The 2021 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl features the 7-5 Marshall Thundering Herd against the 12-1 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Here is the 2021 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Preview.
Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5)
Marshall won seven games to make their fifth-straight bowl game. They defeated two bowl-eligible teams in Old Dominion and North Texas. All five of their losses came to teams who qualified for bowl games.
They score 34 points per game, which ranks them 27th in the country. They pass for 310.7 yards (ranked 12th) and rush for 160.3 yards per game (ranked 70th).
Grant Wells has been a good quarterback for the Thundering Herd. He has passed 3,433 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 66.8 percent completion. Seven Marshall receivers have over 200 yards on the season. Corey Gammage leads the team in receiving with 69 catches for 828 yards and two touchdowns. Willie Johnson has 32 receptions for 625 yards and three touchdowns to help the Herd. Tight end Xavier Gaines and wide receiver Shadeed Ahmed each have over 400 receiving yards as well.
The lead back for Marshall is Rasheen Ali. Ali has rushed for 1,241 yards and 20 touchdowns. Sheldon Evans has aided the team with 291 rushing yards and five touchdowns as well.
Defensively, the Thundering Herd have allowed 22.8 points per game, which ranks them 39th in the country. They allow 186.1 rushing yards (ranked 104th) and 199.2 receiving yards per game (ranked 26th). Linebacker Abraham Beauplan leads the team with 104 tackles. Eli Neal, another linebacker, has 92 tackles and leads the team with 5.5 sacks.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (12-1)
Louisiana lost their first game of the season, but won 12 straight to win the Sun Belt. They lost to a team that did not qualify for a bowl game in Texas. The Ragin’ Cajuns have four wins over bowl-eligible teams this season, but they will be without their head coach Billy Napier for this game, as he has taken the Florida job.
They score 30.7 points per game, ranking them 50th in the FBS. They pass for 213.1 yards (ranked 86th) and rush for 184.5 yards per game (ranked 43rd).
Levi Lewis is the veteran quarterback for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He had another solid season with 2,647 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions on 60.3 percent completion. There are several contributors who have over 200 receiving yards. Peter LeBlanc leads the team with 37 receptions for 417 yards and one touchdown. Michael Jefferson has been a big-play threat at 24.9 yards per catch. Kyren Lacy has led the team with five touchdown catches.
The rushing attack is led by Chris Smith, who has 855 yards and eight touchdowns. Montrell Johnson has 784 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns as the second-leading rusher on the team. Emani Bailey also has over 500 yards and is followed by Lewis from the quarterback position with 269 rushing yards.
Their defense has stepped up this season, allowing just 18.3 points per game and ranking 11th in the country. They concede 141.2 rushing yards (ranked 50th) and 191.7 passing yards per game (ranked 25th). Linebacker Chauncey Manac has been a menace getting after the quarterback with his 10.5 sacks. Mekhi Garner and Eric Garror each have seven passes defended in the secondary.
Louisiana may be without Napier, but their defense is legitimate. They will be able to slow down Wells and Lewis will protect the ball and move the chains for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 30 Marshall Thundering Herd 22
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