Zips Route Cajuns 35-14

LAFAYETTE – Thomas Woodson tossed a pair of touchdowns, while adding a rushing score, and Conor Hundley rushed for a pair of scores as Akron pulled away from a 14-7 lead at halftime and defeated the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 35-14, before an announced crowd of 24,679 on Saturday at Cajun Field.

Louisiana junior running back Elijah McGuire moved past Darren Brister into fifth place on the all-time rushing yards list (2,458) after running for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Jamal Robinson caught two balls for 22 yards, moving him into seventh place on the program's all-time receiving yards list (1,980).

Gabe Fuselier led all Cajuns receivers with five catches totaling 50 yards. Sophomore tight end Nick Byrne hauled in a career-high four passes for 38 yards.

Sophomore defensive back Tracy Walker led the Cajuns defense with seven solo tackles and was tied for the team lead with one tackle for loss.

Akron (2-2) avenged a 35-30 loss to Louisiana (1-2) back in Sept. 2013 at InfoCision Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Saturday's contest marked the Zips' first appearance at Cajun Field.

"I thought our defense kept us in it for the most part, until the end of the game," Louisiana head football coach Mark Hudspeth said. "Offensively, we are going to make some changes and get things fixed."

The Ragin' Cajuns are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 3 in Ruston to battle in-state rival Louisiana Tech in a 6 p.m., kickoff at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Akron dominated the first quarter, controlling the football for nearly 13 minutes and outgaining Louisiana, 134-8, in total yards. Woodson, who completed 13-of 29 passes for 238 yards, connected with Andrew Pratt on a 9-yard pass to give Akron a 7-0 lead with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter.

The Zips increased their lead to 14-0 on their next possession as Woodson engineered a 13-play, 85-yard drive that took 6:12 off the clock. The Zips were aided by three Ragin' Cajuns penalties on the drive, which resulted in 41 yards. Woodson capped the drive on the first play of the second quarter when he scored on a 14-yard draw.

Louisiana cut the deficit to 14-7 by driving 75 yards in seven plays with McGuire scoring on a 17-yard touchdown run with 10:50 remaining in the second quarter.

After Akron's Robert Stein missed a 42-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, Louisiana drove to the Akron one-yard line with a chance to draw even. However, McGuire was denied on fourth down trying to sneak into the endzone with 2:35 to play in the second quarter.

The Zips took advantage of an early second half turnover by the Cajuns to return their lead to double figures. DeAndre Scott intercepted Brooks Haack at the Cajuns 30 at 14:04 of the third quarter. Six plays later, Hundley pushed through the Cajuns defensive line for a touchdown at 11:24.

The Ragin' Cajuns were forced to punt following six plays. Woodson then hit wide receiver Jerome Lane on a slant pattern for a 72-yard score, increasing Akron's lead to 28-7 with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter.

The Cajuns defense forced consecutive three-and-outs before the third quarter expired, but were unable to capitalize on the defensive stops.

Following the first career interception of senior safety Zachary LeGrange, the Cajuns offense picked up just 17 yards before backup quarterback Jalen Nixon had the ball stripped by Se'Von Pittman and recovered by Cody Grice who returned it 12 yards to the Louisiana 21. Akron took advantage of the forced turnover, with four straight carries by Hundley that covered 21 yards and resulted in a touchdown, making it 35-7 with 10:08 left to play.

On the ensuing drive, the Cajuns orchestrated a 15-play, 73-yard drive, capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass by Nixon to Fuselier. The touchdown pass was the first for Nixon this season.


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