The Ragin’ Cajuns will be looking to end a three-game losing streak, while the Thundering Herd will be aiming for their first conference win as a member of the Sun Belt.
Louisiana’s transition from the Billy Napier era has not been a smooth one, as they have dropped three straight games since starting 2-0 under new head man Michael Desormeaux.
They have already lost as many conference games (two) as they did in Napier’s final three seasons, and they will face a tall task to avoid an 0-3 Sun Belt start without starting QB Chandler Fields, who will be out with an upper-body injury.
After losses to Bowling Green and Troy, Marshall got back into the win column on Saturday with a 28-7 her team win over FCS member Gardner-Webb.
Both of these teams need to win to have any sort of hope of being a factor in their division, but who will take the W on Wednesday?
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Matchup Information and Betting Odds Matchup Information Matchup: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (2-3, 0-2 Sun Belt) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd (3-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) Venue & Location: Joan C. Edwards Stadium (Huntington, West Virginia) Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 Game Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time How to Watch Louisiana vs. Marshall: ESPN2 Louisiana vs. Marshall Early Odds Game odds are via FanDuel. Odds from our other recommended sportsbooks may also appear in this article. Spread Louisiana +7.5 (-115) Marshall -7.5 (-105) Over/Under Over 47.5 (-110) Under 47.5 (-110) Moneyline Louisiana +255 Marshall -320 Louisiana vs. Marshall Gameday Odds Game odds are via FanDuel. Spread Louisiana +10.5 (-115) Marshall -10.5 (-105) Over/Under Over 46.5 (-110) Under 46.5 (-110) Moneyline Louisiana +310 Marshall -400 Can Louisiana’s Defense Give Them a Chance to Win?
Napier is now residing on a big pile of money in Gainesville, Florida in part because of the success his offenses had in Lafayette.
That success appears to have left with him. Over their last three games, things have not been good at all.
In a 33-21 loss to Rice, the Ragin’ Cajuns were held to just 175 yards. Then in their first loss since 2017 to in-state rivals ULM, they averaged only 2.3 rushing yards per attempt and were held scoreless for the final 37 and a half minutes. And in Saturday’s 20-17 loss to South Alabama, Louisiana managed only 274 total yards and turned the ball over a season-high three times.
With Fields out, Ben Wooldridge will draw his first start. Wooldridge has gotten significant playing time early, so he won’t be going in green.
But he is going to have to average more than 3.1 yards per pass, which he did against South Alabama, going 18 of 29 for just 90 yards. In fact, he averaged more yards per rush (36 yards on nine attempts) than pass.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have been outgained in all three of their losses, but if they can force turnovers, they may have a chance. That is something that they have done well, as they have forced multiple turnovers in every game thus far.
Will Laborn Lead the Way Again for Marshall?
Marshall’s win at Notre Dame could have been a springboard for a special season, but the thrills proved to be short-lived. They followed that stunning upset with a loss to Bowling Green then fell at Troy in their Sun Belt opener.
A win over Gardner-Webb won’t move the needle much, but it was a solid performance on both sides of the ball. They ran for 236 yards and forced four turnovers, though they didn’t turn any of the takeaways into points.
Florida State transfer Khalan Laborn kept his fantastic season going in the win, rushing for a season-high 191 yards and two touchdowns on a season-high 35 carries.
Laborn, who has run for 100+ yards in every game this season, is fifth in FBS in carries (132), fourth in rushing yards (731), and tied for seventh in rushing touchdowns (eight).
After getting at least 27 offensive touches in each of the last four games, you can expect to see him with the ball in his hands often against Louisiana.
Overall, Marshall is averaging 224.4 yards per game on the ground, which is in the top 15 in FBS. The Ragin’ Cajuns are allowing 3.8 yards per carry, which is just outside the top 50 in FBS, but their lone poor performance against the run was against ULM, who tallied 227 yards on 39 attempts (5.8 yards per carry).
If Louisiana can slow down Laborn, can QB Henry Colombi pick up the slack? The Ragin’ Cajuns have ten interceptions this season, so stopping the run could set them up well.
Louisiana vs. Marshall Prediction and Betting Picks Louisiana vs. Marshall Prediction: Marshall 24, Louisiana 17 Louisiana vs. Marshall Spread & Over/Under Picks: Louisiana/Marshall under (Best Value: under 48 @ -110 at Caesars Sportsbook & BetRivers) & Louisiana to cover (Best Value: +8 @ -110 at BetRivers)
As nice as it would be to have some high scoring and unhinged midweek Fun Belt action, I just don’t see it happening.
I do think the Thundering Herd will get the win behind yet another productive night for Laborn, but the Ragin’ Cajuns will manage to keep things close enough to cover.
Despite his low output, Wooldridge did some good things against South Alabama, and I think he will be able to lead a few scoring drives against Marshall.
But it will be another pretty disappointing output for the Ragin’ Cajuns, which makes their team under–at
FanDuel, their team total is 19.5–a solid bonus pick for this one in addition to the game spread and total picks.
Look for the home team to ride their workhorse to their first Sun Belt win.
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