The 2020 LendingTree Bowl pits the Sun Belt Conference against the Mid-American Conference this season. Louisiana will face Miami (Ohio) on Jan. 6 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Here is the 2020 LendingTree Bowl preview.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (10-3)
The Ragin’ Cajuns are bowling for the second straight season thanks to an offense that averages almost 39 points per contest. Quarterback Levi Lewis (2,804 yards, 24 touchdowns, four interceptions) and running back Elijah Mitchell (1,092 yards, 15 touchdowns) lead the charge, and guard Kevin Dotson is an All-American.
Louisiana won six in a row before falling 45-38 to Appalachian State in the Sun Belt title game. The Ragin’ Cajuns allowed 75 points in their final two games after giving up 40 total in the previous four contests.
Billy Napier’s squad will look to avoid losing two three straight bowl games after winning four in a row from .2011-’14.
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (8-5)
It’s been a special season on plenty of fronts for Miami in 2019. The RedHawks made a bowl game for the first time since 2016 and won their first MAC title since 2010. A five-game winning streak that featured four victories by seven or fewer points highlighted the campaign.
Miami doesn’t have that one true star, but freshman quarterback Brett Gabbert (brother of Blaine) has thrown for more than 2,100 yards and running back Jaylon Bester ran for 12 touchdowns. It’s defense, meanwhile, has allowed more than 21 points once over the last six games.
Kicker Sam Sloman went 25 of 29 on field-goal attempts and did not miss an extra-point chance. This is just the third bowl game for Miami since back-to-back appearances in 2003 and ’04.
It’s a shame this will likely be the most forgotten game on the bowl slate. Well after the new year and one whole week before the national championship game, it’s likely to get lost in the mix. That’s too bad, because it has the makings of an entertaining matchup that could feature plenty of offense and an exciting finish.
Louisiana 33, Miami (Ohio) 28
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