UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AND MARSHALL UNIVERSITY ACCEPT 2021 R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL INVITATIONS
NEW ORLEANS – (Dec. 5, 2021) – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and Marshall University accepted invitations today to compete against one another in the 21st Annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Caesars Superdome. The game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. CST and will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
“The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Committee, staff, and volunteers are delighted to welcome the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and Marshall University’s Thundering Herd to New Orleans,” said R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Chairman Sheriff Paul Valteau. “We look forward to celebrating an exciting week of bowl activities with both universities coaches, student-athletes, alumni and fans.”
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are ranked No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff rankings released Sunday in what has been a record-breaking year for the program under former Head Coach Billy Napier.
Napier, named the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year in 2019, coached the Ragin’ Cajuns to four consecutive winning seasons – leading the team to 39 wins, four-straight Sun Belt West championships, and 10 or more wins in each of the past three seasons. He is set to replace Dan Mullen at the University of Florida for the 2022 season.
Louisiana comes to New Orleans with an 11-1 overall record and an undefeated record in Sun Belt Conference play, a first in program history. They defeated Appalachian State 24-16 in the Sun Belt championship game Saturday.
On defense, the Ragin’ Cajuns led the league, allowing only 18.31 points per game – placing the team in the 11thrank nationally. While the defense allowed an average of 345.4 yards per game, they compensated with forced turnovers, creating 12 fumbles and nine interceptions this season.
“We are extremely excited to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl this year,” says Bryan Maggard, Louisiana’s Vice President for intercollegiate athletics. “The city of New Orleans will be an amazing location for our team, staff, and fans to finalize this record setting season.”
With five total New Orleans Bowl appearances, Louisiana is tied for the most wins in the game’s history. The Ragin’ Cajuns played back-to-back New Orleans Bowl games from 2011 to 2014 and again in 2016, losing 28-21 to the University of Southern Mississippi.
Led by Head Coach Charles Huff, Marshall University finished the 2021 regular season with a 7-5 overall record and a 5-3 record in Conference USA play. This will be Marshall’s first appearance in the New Orleans Bowl.
"We are really excited to have the opportunity to continue our season,” says Head Coach Charles Huff. “Not only do we get the opportunity to play a phenomenal opponent, we get to do it in a great city, and in a very well-respected Bowl. We are looking forward to all the great things New Orleans has to offer as we prepare to take on a really good football team!"
As the second ranked team in Conference USA-East, the Thundering Herd displayed a balanced attack on offense in the 2021 season. Redshirt freshman quarterback Grant Wells and running back Rasheen Ali led the charge on offense, helping to produce an average of 310.9 passing yards per game and 35 rushing touchdowns this season, fifth in the nation.
Rasheen Ali’s record-breaking season placed him in the running for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award, which honors the most outstanding freshman player in college football. The running back leads the nation with 20 rushing touchdowns and falls second in the nation in total touchdowns (22), total points scored (132) and points per game (11.0).
For more information on the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, visit www.neworleansbowl.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NewOrleansBowl.