Idaho at Louisiana-Lafayette prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Vandals and Ragin’ Cajuns.
Idaho at Louisiana-Lafayette Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 5 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA
It’s the final stretch for Idaho and Louisiana-Lafayette, who both had last week off … and who are both angling for bowl eligibility. The Ragin’ Cajuns won their previous outing, at Texas State, but they’re a game below .500 and will hit the road on three of the final five weekends, including at Georgia and Georgia Southern. The Cajuns need this game. Ditto Idaho, which is on the second leg of a three-game road swing. The Vandals have actually played pretty well outside of Moscow, beating UNLV in Vegas and Louisiana-Monroe in Monroe.
What To Know About Idaho
An even record with four games remaining? Not too shabby considering this program’s recent track record. But the Vandals are a team with a lot of holes, particularly on defense. They allow just under 36 points per game, and the 6.5 yards per play surrendered ranks 120th in the country. Now, the offense has upside, with quarterback Matt Linehan and receivers Deon Watson and Trent Cowan. But the unit must up its efficiency, which means more third-down conversions and a lot fewer turnovers off Linehan’s right arm.
What to Know About Louisiana-Lafayette
It’s been a second straight rough year in Lafayette for Mark Hudspeth, though there’s time to turn things around. The Cajuns snapped a three-game losing streak in Week 7, and used the off week to heal. The offense is sputtering, especially in the passing game, despite the presence of two-time 1,000-yard rusher in the backfield. In all likelihood, the defense will have to lead the charge in the final month. Louisiana-Lafayette is only giving up three yards a carry, bolstered in the front seven by rookie defensive end Joe Dillon and veteran linebackers Otha Peters and Tre’maine Lightfoot.
Offense: Push. The Vandals and Cajuns are saddled with similar problems, inconsistency at quarterback and along the front wall.
Defense: Louisiana-Lafayette. And by a significant margin. Co-coordinators Charlie Harbison and Melvin Smith have done a nice job with the defense this fall.
Special Teams: Idaho. The strongest unit in Moscow, led by Austin Rehkow’s 43.5-yard punting average and 18-of-20 successful field goal attempts.
Coaching: Louisiana-Lafayette. Paul Petrino is doing some nice things at Idaho, but the edge goes to Hudspeth and the Cajuns.
Intangibles: Louisiana-Lafayette. The Cajuns are home, coming off a win and fully aware of the importance of getting back to .500 before it’s too late.
Matchup To Watch
McGuire vs. Idaho MLB Tony Lashley
As McGuire goes, so go the Cajuns. When the senior has rushed for 100 yards or more, his team is 12-2. Lashley is one of the Vandals McGuire is likely to see often. The sophomore from Kansas City is second in the team with 50 tackles, six of which were for minus yards.
Idaho at Louisiana-Lafayette Betting Odds
Spread: Louisiana-Lafayette -5.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Idaho at Louisiana-Lafayette Prediction
Defense and the running game. It’ll be a recipe for success as Louisiana-Lafayette reaches .500 at home. The Cajuns are not a great offensive team, but it won’t be as evident versus the Idaho D. McGuire will rush for 100 yards and a couple of scores, taking the pressure off inconsistent quarterback Anthony Jennings. The Cajun defense will take care of the rest, putting the Vandals in frequent third-and-long situations that lead to mistakes from Linehan.
Idaho at Louisiana-Lafayette Score Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette 31, Idaho 20