Cajuns heading to 4th straight New Orleans Bowl
LAFAYETTE - For the fourth consecutive season, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team will make a bowl appearance after formally accepting an invitation to the 14th annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Wednesday.
Louisiana (8-4), one of six schools nationally to win a bowl game in the past three years, is scheduled to play a to-be-determined team from the Mountain West Conference on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
"We are thrilled that the Ragin' Cajuns have accepted our invitation and will represent the Sun Belt Conference for the fourth year in a row," said Bowl Chairman Ron Gardner. "Each year, the game brings thousands of local and out-of-state fans to the City to enjoy a weekend of good times and we are positive that the Ragin' Cajuns will once again help raise the bar for the success of the Bowl."
The Ragin' Cajuns formally accepted their bid during halftime of the Louisiana men's basketball game against Jackson State on Wednesday night. Extending the bid to the Ragin' Cajuns were R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Executive Director Billy Ferrante, board member Paul Valteau and Associate Executive Director Jeff Rossi.
"It is a great honor for our student-athletes and coaches to receive an invitation to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl for the fourth consecutive year," Louisiana Director of Athletics Scott Farmer said. "During the past three seasons, our team has been treated to an incredible bowl experience and our fans have supported us in record numbers. We look forward to another great experience in New Orleans and our fans are looking forward to painting New Orleans red again."
Under fourth-year head coach Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana won seven of its final eight games during the regular season to post its best-ever Sun Belt Conference record (7-1) since joining the league as a charter member in football in 2001.
Led by quarterback Terrance Broadway, a three-year starter and 2012 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl MVP, the Ragin' Cajuns finished the regular-season ranked 26th nationally in rushing offense while ranking fifth overall in red zone offense.
"We are very excited to be heading back to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl," Hudspeth said. "It has become home to us the last three years. The New Orleans Bowl provides such a great overall experience, not only for our players but also for our fans. We've been very successful there, and we are looking forward to heading back to New Orleans once again."
The 2014 game will mark the sixth bowl appearance in school history for the Ragin' Cajuns with their previous trips coming in 1944 (Oil Bowl) and 1970 (Grantland Rice Bowl).
Louisiana ended a 41-year bowl drought in 2011 as Brett Baer's 50-yard field goal as time expired earned the Ragin' Cajuns a 32-30 victory over San Diego State. In 2012, Broadway threw for 316 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 108 yards and a score in a 43-34 win over East Carolina.
In last year's game played before an R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl-record crowd of 54,728, Louisiana defeated Tulane, 24-21, as it built a 21-0 lead and Hunter Stover booted a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl can download a form from RaginCajuns.com or by picking one up at the Cajundome ticket office. The deadline for RCAF members and season ticket holders to submit applications and receive seating priority is Friday (Dec. 5).
RAGIN' CAJUNS/R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL NOTES • Louisiana is one of six schools nationally to have won a bowl/postseason game in each of the past three seasons. With three victories in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Louisiana is part of a list that includes Florida State (Champs Sports, Orange, BCS National Championship), Michigan State (Outback, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rose), Oregon (Rose, Fiesta, Alamo), South Carolina (Capitol One, Outback, Capitol One) and Texas A&M (Meinke Car Care, Cotton, Chick-Fil-A).
• With its fourth appearance scheduled in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Louisiana joins North Texas (2001-04) and Southern Miss (2004-05, 2008-09) for the most appearances in bowl history.
• Louisiana (2011-13) and Southern Miss (2004-05, 2008) have each won three games in the 13-year history of the bowl. Troy (2006, 2010) has won twice with Colorado State (2001), North Texas (2002), Memphis (2003), Florida Atlantic (2007) and Middle Tennessee (2009) each winning once.
• Quarterbacks Blaine Gautier (2011) and Terrance Broadway (2012) are the Louisiana players who have earned R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl MVP honors.