Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 44, Texas State Bobcats 34: What we learned from the win

Tim Buckley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Senior running back Trey Ragas rushed for three touchdowns and the Ragin' Cajuns intercepted three Brady McBride passes as UL beat Texas State 44-34 on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium, keeping alive UL's all-time unbeaten streak against Bobcats.

Up 37-27 going into the fourth quarter, UL (5-1, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) added to its lead when Ragas ran in from 7 yards out with 10 minutes and 15 seconds left. 

Ragas’ second of two first-half touchdown runs – a 2-yarder, set up by his own 17-yard run one play earlier – put the Cajuns ahead 28-21 left with 1:23 left in the first half.

But after Eric Garror came up with his second interception of the night, Levi Lewis hit true freshman Kyren Lacy with a 1-yard TD pass and UL went into the break leading 34-21 over Texas State (1-7, 1-3).

Trey Ragas can rumble

Ragas ran 19 times for 131 yards, marking the first time he has gone over 100 yards this season.

With generous holes opened up for him, the NFL prospect rumbled his way through the Texas State defense on the same night Elijah Mitchell ran 17 times for another 96 yards.

Bralen Trahan is on a roll

It’s apparent that Bralen Trahan has been living right lately.

Picking up where he left off, Trahan – starting alongside fellow Cajuns safety Cam Solomon as Percy Butler worked his way back into the lineup after missing one game with an undisclosed injury – had an interception Saturday that led to UL’s opening touchdown, a 3-yard Ragas run.

The Acadiana High product had four tackles, three breakups and a pick in UL’s last outing, a 24-20 win over UAB in on Oct. 23 in Birmingham.

Turnovers matter (sort of)

Five of Saturday’s eight first-half touchdowns come off turnovers, proving they really do matter.

After Trahan’s pick an Garror interception led to UL’s second score, a Calif Gossett touchdown catch. A botched punt return led to Texas State’s second TD, a short Jaymyl Jeter run.

Chris Smith’s fumble after pulling in a pass from Lewis led to a 33-yard pass from McBride to Marcell Barbee that helped put the Bobcats up 21-14 with 11:40 left in the second quarter, and Garror’s second pick came with 54 seconds left in the half.

A second Smith fumble following a catch led to a 10-yard Brock Sturges run that cut the Cajun lead to 37-27 late in the third quarter.

Twenty-one of UL's first 37 points and 20 of Texas State's first 27 came off the same; Texas State's first seven points were the direct result of a fake Seth Keller field goal.

Yet UL won despite losing the turning battle 4-3.

Levi Lewis was right

Lewis was effusive a few nights ago in his praise of Gossett, who made his season debut – but didn’t record a reception – against UAB.

The Cajuns QB was thrilled have the product of Florida’s Pensacola High back, saying, “With his speed, his experience, his football savvy, his IQ, it’s always good to have a guy like Calif back and ready to roll.”

The 6-foot-6 Gossett made good on the kind compliments Saturday, using his height to help haul in a 46-yard heave to the end zone from Lewis.

Safety Kam Pedescleaux of the Ragin' Cajuns pulls down Texas State quarterback Brady McBride in UL's win over the Bobcats on Saturday night.

The Cajuns still own the Bobcats

In eight meetings since 2013 UL now has never lost to Texas State by fewer than 10 points; its prior lowest margin of victory had been 15.

The Cajuns lead the series only 7-0, however, because one win was vacated as a result of recruiting-related NCAA rules violations.