Louisiana football gains bowl eligibility with dominant win at Texas State

Florida State Seminoles running back Rodney Hill (29) is tackled in a play as the Seminoles and the Ragin' Cajuns face off at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Louisiana Ragin' Cajun fans may want to keep their December calendar clear.

In a do-or-die scenario in San Marcos, Texas, on Saturday night, the Ragin' Cajuns rose to the occasion and dominated the Bobcats, 41-13. The victory not only puts what has been a spinning season into park but UL reached six wins and bowl eligibility.

Outside of running back Lincoln Pare, who ran roughshod over Louisiana's defense with 219 rushing yards, the Ragin' Cajuns (6-6) exerted their superiority and looked to be in control from the opening kickoff in the must-win situation.

UL is now 10-0 all-time against Texas State.

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Offensive efficiency with Chandler Fields at quarterback

Against a salty Texas State rush defense, UL couldn't quite get going on the ground to the level it had been with Chris Smith, Terrence Williams and Dre'Lyn Washington the last couple of contests.

Despite that, sophomore quarterback Chandler Fields kept the offense ahead of the chains and the unit was able to stay on schedule. The Cajuns averaged a sporty 6.7 yards per game, one of their best rates all season.

Fields went 16-of-26 for 187 yards with two touchdowns and also tucked the ball at some opportune times, with five carries for 28 yards. Nine different receivers caught a pass, led by senior Michael Jefferson's six receptions for 81 yards.

Michael Desormeaux pulled out all stops early

It didn't go Louisiana's way but on its second drive, head coach Michael Desormeaux decided to go for fourth-and-goal at the 2 with the team leading 7-3. Freshman running back Zylan Perry was stopped short but for a coach and team with their backs against the wall to make a bowl game, chances needed to be taken.

The Ragin' Cajuns converted their second fourth-down attempt in the first half and they went on to score a touchdown a few plays later. Desormeaux dialed up a deep shot in the third quarter up two touchdowns. Fields threw an interception and fortunately for the Cajuns, Texas State didn't cut it to a one-possession game.

It wasn't a great decision but another sign of how Louisiana was playing aggressively.

Louisiana defense forces turnovers

The Cajuns forced two first-half turnovers, one nearly a pick-6 from Eric Garror. One of FBS's most consistent units in creating extra possessions for its offense, UL needed to take advantage of some mismatches and Texas State miscues when they happened.

Louisiana did that, and the early turnovers led to a 20-6 halftime lead, enough of a gap to power the team to victory.

Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at bdiaz@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Louisiana football reaches bowl eligibility with win at Texas State