The Ragin Cajuns were looking for win number three of the season taking on the bobcats of Ohio this afternoon.
It was a wild sun-splashed Saturday for UL in its first true road game of the season, but the Ragin’ Cajuns found a way to survive an Ohio comeback attempt in a 45-25 win at Peden Stadium.
UL put up 489 yards and scored 21 fourth-quarter points to open up a 31-25 game with six minutes left.
Here is how it happened:
» Leading 17-6 midway through the third quarter with Ohio driving at the Cajuns’ 24-yard line, backup cornerback Kamar Greenhouse picked off a deflected Nathan Rourke pass and returned it to the Ohio 35. A 15-yard sideline penalty backed it up to midfield, but the Cajuns turned it into a Nick Ralston touchdown catch that made it 24-6 with 4:13 left in the third.
» Ohio pulled within 24-12 with 18 seconds left in the third when Ja’Vahri Portis scored on a fourth-down option play from the 1. But safety Bralen Trahan came up with a big tackle of Portis on the 2-point conversion
» Leading 31-25 and facing a third-and-2, Trey Ragas blasted off tackle for a 32-yard gain with just more than five minutes left. One play later, Elijah Mitchell burst through a hole in the middle of the Ohio line for a 22-yard gain. That set up Mitchell’s 2-yard TD run that put the game away.
Defense stands tall early
UL’s defense forced four punts in the first three quarters, using a two-deep defense that not only neutralized the Ohio passing game — Rourke was only 8-of-18 passing for 79 yards — but yielded only 46 yards on the ground. Linebacker Jacques Boudreaux had five first-half tackles.
Redshirt junior defensive end Chauncey Manac went down with an apparent leg injury during an Ohio pass play in the second quarter. He was helped off the field and did not return.
It was the first true road game for UL, which used an age-old approach — defense and running travel. The Cajuns ran for 285 yards — Mitchell and Ragas combined for 272 on 32 carries — and held the Bobcats to just 5-of-14 on third-down conversions. They also picked off Rourke three times, twice in the fourth quarter.
It was the first UL win against Ohio in three tries and improved to 7-6 against Mid-American Conference schools overall.