LAFAYETTE, La. — Big plays helped Louisiana-Lafayette break open a one-point game with the University of South Alabama Saturday, leading to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 52-30 Sun Belt Conference victory at Cajun Field in the Jaguars’ final league game of the season.
Terrance Broadway accounted 365 yards of total offense, with both Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson recording over 100 receiving yards as ULL accepted a bid to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl after improving to 7-4 overall, 5-2 in the Sun Belt.
Ross Metheny countered with a school-record 360 passing yards on 27-of-44 passing for the Jags, who fell to 2-10, 1-7 in the SBC. USA will conclude the 2012 season — and complete a two-year transition to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level — with a 10 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Dec. 1 at Hawai’i.
Ahead just 17-16 with over two minutes to go before intermission, Broadway found Lawson for gains of 53 and 27 yards on back-to-back plays, with the latter capping a five-play, 98-yard march with 16 seconds left in the half. ULL got the ball to start the third quarter, and on second down from the 18-yard line Broadway connected with Peoples for a 72-yard completion that moved the ball to the USA-4. Effrem Reed scored from one yard out two plays later, extending the Cajun advantage to 31-16 88 seconds after the break.
“I thought that drive was the turning point in the game,” observed Jaguar head coach Joey Jones. “And then they came out in the third quarter and drove down and scored. That turned the whole game.
“Offensively they did a great job. We didn’t play as well defensively as we have played — we gave up a bunch of big plays and yardage — but they are a talented football team. They are very good on offense, and a lot of it had to do with the fact that they have some really good athletes.”