"Every once in a while you get a tough pill to swallow, and that was definitely a tough one," Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "First of all let me say congratulations to App State. They have a fine football team and did an excellent job tonight. They deserved to win the game."
App State (6-5, 5-2 SBC) ran for 243 yards, led by 151 yards from Marcus Cox. Taylor Lamb went 11-of-22 for 195 yards and one interception with Montez McGuire leading the App State receivers with 52 yards and one touchdown on two catches.
For Louisiana (7-4, 6-1 SBC), Terrance Broadway went 11-of-22 for 160 yards as the Cajuns were held to 259 yards of offense, their lowest total yardage since recording 241 in a 34-9 loss to Boise State back on Sept. 20. Elijah McGuire led all Cajuns receivers with 35 yards on five catches while adding 36 rushing yards and one touchdown on nine carries. Alonzo Harris paced the Louisiana running game with 60 yards on 13 attempts.
"I'm disappointed on our end," Hudspeth said. "I thought the field position was a big part of the game because the team that had the wind scored. We ended up cutting it to one at halftime. Our defense comes up with a basically a big stop there once we got the wind back in the fourth quarter. Right at the fourth quarter, we really had the wind and were right where we wanted to be. We just couldn't get anything going offensively."
In the first, Hunter Stover gave the Cajuns a 3-0 lead after connecting on a 38-yard field goal with 7:05 to play in the period. T.J. Worthy set up the Cajuns with good field position after picking off Lamb to give Louisiana the ball at the Mountaineers 21-yard line. The Cajuns were unable to reach the redzone on the drive, turning to Stover to give them the early lead.
App State answered with two touchdowns late in the first quarter. Cox capped off an 11-play, 82-yard drive with an eight-yard run to make it a 7-3 game with 1:45 remaining in the first. The Mountaineers added to their lead a little over a minute later as Bobo Beathard returned a Daniel Cadona punt 31 yards for a 14-3 score at the end of the first.
The Cajuns cut into their deficit on their second drive of the second quarter as McGuire found the endzone from eight yards out to make it a 14-10 game with 7:46 remaining in the half. A Stover 26-yard field goal ended the half as the Mountaineers took a 14-13 lead into the break.
In the third quarter, Lamb found McGuire for a 40-yard touchdown pass to extend the App State advantage to 21-13 with 5:39 to play in the period. Stover recorded his third field goal of the afternoon late in the quarter, connecting on a 33-yarder to make it 21-16 after three.
A 2-yard touchdown run by Cox with 5:35 to play in the game extended the Mountaineers' advantage to 28-16 before a 36-yard touchdown run by Upshaw with under a minute remaining.
The Cajuns will wrap up the regular season next Saturday in Troy, Alabama, as Louisiana takes on the Trojans in an 11:30 a.m. contest.