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New Orleans Bowl Trends
Pirates are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
Pirates are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
Pirates are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games on turf.
Pirates are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Pirates are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
Pirates are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Pirates are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.
Pirates are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 non-conference games.
Pirates are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
Pirates are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a S.U. win.
Pirates are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Ragin' Cajuns are 8-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Ragin' Cajuns are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
Ragin' Cajuns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Ragin' Cajuns are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Ragin' Cajuns are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games on turf.
Ragin' Cajuns are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
Ragin' Cajuns are 6-13-2 ATS in their last 21 vs. CUSA.
Ragin' Cajuns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
How East Carolina Got Here
After starting the season 3-3, the Pirates closed strong by winning five of their last six games to post their best record since 2009, the last year under head coach Skip Holtz. East Carolina finished in a tie with UCF in the C-USA East Division but lost the tiebreaker after losing to the Knights 40-20. It should be noted that those seven conference wins all came against teams not playing in a bowl game and its only non-conference win came against Appalachian St. of the FCS. The Pirates lost its other three non-conference games by a combined score of 131-44 and those three opponents are all in a bowl game as well.
How UL-Lafayette Got Here
UL-Lafayette finished in a tie for second place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 6-2 record with one of those losses coming against conference champion Arkansas St. by 23 points. Its only win against a team with a winning conference record was a victory at rival UL-Monroe. In non-conference action, the Cajuns got thumped at Oklahoma St. but lost by just a touchdown at Florida on a blocked punt return for a score with only 13 seconds remaining. Similar to the Pirates, they closed the season with three straight wins to make their second straight appearance in the New Orleans Bowl. UL-Lafayette won last year over San Diego St. 32-30 on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.
Even as quarterback Terrance Broadway celebrated Louisiana-Lafayette's first bowl victory at college football's highest level one year ago, there was a part of him left unfulfilled.
As a transfer, all Broadway could do was watch, and he says that hurt. His first chance to lead the Ragin' Cajuns in a postseason game comes Saturday when the Ragin' Cajuns (8-4) of the Sun Belt Conference make their second-straight appearance in the New Orleans Bowl, this time against East Carolina (8-4) of Conference USA.
Broadway has had an exceptional year, putting up 2,526 yards and 16 TDs passing to go with 661 yards and eight TDs rushing.
East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill says he wouldn't be surprised by a shootout, with each team approaching their scoring averages of 30-plus points.
Line movement: ULL opened -5.5 and was bet up to as high as -6.5 on Monday, but ECU money has been showing up , bringing the line to ULL -5 as of Friday. The total opened 65.5 and has bounced between 65 and 66 over the last 10 days.
The Linemakers Ratings: East Carolina: 93.5 (No. 84); UL-Lafayette: 99.5 (No. 67)
Recent meetings: Their last meeting was in 1990, a 20-10 ECU win, but UL-Lafayette leads the all-time series, 6-4.
East Carolina outlook: After five straight seasons of making a bowl game, ECU was left out last season. Things looked bleak again this year until the Pirates closed the season with a three-game win streak, culminated by a 65-59 overtime win over Marshall in their season finale, that assured them of returning. In that game, QB Shane Carden threw for a school record 439 yards. It was the fourth time in ECU's final six games that Carden topped 300 yards passing in a game. WR Justin Hardy and RB Vintavious Cooper also gave the Pirates their first 1,000 rusher and receiver in the same season.
East Carolina injuries:
OL Taylor Hudson (back) is questionable
UL-Lafayette outlook: The Ragin' Cajuns won this game last season in their first bowl game appearance ever, and it might have been one of the best bowl games of the season -- a 32-30 win over San Diego State that came down to the final seconds. Just like last season, they'll be looking for their ninth win of the season. They have played very well, winning four of their past five games. The only loss over that span was at then-No. 7 Florida, 27-20, when the Cajuns were getting 27.5 points. Sophomore QB Terrance Broadway has done a fine job this season taking over for last season's New Orleans Bowl MVP, Blaine Gautier, who missed most of the season with a broken hand. Broadway threw for 2,526 yards and rushed for another 661.
Key number: 1-5
In East Carolina's last six bowl appearances, the Pirates have just one win. That streak dates back to 2001, when they lost 64-61 to Marshall in the highest scoring bowl game in history. The only bowl win since then came in 2007 against Boise State.
The breakdown: This game has the look of a high-scoring affair, because both teams have capable playmakers. East Carolina scored at least 40 points in four of its last six games. Louisiana-Lafayette has scored less than 23 points in a game just once this season, and that was a 20-point outing against a Florida team that has one of the best defenses in college football.
Frank Schwab: Louisiana-Lafayette 40, East Carolina 31
This is a Cajuns team that outplayed Florida for most of a game at Gainesville and lost on a last-minute blocked punt. That's the same Florida team which finished third in the BCS standings and will play in the Sugar Bowl in a couple weeks. The Cajuns are a good team and will have a pseudo home-field advantage.
Graham Watson: Louisiana-Lafayette 33, ECU 21
I think we’ve learned this season that you should never sleep on the Sun Belt. It's a good conference and the Ragin’ Cajuns are one of the best teams no one’s talking about. They won four of their last five (and should have beaten Florida) and should be able to handle East Carolina, which has been streaky most of the season.
Did you know: The Cajuns led then-No. 7 Florida, 20-13, on Nov. 10 with less than two minutes to play in Gainesville before the Gators tied it, then ran back a blocked punt for the winning touchdown with two ticks left.