Tuesday #FunBelt: AState at Louisiana

Arkansas State has won the Sun Belt the last three seasons, splitting last year's title with Louisiana Lafayette. The last two meetings have been the most watched Sun Belt regular season game telecast the last two years, so it is no surprise they meet again on ESPN2.

Tuesday, 7 p.m. Central, Cajun Field, Lafayette.
Broadcast: ESPN2 and Arkansas State radio network.

Louisiana-Lafayette RAGIN CAJUNS (3-3, 2-0 Sun Belt.)

Schedule: Southern 45-6 W; Louisiana Tech 48-20 L; at Ole Miss 56-15 L; at Boise State 34-9 L; Georgia State 34-31; at Texas State 34-10.

Louisiana comes into this meeting with two straight victories, including a big victory at Texas State last Tuesday. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 27 unanswered points in the game to pull away from a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.

Elijah McGuire, who had a 13-yard TD run, scored on a 62-yard pass from Terrance Broadway on the second play of the game. Broadway completed 14 of 21 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown and ran for 113 yards. UL Lafayette posted season-highs in total (528) and rushing (288).

Broadway is 67 yards shy of becoming the third player in school history to record 8,000 yards of total offense. Jake Delhomme (8,876) and Brian Mitchell (8,782) are the all-time leaders.

The Cajuns have won three straight Tuesday games on ESPN2 dating back to 2013, included in that was last year’s 23-7 victory over Arkansas State in Jonesboro.

Coach speak: Mark Hudspeth.

“We are excited about Tuesday night; it is a showcase on national TV and great exposure against a very talented Arkansas State team. We have a big challenge ahead of us against a talented group and we will have to play very well."

“Our first year on Tuesday nights we didn’t play well. We lost them both. I think we do sorta understand the Tuesday night system; the preparation leading up to it. Our last three Tuesday night games we have played are probably are best ball games we have played in the last two years. We have been really effective on Tuesday night for whatever reason. I feel like our preparation leading up to that and hopefully we can continue that because we need that against a great Arkansas State team."

On AState: "They are a very multiple offensive team that creates a lot of issues. Their special teams are very good. They do a lot of things that you have to prepare for. They are out of the ordinary that creates a lot of preparation time that you have got to make you have everything covered. They will come in here very confident off to a great start. This should be a good team against two teams that have had some great contests the last few years. Two fan bases and two teams that like to compete against each other."

ARKANSAS STATE (4-2, 2-0 Sun Belt)

Schedule: Montana St., W 37-10; at Tennessee, L 34-19; at Miami, L 41-20; Utah State, 21-14 OT; UL-Monroe, 28-14; Georgia State 52-10.

Red Wolves are off to a 2-0 start in Sun Belt play for the second straight year, third time over the last four seasons. A-State is 22-3 in the Sun Belt since 2011 and has lost just one conference road game in that span and 32-13 record over the last four seasons. The Red Wolves are 11-1 over their last 12 games played in October, and 11-1 in their last 12 road SBC games. Against Georgia-State, ASU compiled 618 yards offense and the 52 points were its most ever in a Sun Belt road game and the most against an FBS opponent since scoring 52 against UL Lafayette in 2007. The 618 yards offense was the 11th most in school history. Junior QB Fredi Knighten has recorded more than 300 yards of offense the last two games and three times this season. He is also responsible for eight touchdowns over the Red Wolves’ last two games, picking up four against both UL Monroe and Georgia State. Junior running back Michael Gordon has recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 188 yards vs. Georgia State. The defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season and held its last two opponents (three for the season) to under 100 yards rushing as a team and has held its last three opponents to 14 points or less. A-State has won 16 consecutive when opponents score 17 points or less.

Coach speak: Blake Anderson

“We have had a good week of prep for Lafayette and getting relatively healthy. This is a huge challenge for us on national state. We are excited about it. They are huge; one of larger offensive and defensive fronts we have faced all year. Very comparable to Miami and Tennessee.

They played a great game against Texas State and now we have to play them in their back yard. They have a little different style than what we have seen the last few weeks. They like to establish the run and we have seen more spread offenses. You always like all the eyes on you and we all want to be on the national stage on ESPN. We are not close enough geographically to be a rivalry game but we have a fun, healthy respect for each other and the conference title has been decided the last two or three years.

Playing on Tuesday gave us an extra day and a half of prep work which is good because they present some assignment issues we have not seen. It was strange not having a game on Saturday, just was not normal sitting around watching everyone else play and not be a true open week."