Photograph: A Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns ball carrier slips past a Northwestern State tackler Nov. 3 in the season opener for both teams at Cajun Field. Louisiana plays at Alabama-Birmingham Saturday night. (Photograph by Mike Curley)
LAFAYETTE – After opening its Sun Belt Conference schedule last week on the road at Old Dominion, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Football team returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Birmingham, Ala., to face American Athletic Conference member UAB in a non-conference matchup at Protective Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with James Westling (pxp) and Doc Holliday (color) providing the commentary.
Fans can listen to the game in the Lafayette area on Hot 107.9 FM, 103.3 The Goat, 1420 AM and globally on the Varsity Network app with Jay Walker (pxp), Gerald Broussard (color) and Cody Junot (sideline) on the call.
Louisiana (1-1) looks to get back into the win column after a 38-31 loss at ODU last weekend. Ben Wooldridge completed a career-best 25 passes for 285 yards and connecting with Harvey Broussard and Jacob Kibodi on touchdown passes.
Kibodi rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Terrence Williams recording his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Through the first two games, Louisiana’s defensive has been a force on opposing quarterbacks, as the Cajuns have recorded four sacks, which ranks ninth in the country and second in the Sun Belt Conference.
Jordan Lawson has been a catalyst for the defense, accounting for 3.5 sacks, which ranks tied for third nationally.
UAB (1-1), under first-year coach and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, opened its season with a 35-6 win over FCS North Carolina A&T on Aug. 31 before dropping a 49-35 decision last weekend at SBC opponent Georgia Southern.
Quarterback Jacob Zeno leads the nation in completions per game (35.5) and is second in the country in completion percentage at 84.5 percent (71-of-84). Zeno set a school record in the opening week of the season with 38 completions, and followed that up with 33 completions at Georgia Southern – the second most in school history. In two games, Zeno has thrown for 676 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
Since resuming its program in 2017, UAB has posted a 51-27 record (65.3 percent) to rank fifth among Group of Five programs. The Blazers are 9-3 in home games at Protective Stadium and are 30-4 in home games since 2017.
The meeting is the eighth between the schools with UAB holding a 4-3 lead. Louisiana has won the previous two meetings in the series, including a 24-20 victory at Legion Field on Oct. 23, 2020 to snap a 21-game home win streak for the Blazers.
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GAME 3 PREVIEW – Louisiana (1-1) at UAB (1-1)
Stadium/Location: Protective Stadium (47,100); Birmingham, Ala.
Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.
Talent: James Westling (play-by-play), Doc Holliday (analyst)
Local Radio: Hot 107.9-FM, The GOAT 103.3, KPEL 1420 AM, Varsity Network
Talent: Jay Walker (play-by-play), Gerald Broussard (analyst), Cody Junot (sideline)
All-Time Series: UAB leads, 4-3
At Lafayette: Louisiana leads, 2-1
At Birmingham: UAB leads, 3-1
Streak: Louisiana +2
First Meeting: Louisiana, 56-21 (Sept. 9, 1995 at Lafayette)
Last Meeting: Louisiana, 24-20 (Oct. 23, 2020 at Birmingham – Legion Field)