GAMEDAY College Football

Louisiana-Lafayette 70, Louisiana-Monroe 20

MONROE, La. - Louisiana-Lafayette coach Billy Napier didn't complain about being stuck at home recovering from COVID-19 while the No. 23 Ragin' Cajuns prepared for a rivalry game.

Rather, Napier saw it as an opportunity for key players to put their leadership on full display - and he wasn't disappointed.

Levi Lewis passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more in less than three quarters, and Louisiana-Lafayette routed winless Louisiana-Monroe 70-20 on Saturday.

"Certainly a little bit of unique week," said Napier, who was able to rejoin the team after traveling separately to Monroe on Saturday morning. "Ownership from the veteran players was huge. We had a lot of conversations with guys early in the week. They stepped up to the plate. We wanted to start fast and I thought we did that."

Running backs Trey Regas and Elijah Mitchell each rushed for more than 90 yards and scored one touchdown apiece for Louisiana-Lafayette (8-1, 6-1 Sun Belt). Bralen Trahan returned an interception 53 yards for a score during a second quarter in which ULL scored four unanswered touchdowns.

The Ragin' Cajuns have won five straight since their lone loss to 16th-ranked and unbeaten Coastal Carolina, which is scheduled to host ULL in the Sun Belt title game on Dec. 19.

"We are playing with more balance and I think that's who we've got to be if we want to continue to advance here and accomplish the things we've got in mind," Napier said.

Jeremy Hunt had one touchdown passing and one rushing for Louisiana-Monroe (0-9, 0-6), which was playing for the first time in three weeks because of a COVID-19 outbreak that led to the cancellation of a game against Louisiana Tech last weekend after ULM had the previous weekend off.

"Obviously not a very good performance by our guys at all," coach Matt Viator said. "We just didn't have our guys ready to play and that's on me."

The Ragin' Cajuns also had an outbreak that led to the cancellation of their Nov. 14 game against Central Arkansas, with Napier among those affected.

Trahan, who now leads the team with four interceptions, said having the previous week off might have provided some beneficial late-season rest.

"If anything, it helped us," Trahan said. "We got back this week, practiced hard and it showed today."


Associated Press

November 28, 2020