College football action gets started in Week 7 on Tuesday with a very intriguing matchup from the Sun Belt Conference as Appalachian State visits Louisiana. Which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Cajun Field
This Sun Belt Conference matchup is the only college football game on Tuesday and is shown on ESPN2. It’s not on the main ESPN because the network is showing the two NHL games on Tuesday’s opening night of the season.
It’s quite possible these schools meet in the Sun Belt title game. Louisiana probably will win the weaker West Division but App State plays in the same East Division as ranked powerhouse Coastal Carolina. App State and Louisiana did play in the 2018 & ’19 Sun Belt title games, both won by App State.
The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 8-1 and are 3-0 in Lafayette. That lone Louisiana victory came last December, 24-21, in Boone. The Cajuns took control by outscoring App State 15-0 in the third quarter.
Louisiana QB Levi Lewis was 8-for-23 for 101 yards with a TD. He rushed for 77 yards and the Cajuns had 126 rushing yards and two TDs on the ground. App Stater QB Zac Thomas (gone now) was 10-for-21 for 92 yards with two picks. The Mountaineers also rushed for two TDs and had 198 yards on the ground.
The road team is 4-1 against the spread on the NCAAF picks in the past five meetings.
App State Hoping for Return of People
Appalachian State (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) comes off a 45-16 win at Georgia State on October, 2. Quarterback Chase Brice, a transfer from Duke, had his best game as a Mountaineer in completing 20 of 28 for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
Star wideout Corey Sutton had four catches for 106 yards, including a 79-yard score after Georgia State had pulled to within 14-9 midway through the third quarter. That started a run of 31 straight points for App State. It was Sutton’s third straight 100-yard game.
Running back Camerun Peoples didn’t play due to injury but should be good to go here. App State has the Sun Belt’s No. 1 and No. 3 rushers in yards per game with Nate Noel at 102.2 and Peoples at 88.3. Fellow tailback Daetrich Harrington (595 yards in six games last year) could make his 2021 debut off injury.
Defensively, the star is linebacker D’Marco Jackson, who was recently added to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the best defender in the country. Jackson is third in the FBS at both 10.8 tackles a game and 2.0 tackles for loss per game while ranking in the Top 25 with 4.0 sacks. He also has a pick. He’s a big reason why the Mountaineers have held 18 straight opponents under 30 points.
The win over Georgia State was App State's 50th against a Sun Belt team since joining the league in 2014. The only programs in the country with more intraconference wins in that span are Ohio State (Big Ten), Alabama (SEC) Clemson (ACC), and Oklahoma (Big 12). It was also App State’s 29th road win since moving to the FBS ranks in 2014. That's tied for the second-most nationally behind Boise State's 30 during that span.
The Mountaineers are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games as favorites on the NCAAF odds.
Cajuns Thriving Under Napier
You already are hearing rumors that Louisiana’s Billy Napier will be a top target of LSU when that school eventually fires Coach Ed Orgeron. The Cajuns (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt) won their fourth straight game on Oct. 2, 20-18 at South Alabama – their lone loss was in the season opener at Texas.
South Alabama’s kicker missed a potential game-winning 37-yard field goal in the final seconds. The Jaguars also had two missed PAT tries. Louisiana didn’t score in the second half but did rush for 225 yards.
QB Levi Lewis had a horrendous day throwing in competing 9-for-20 for a scant 49 yards. He did rush for 61 yards and a TD. Lewis needs four passing TDs set the program record for career passing scores. The mark of 64 was set by Jake Delhomme, who of course went on to have a solid NFL career. Lewis, who is 26-7 as the starting QB at Louisiana, is 174 yards behind Terrance Broadway for the second-most career passing yards.
The Cajuns are 12-3 in Lewis’ career when he throws for at least 200 yards and 18-1 when he has a least two TD passes.
This is a very veteran team as Lewis is one of eight “super seniors.” Shoot, two players, offensive lineman Ken Marks, and linebacker Ferrod Gardner, are in their seventh season of eligibility. Not even sure how that happens!
Louisiana is 32-5 when scoring 20 or more points under Napier. The Cajuns have held their past four opponents under 25 points. Since 2018, they are 23-1 when holding opponents to 25 points or fewer.
For my NCAAF pick, the Cajuns are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 as underdogs, and I think they may win this outright but will gladly take 3.5.
NCAAF Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.