The Cajuns capped off an amazing homecoming week this Saturday with a historic shutout of the Texas State Bobcats. The 45-0 win is the largest margin of victory all-time for the matchup, which now stands 8-0 all-time, four of those wins coming under Head Coach Billy Napier’s tenure. It’s also the first time the Bobcats have been held scoreless since 2002.
Coming into this game, the obvious expectation was a Louisiana win. Across their last three conference games, the Bobcats defense had allowed no fewer than 28 points.
Texas’ offense had been respectable as of late, but with their starting quarterback Brady McBride out with an ankle injury, they would have to rely on backup Tyler Vitt, who had not started a game since November 2020.
Meanwhile, the Cajuns’ monstrous tandem in the run game, led by sophomore Chris Smith and true-freshman Montrell Johnson, had powered their recent conference wins. Saturday, the backs would still prove productive, as Smith would break many, many tackles for 75 yards and two total touchdowns on just nine carries with two receptions.
The Bobcats spent most of the day stacking the box and keeping their safeties low to counter them, so the game would rely on star quarterback Levi Lewis to keep the chains moving and to finish drives off, especially in short field situations, which is exactly what he did.
With Jake Delhomme’s touchdown and passing yard records looming ever closer, Lewis’s pocket presence and decision-making showed in a big way. Spreading the wealth would be an understatement, as 12 different teammates would catch a pass on the day. Lewis completed almost 70% of his passes on his way to three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a lone sack.
With his last touchdown pass, a beam to Jalen Williams in the middle of the endzone, Lewis tallied his 65th touchdown as a Cajun and went down in the Louisiana record books for good.
The other half of the game was a marvel to watch, with every position of the defense standing out and making huge plays. Tayland Humphrey forced a fumble on Texas State’s first play from scrimmage and later blocked a field goal. Percy Butler recovered two fumbles and delivered a spectacular backfield hit, and Eric Garror ran an impressive 25-yard return off the game’s lone interception. The Bobcats were held to just two third down conversions and had a fourth down pass late in the game batted away for a turnover.
On the Cajun’s last drive, backup quarterback Chandler Fields was put under center and soaked up the remaining game clock on an 88 yard drive. Louisiana’s homecoming king, T.J. Wisham, got some shine late in the game, rushing three consecutive times at the goal line and punching in his first collegiate touchdown.
This game serves as an example of the Cajun’s full potential: a smothering defense full of big-time playmakers feeding an efficient, tireless dual-threat offense. Complemented by sharp leadership and bold coaching, there’s no keeping this team out of an endzone for long.
(*All stats compiled from ESPN and Sports Reference CFB unless otherwise stated.)