The 2022 Independence Bowl features the 6-6 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns against the 7-5 Houston Cougars. Here is the 2022 Independence Bowl preview.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6)
Louisiana won six games to make their fifth straight bowl game. Three of their wins came against bowl-eligible teams: Eastern Michigan, Marshall and Georgia Southern. Two of their losses were to Rice and UL Monroe, who were under .500.
The Ragin’ Cajuns score 27 points per game, ranking 77th in the country. They pass for 224.9 yards (ranked 75th) and rush for 143 yards per game (ranked 76th).
After Ben Wooldridge suffered a season-ending injury, Chandler Fields has played quarterback for the Ragin’ Cajuns. He has passed for 1,661 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions on 56.6 percent completion. Three pass-catchers have at least 200 yards on the season. Michael Jefferson leads the team with 51 receptions for 810 yards and seven touchdowns.
Three players have at least 300 rushing yards on the season. Chris Smith has the team-high in rushing yards with 579 yards and three touchdowns. Terrence Williams and Dre’lyn Washington have chipped in with 365 and 339 yards respectively.
Their defense gives up 22.8 points per game, tying them for 37th in the country. They concede 142.2 rushing yards (ranked 50th) and 219.3 passing yards per game (ranked 59th). Jourdan Quibodeaux leads the team 93 total tackles. Eric Garror has been solid in the secondary with six interceptions and two passes defended on the season.
Houston Cougars (7-5)
Houston won seven games to qualify for their third straight bowl game. Their wins over UTSA, Memphis and East Carolina give them three over teams above .500. Only one loss, to Tulsa, was to a team under .500.
The Cougars score 37.2 points per game, ranking 14th in the FBS. They pass for 321.1 yards (ranked 7th) and rush for 142.5 yards per game (tied for 78th).
Clayton Tune has plenty of experience as the Cougars’ quarterback. This season, he has passed for 3,845 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 67.4 percent completion. Six receivers have at least 200 yards on the year. Nathaniel Dell has led the team with 103 catches for 1,354 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Four players have rushed for at least 300 yards on the season. Tune leads the team with 491 yards and also has five touchdowns. Stacy Sneed has 489 rushing yards, Brandon Campbell has 409 and Ta’Zhawn Henry has 318 on the season.
Their defense allows 33.5 points per game, tying them for 117th in the FBS. They give up 144.3 rushing yards (ranked 58th) and 285.7 passing yards per game (ranked 126th). Donovan Mutin and Gervarrius Owens each have over 70 tackles on the season. D’Anthony Jones has a team-high six sacks. Alex Hogan is good in the secondary with 10 passes defended.
Houston’s offense will be too much for Louisiana. Tune and Dell will have big games for the Cougars.
Houston Cougars 43 Louisana Ragin’ Cajuns 25
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