JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Red Wolves lost a step in their race to a three-peat for the Sun Belt Conference title on Tuesday night. Arkansas State fell to Louisiana by the final score of 23-7.
While the loss doesn't drop A-State out of the race for the Sun Belt title, it certainly makes the road much more difficult. The Red Wolves will need the Ragin' Cajuns to drop at least 2 games to claim the Sun Belt title and that is only dependant on Arkansas State winning out the rest of their schedule.
The loss drops Arkansas State down to 3-4 overall with a 1-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. Louisiana improves to 5-2 with a 3-0 mark in the Sun Belt conference. The position is not an unfamiliar one for the Red Wolves, who dropped the home conference opener to Western Kentucky last season and came back to win their second straight Sun Belt Conference title.
It seemed for the majority of the game that Louisiana simply had the right number of Arkansas State. A weak attack from the defense on the opposing rush has plagued the Red Wolves all season and it seemed the Ragin' Cajuns knew that. Using a two runningback system highlighted by Alonzo Harris' second straight 100 yard rushing game, Louisiana was able to jump out to a quick lead in the 1st quarter.
The majority of the scoring took place in a rough first half for Arkansas State, while a lack of scoring put the defense in a tough position. The offensive line struggled to protect Adam Kennedy who was sacked 3 times in the 1st half while also throwing one pick. The lack of time to throw in the pocket shut down the Red Wolves passing attack while a strong Cajun defensive line kept David Oku off the board with minimal rushing yards.
Louisiana now controls their own destiny in the Sun Belt Conference and has now won 5 straight games in their quest to overtake the reigning Sun Belt Champions.
Arkansas State will look to rebound on November 2nd in Mobile against a South Alabama team that has been playing well in the recent weeks.