselves first and goal after a Louisiana pass interference call. The Cajuns would force a third down and goal but the Eagles' pass fell incomplete. Southern Miss would settle for three to make it a 32-17 game in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The Cajuns would get the ball trailing by 15 and the Cajuns face a fourth and two in their own territory. Wooldridge would go quick count and get the Eagle defense to jump off-side. The Cajuns would cash in on the Eagle's mistake as they move into Southern Miss territory. The Cajuns would move the chains through the air and find themselves near the Southern Miss 10-yard-line.
The Cajuns would face a fourth and goal but Wooldridge's pass would fall incomplete as Louisiana would turn it over on downs. The Cajun defense would give Louisiana new life with a huge fumble recovery deep in USM territory. The Cajuns would cash in for six with a Williams touchdown run from a yard out. The Cajuns made it an eight-point game with 3:12 remaining.
The Cajun defense would force a three out and the Cajuns would get the ball back with 2:16 remaining. Ben Wooldridge faced heavy pressure on fourth down which lead to a Southern Miss pick-six. That would ice the game as the Cajuns fall to 4-4 on the season and are now out of SBC championship contention.
The Cajuns will return home to take on Troy at Cajun Field with kick-off set for 4 PM.
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