2014 New Orleans Bowl final score: 3 things we learned from UL-Lafayette’s 16-3 win
The Ragin’ Cajuns are the first team to win the same top-division NCAA bowl four years in a row.
Death, taxes and 9-4 Louisiana-Lafayette with a New Orleans Bowl victory. In all four years of Mark Hudspeth’s tenure with the Ragin’ Cajuns, they have achieved that record with a win in this game, continuing the streak Saturday with a 16-3 win over Nevada in the postseason’s first bowl game.
Attendance suffered with the 10 a.m. local kickoff, but it was still a decidedly pro-Louisiana crowd. The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a hot start, with five first downs on their first eight plays. That led to a 17-yard touchdown pass from Terrance Broadway to C.J. Bates, taking the lead for Louisiana-Lafayette. Broadway started the game with 14 straight completions — the most to start a bowl game ever, per the ESPN broadcast.
The two teams traded field goals, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 10-3 lead at halftime. Hunter Stover made another field goal for Louisiana-Lafayette early in the fourth, making it a two-possession game. Stover hit his third and fourth field goals of the day later in the period to seal it.
Three things we learned
1. As long as Mark Hudspeth is there, UL-L is a Sun Belt favorite. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ consistency under the former North Alabama head coach has been remarkable. They lose some important players this year, but seven starters return on this defense, which improved as the season went on and put together their best performance to date Saturday against the Wolf Pack. Nevada’s three points was the lowest in a bowl game since LSU was shut out in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.
2. Both teams will miss their quarterbacks. Terrance Broadway and Cody Fajardo both graduate after starting for their schools for seemingly eons. Broadway set the aforementioned NCAA record for consecutive completions to start a bowl game, and finished 26-of-31 for 227 yards and the game’s only touchdown. Fajardo struggled through the air (14-of-29, 124 yards), but was by far Nevada’s best rusher. He finished with 13 carries for 49 yards, 24 more than next-best Don Jackson.
3. Elijah McGuire is a playmaker to watch out for. Louisiana-Lafayette may lose Broadway and running back Alonzo Harris, but McGuire will return. McGuire led the team with 21 offensive touches, totaling 154 yards for 7.3 yards per touch. He’s already among the top seven rushers in Ragin’ Cajuns history, and could make a significant impact on the school record books over the next two seasons.