No. 25 La-Lafayette wins Sun Belt West, beats South Alabama

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Levi Lewis passed for 252 yards and three touchdowns, Louisiana-Lafayette gained 254 yards on the ground and the No. 25 Ragin’ Cajuns clinched a third straight Sun Belt Conference West Division title with a 38-10 victory over South Alabama on Saturday.

Lewis tossed TD passes of 5 yards to Jalen Williams and 3 yards to Errol Rogers. He also hit running back Trey Ragas for a 25-yard score on a fourth-down conversion, with Ragas narrowly staying inside the left sideline to put the game away in the fourth quarter.

Chris Smith and Elijah Mitchell each had touchdowns rushing for Louisiana-Lafayette (7-1, 5-1 Sun Belt), which has won four straight since its only loss on a last-second field goal to No. 15 Coastal Carolina.

South Alabama’s Desmond Trotter was limited to 15-of-28 passing for 133 yards and one touchdown for South Alabama (3-5, 2-3).

Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense came in tied atop the Sun Belt in interceptions with 10 and safety Percy Butler added another on South Alabama’s opening drive.

The Cajuns quickly capitalized with Lewis’ TD pass to Williams less than five minutes into the game and ULL led the rest of the way.

Smith’s 22-yard run made it 14-0 and Rogers’ TD catch made it 21-3 in the middle of the second quarter.

The Jaguars got as close as 21-10 on Kawaan Baker’s touchdown catch in the second quarter, but Mitchell’s 5-yard touchdown run made it 28-10 shortly before halftime.

The Cajuns increasingly took command throughout the second half, with both teams pulling starters in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Smith finished with 99 yards rushing to go with a 10-yard reception for the Cajuns, while Ragas’ 78 yards rushing gave him 103 yards from scrimmage. Mitchell gained 61-yards rushing to go with a 20-yard reception.

THE TAKEAWAY

South Alabama: While the Jaguars entered the game still in contention in the Sun Belt West, they’ve hit a rough patch against both of the Sun Belt’s ranked teams. South Alabama visited ULL after falling 23-6 at Coastal Carolina a week earlier.

Louisiana-Lafayette: With strong performances on both sides of the ball, the Ragin’ Cajuns outgained 506-268 in total yards en route to its most lopsided victory this season. The Cajuns now have three games to continue to build momentum before they’ll appear on the conference championship game at a site and against an opponent yet to be determined.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Ragin’ Cajuns made their case to remain in the AP Top 25 Poll, if not move up with one of their more comfortable victories of the season.

UP NEXT

South Alabama: Hosts Georgia State on Saturday.

Louisiana-Lafayette: Concludes its home schedule with non-conference game against Central Arkansas on Saturday

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