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GAMEDAY College Football

Independence Bowl: Houston 23, Louisiana-Lafayette 16

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By ROY LANG III
Associated Press

SHREVEPORT, La. - Clayton Tune connected with Nathaniel Dell for a 12-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining, and Houston rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 23-16 in the Independence Bowl.

The TD pass was Tune's third of the game and 40th of the season, tying him with Western Kentucky's Austin Reed for the most in the nation. Before the winning throw, he completed a 41-yard pass to KeSean Carter on third-and-30 to move Houston into Ragin' Cajuns territory.

The Cougars (8-5) never led until that late touchdown as Tune heated up amid unseasonably cold temperatures in northwest Louisiana. It was 25 degrees at kickoff, with a wind chill of 12 degrees.

Louisiana-Lafayette (6-7) led 13-0 midway through the second quarter and 16-6 at halftime.

Tune, who finished 19 of 28 for 216 yards, led Houston on a 13-play, 70-yard drive to open the second half and hit Dell for a 2-yard touchdown that made it 16-13.

Clinging to a three-point lead, Louisiana stuffed Houston on fourth-and-short at the Ragin' Cajuns 5-yard line midway through the third quarter, but the Cougars eventually tied the game on Kyle Ramsey's 19-yard field early in the fourth.

The Ragin' Cajuns wasted a chance to retake the lead when running back Chris Smith fumbled at the Houston 4.

Louisiana-Lafayette, located three hours south of Shreveport, took the opening kick and orchestrated a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ended when tight end Johnny Lumpkin made a dazzling touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone.

The Cajuns got three field goals in the first half from by Kenneth Almendares (42, 42, and 22 yards). Chandler Fields finished 17 of 25 passing for 169 yards and a touchdown.

Tune's first TD toss was a 33-yarder to Carter in the second quarter. Carter finished with 104 yards on three catches, and Dell had six receptions for 44 yards and the two TDs.

ELITE COMPANY

Tune and Reed, who threw six TD passes in Wednesday's New Orleans Bowl victory over South Alabama, are three ahead of Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of Southern California and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud. Williams still has a bowl game to play and Stroud's Buckeyes are in the College Football Playoff.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisiana-Lafayette: First-year coach Michael Desormeaux guided the Ragin' Cajuns to their first losing season since 2017 (5-7). The program had posted three consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories (34-5 in that stretch).

Houston: Coach Dana Holgorsen honored one of his mentors, the late Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, by wearing a black hoodie with "STATE" on the front. Holgorsen played for Leach at Iowa Wesleyan and later coached under him at Texas Tech. Leach died on Dec. 12.

December 23, 2022


Scoring Summary
First Quarter UL-LafHou
UL-Laf TD 7:39 Johnny Lumpkin 4 yard TD pass from Chandler Fields (Kenneth Almendares Extra Point) 7 0
Second Quarter UL-LafHou
UL-Laf FG 9:41 Kenneth Almendares 42 yard field goal 10 0
UL-Laf FG 7:05 Kenneth Almendares 42 yard field goal 13 0
Hou TD 3:00 KeSean Carter 33 yard TD pass from Clayton Tune (Kyle Ramsey Kick Failed) 13 6
UL-Laf FG 0:02 Kenneth Almendares 22 yard field goal 16 6
Third Quarter UL-LafHou
Hou TD 9:21 Nathaniel Dell 2 yard TD pass from Clayton Tune (Kyle Ramsey Extra Point) 16 13
Fourth Quarter UL-LafHou
Hou FG 13:40 Kyle Ramsey 19 yard field goal 16 16
Hou TD 0:20 Nathaniel Dell 12 yard TD pass from Clayton Tune (Kyle Ramsey Extra Point) 16 23
Team Stats
  Louisiana Houston
First downs 22 22
  Rushing 8 8
  Passing 11 11
  Penalty 3 3
3rd Down Efficiency 3-12, 25% 3-13, 23%
4th down efficiency 3-3, 100% 3-5, 60%
Rushes-Yards 33-131 38-134
Passing Yards 192 229
Return Yards 71 66
Completions-Attempts-Int 21-31-1 18-27-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1-4 3-21
Punts 3 3
Fumbles Lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties - Yards 5-64 7-61
Louisiana Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Fields 17 25 167 1 0
Z. Chriss 4 6 25 0 1
Houston Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Tune 18 27 229 3 0
Louisiana Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Smith 14 48 3.4 0
C. Fields 6 34 5.7 0
Z. Chriss 4 26 6.5 0
D. Washington 3 11 3.7 0
T. Williams 5 8 1.6 0
P. LeBlanc 1 4 4.0 0
Houston Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Tune 11 55 5.0 0
T. Henry 12 45 3.8 0
B. Campbell 8 22 2.8 0
S. Sneed 6 12 2.0 0
Louisiana Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
L. Legendre 5 56 11.2 0
J. Stephens, Jr. 3 47 15.7 0
N. Johnson 3 19 6.3 0
E. Rogers, Jr. 2 19 9.5 0
P. Migl 2 15 7.5 0
D. Cambre 1 15 15.0 0
J. Lumpkin 2 14 7.0 1
C. Smith 1 4 4.0 0
T. Williams 2 3 1.5 0
Houston Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Carter 3 104 34.7 1
N. Dell 6 44 7.3 2
J. Manjack IV 4 35 8.8 0
M. Golden 2 17 8.5 0
T. Henry 1 14 14.0 0
M. Byrnes 1 13 13.0 0
S. Sneed 1 2 2.0 0
Louisiana Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Houston Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Rogers 1 0
Louisiana Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
R. Byrns 3 88 29.3
Houston Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
L. Wilkins 3 100 33.3
Louisiana Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
E. Garror 2 36 18.0
Houston Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Sawyer 1 25 25.0
Louisiana Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
L. Legendre 2 11 5.5
K. Ossai 1 6 6.0
E. Garror 1 18 18.0
Houston Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Rogers 4 41 10.3
Louisiana Missed FG
Player Length
Houston Missed FG
Player Length




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