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Division leaders to meet in Troy

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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

For  Homecoming, the Troy football team takes on Sun Belt West Division leader Louisiana-Lafayette this Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 

In a game of division leaders, both teams come in with momentum on their side with Troy taking down South Alabama and Louisiana defeating Arkansas State. 

Louisiana is 4-4 on the season but has won three of its last four games by an average of 16 points per game. The Ragin’ Cajuns are now at the top of the West Division after recent stumbles by the Red Wolves.

“Huge conference game for us against (Louisiana),” said Troy Head Coach Neal Brown — “probably along with Georgia Southern as the hottest team in our league right now.”

Last week, Troy dominated rival South Alabama with key defensive stops. 

That defense will need to show up again Saturday because Louisiana leads the Sun Belt in yards per game at 466 yards per contest. 

The Louisiana offense is led by quarterback Andre Nunez, who leads all active quarterbacks in the Sun Belt in completion percentage at 67.4 percent. 

The senior quarterback is second in the conference in passing touchdowns this season with 13 total.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have also found success the running game with three running backs inside the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference in rushing yards.

Sophomore Trey Ragas has 734 rushing yards on the season and trails only Troy’s B.J. Smith in rushing yards in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have the third-best rushing attack in the conference, and over the next month, the Trojans face No. 1 Georgia Southern and No. 4. Appalachian State. 

Troy’s rushing defense ranks at the top of the Sun Belt and 34th in the nation, allowing just 130 yards per game on the ground.

The offense has propelled Louisiana to the top of the West, but the defense has struggled. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns rank 113th in the country in total defense. On the ground, they allow 224.1 yard per game, which ranks 116th in the FBS. 

The Trojans’ ground game, which ranks 30th in the country at 213 yards per game, will look to take advantage. 

The battle in the trenches, where Troy has succeeded at this season, will be one to watch on Saturday.

Sawyer Smith, who had a bounce-back game last week against South Alabama, will look to build on that momentum against a Louisiana defense that gives up 236 passing yards per game. 

The Trojans enter the November schedule at 4-0 in Sun Belt play, and this week will be a test for the team as they could get a taste of what’s to come in the Sun Belt Championship game if they make it that far.

The Trojans will take on the Ragin’ Cajuns at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN+.

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