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Free Pick: New Orleans Bowl at New Orleans 12/18/21
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: New Orleans Bowl at New Orleans 12/18/21


This is another matchup that features Marshall, a team that was disappointing, against Louisiana, a team that has a 12-game winning streak. That should mean the Ragin’ Cajuns will roll in New Orleans. But, this is a bowl game, and strange things happen in these games. So much depends on the emotion level of each team. The other factor is Louisiana head coach, Billy Napier, was hired by Florida, and won’t coach in this game.


Marshall: The Thundering Herd had a down season by their standards. But, they were really good on offense scoring 34 points and rolling up 471 total yards per game. Quarterback, Grant Wells has completed 66% of his passes for 3,436 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back, Rasheen Ali has rushed for 1,273 yards and added 20 touchdowns. Defensively, Marshall has had problems. In their 5 losses, they gave up almost 38 points per game. How well their defense plays will be essential in their hopes for an upset. In addition, they really don’t have a marquee win on their schedule.

Louisiana: The Ragin’ Cajuns are on a 12-game winning streak since losing their opener 38-18 to Texas. They swept through the Sun Belt Conference and beat a good Appalachian State twice to claim the championship. Their rushing and passing stats are almost identical which shows they are hard to defend. Quarterback Levi Lewis, doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but he has thrown only 4 interceptions. This team knows how to play and when you win 12 in a row you are pretty good. Defensively, they are holding opponents to 18 points and 345 total yards in their 13 games. They should be able to control the Marshall offense. A key thing to consider in this game, is the departure of head coach Billy Napier. Will that affect the performance of Louisiana?

OVER/UNDER: 54.5 Combined Team Points Both teams have the potential to score points, making this line interesting. Marshall has the better offense and Louisiana has the better defense. This line can go either way, but I think the Louisiana defense will hold the Marshall offense down. I like the UNDER 54.5 combined totals.

POINT SPREAD: Louisiana a 5-point favorite To me, this looks like a no-brainer and quite frankly, I thought Louisiana would have got a better bowl to play in. My main concern is the effect the loss of Billy Napier will have and if the Ragin’ Cajuns are ready to play.


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