No. 19 Ragin Cajuns welcome Georgia Southern for 2020 home opener Saturday
Coming off a thrilling overtime victory against Georgia State, No. 19 Louisiana welcomes Georgia Southern to Cajun Field for the Herbert Heymann Classic on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
Louisiana is coming off its first overtime victory since Oct. 29, 2005, when it beat Troy, 31-28, in Lafayette. Elijah Mitchell added 164 yards on the ground and capped off the win with a 12-yard touchdown run in overtime, helping him earn Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week.
With the win, the Ragin' Cajuns improved to 2-0 on the year, marking the first time in program history the team opened a season with two-straight road triumphs.
Louisiana owns a 2-1 record against Georgia Southern, taking the last meeting between the two teams in Statesboro, 37-24, in 2019. The two teams have not met in Lafayette since 2017.
It's Been How Long?
• Louisiana is coming off a 34-31 overtime victory over Georgia State to open Sun Belt play, improving the Ragin' Cajuns to 4-0 all-time against the Panthers.
• The win marked Louisiana's (2-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) first victory in an overtime game since Oct. 29, 2005, when it defeated Troy, 31-28, in Lafayette.
• Elijah Mitchell had a monster game against Georgia State (Sept. 19), rushing the ball 16 times and recording 164 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, the second being the game winner.
• His 164 yards on the ground against Georgia State was the second-highest rushing output of his career and is tied for fourth most in all of college football this season.
• He has now gone over the century mark 11 times in his career.
• Mitchell's 59-yard touchdown run was the second 50+-yard touchdown of his career and his longest rush since recording a 65-yard touchdown run against Arkansas State on Oct. 27, 2018.
He's Just a Freshman!
• Dontae Fleming led Louisiana in receiving at Georgia State (Sept. 19), catching four passes for 81 yards.
• His yardage total marked the most receiving yards by a true freshman since Peter LeBlanc put up 118 in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Dec. 7, 2019, against Appalachian State last season.
• Fleming joins a pool of 47 other players to post 80+ receiving yards in a single game this season.
Welcome Back, Welcome Back,
• Zi'Yon Hill saw his first action of the 2020 season, recording five tackles and 1.0 tackle-for-loss in the win against Georgia State (Sept. 19).
• Hill returned the most tackles amongst defensive lineman from the 2019 season with 53.
• He also returned the fourth-most sacks (2.5) and the most fumble recoveries (2).
• Ferrod Gardner and Lorenzo McCaskill recorded double digit tackles against Georgia State (Sept. 19), the first duo to do that since Jacques Boudreaux (12) and McCaskill (10) did so on Nov. 30, 2019, against ULM.
Sun Belt Stars
• For the second-straight week, No. 19 Louisiana Football saw two players pick up Sun Belt Conference honors after Mitchell was named the Offensive Player of the Week and Rhys Byrns was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.
• Louisiana has now had at least two players earn the award in consecutive weeks for just the fourth time in the Sun Belt era and the 23rd time it has had two earn the honors in the same week overall.
Lead Return Man in the Country
• Chris Smith had another solid day return day at Georgia State (Sept. 19), returning four kicks for 83 yards.
• Smith is currently the only player in college football to have 80+ kick return yards in separate games this season and currently leads the nation in kick return yards with 220.