No. 17 Louisiana (9-1, 7-1 Sun Belt) at No. 9 Coastal Carolina (11-0, 8-0), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Coastal Carolina by 4.
Series record: Coastal Carolina leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
An unprecedented undefeated season for Coastal Carolina that could put it in line for a lucrative and prestigious New Year’s Six bowl game. The Chanticleers could become the only 12-0 team in the country if they defeat Louisiana in their first appearance in the Sun Belt Conference title game. The Ragin’ Cajuns are making their third straight trip to the title game, falling the previous two years to Appalachian State.
Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall vs. Louisiana secondary. McCall is a redshirt freshman who leads the Sun Belt with 2,170 yards and 23 touchdowns with only two interceptions in 218 pass attempts. He helped keep the Chants’ perfect season alive with a 23-yard TD pass to Javion Heiligh in the final minute of a 42-38 win over Troy. Louisiana has the Sun Belt’s top pass defense, giving up just 166 yards a game with only eight touchdowns allowed and a league-best 15 interceptions. Bralen Trahan leads the Ragin’ Cajuns with four picks, returning one for a TD.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Louisiana-Lafayette: QB Lexi Lewis is a senior making his second straight start in the Sun Belt championship game. Lewis passed for 354 yards and four touchdowns in the Ragin’ Cajuns 45-38 loss to Appalachian State a season ago.
Coastal Carolina: DE Tarron Jackson has been largely unblockable this season with 8.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss, and a threat to disrupt the offense whenever he lines up. He’s a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to college football’s top defender.
FACTS & FIGURES
The game is a rematch from earlier this season when Coastal Carolina got a late field goal to defeat then-No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 30-27 for the Chants’ first-ever victory over a ranked opponent in the FBS. Coastal has since added a 22-17 win over then-No. 8 BYU two weeks ago. … Both teams had wins over Big 12 programs with Louisiana topping then-No. 23 (now No. 6) Iowa State 31-14 and Coastal defeating Kansas 38-23. … Coastal Carolina is in just its fourth year as a full-time Sun Belt member. … The Chants have literally gone from worst to first, picked to finish last in the Sun Belt East Division in the preseason before going 8-0 in league play. … Lewis has 6,140 career passing yards just 100 shy of moving to third all-time in program history. … Jackson and Coastal teammate Jeffrey Gunter are among the top six in the Sun Belt in tackles for loss. Jackson has 13.5 while Gunter has 12.5.
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