Ohio Bobcats vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns – College Football (September 16, 2021)
The Bobcats of Ohio are not off to the start they’d like for the 2021 season. Tim Albin took over for Frank Solich, who had spent 16 seasons in Athens, Ohio.
Currently 0-2, the Bobcats would love to hit the reset button on the season, and they could be in for a rude awakening against Louisiana.
Despite their loss to Texas in the opener, Billy Napier’s squad bounced back last week against Nicholls State. Expectations are lofty for Louisiana after they opened the season in the Top 25. Getting a winning streak going before conference play begins would be huge.
Let’s discuss this Thursday night matchup further by talking about the latest odds for this non-conference clash.
Ohio vs. Louisiana Odds
The odds favor one of the top teams in the Sun Belt. Louisiana has failed to cover as heavy favorites in three of their past four games. That is, as favorites of 18-20 points.
Ohio would be a great live underdog, but they look anything but the part these days. They are 0-4-1 against the spread when they are road underdogs of 17-20 points.
The Bobcats have been a consistent squad in the MAC. However, they have been inconsistent against the spread, going 24-24-1 under Solich for the past 16 seasons.
It is time to discuss this Thursday night primetime matchup between Louisiana and Ohio.
Why Ohio Wins
The Bobcats have appeared in 10 bowls out of the past 11 full seasons. They have a history of winning, and many are hoping this program can turn it around quickly.
Running the ball has been a factor in the success of winning teams. Ohio needs to handle the opposition at the line of scrimmage. They ran for over 100 yards last week, but it was against Duquesne out of the FCS.
Controlling the time of possession and line of scrimmage will allow Ohio to stay in any game. De’Montre Tuggle has toted it 23 times for 109 yards and a score through two games. O’Shaan Allison has also seen work in the backfield. These two need to break loose to help sustain drives.
The Louisiana defense was horrid against Nicholls State as they allowed over 500 yards.
Kurtis Rourke has not had a game with 200-plus yards, and that may need to change, barring the Bobcats’ run for 300 yards on the ground.
If they can win the turnover battle, the Bobcats can pull this off. Upsets have been occurring all season thus far, and this wouldn’t be the craziest.
Why Louisiana Wins
This Sun Belt contender has been impossible to defend these past few seasons due to a stable of backs. This season could be a bit different after losing both Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell.
The duo is in the NFL now, so more responsibility has fallen on quarterback Levi Lewis.
The southpaw signal-caller has the mobility and confidence needed to get back to their winning ways. They looked a bit slow against Texas but regained the swag against Nicholls State.
Here’s how Lewis fared.
- 304 passing yards
- 2 TDs
- 0 INT
- 155 passer rating
Lewis ended up eclipsing 300 yards of total offense and threw for two scores. Lewis is pivotal for success, but this offense shouldn’t falter much against the Ohio defense.
Look for Louisiana to lean on the rushing attack a bit more in this matchup.
Napier’s squad is going against the No. 94 ranked rushing defense in the FBS. Ohio allows 193.7 yards per game on the ground, and this is a game where Louisiana can dominate the trenches.
Another factor that heavily favors Louisiana is its defensive ability. Ohio is No. 92 in total offense averaging a lowly 362.7 yards a game. The Bobcats need to step their game up to avoid a beatdown.
Ohio vs. Louisiana Prediction
Billy Napier may not be coaching much longer in the Sun Belt because he could have an opportunity with a Power Five school next season.
Napier won’t let this program go on a losing streak.
We saw them find a way to get on the victory board this season after getting by Nicholls State. Many believe this team has the goods to win the conference, but they cannot afford another non-conference hiccup.
Ohio looks like one of the worst MAC teams at the moment. Louisiana has won eight of their past nine, non-conference games when counting bowls.
Ohio vs. Louisiana Pick
Favor most teams at home in these weekday matchups wherever you bet on sports online. We saw Coastal Carolina make a statement against Kansas.
The MAC has also lost four of their past six meetings against the Sun Belt. The MAC has not looked the part, posting an atrocious 8-16 record this far through two weeks.
There are plenty of points to be laying, but not against a current squad like the Bobcats. Ohio allowed some big-play drives against Syracuse and Duquesne. Louisiana will have its way on both sides of the ball.
Favor the home squad, as they will pull away by the second half.