SAN MARCOS, Texas – Down 3-0 early, UL scored 27 unanswered points Saturday night to beat Texas State 27-3 and snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who have now won all four of their meetings in four years with the Bobcats, improved to 3-4 with the win at Bobcat Stadium here.
UL did it behind two touchdowns from running Elijah McGuire, who back the Cajuns’ career scoring leader in the process, two field goals from Stevie Artigue and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Anthony Jennings to Keenan Barnes.
McGuire, looking like he was at full strength after being quite limited in UL’s last two games because of a foot injury, finished with 112 yards and the two TDs on 20 carries.
The Cajuns, who head into an off week before playing host to Idaho in another Sun Belt game on Nov. 5, took advantage of a Texas State club ranked 126th among 128 FBS nationally in scoring defense and 124th in yards per game allowed.
Texas State struck first, going 63 yards over 12 plays on its opening drive and getting a 29-yard field from Marcus Ripley with 10 minutes and 37 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
UL’s initial drive ended quickly as Barnes juggled a long pass to the sideline off the helmet of a Bobcat cornerback, and safety Javante O’Roy wound up intercepting Jennings’ on-the-money throw.
The Cajuns got the ball back after a Texas State punt, though, and moved downfield as Jennings connected on three straight passes to Al Riles and Michael Jacquet came down with a 39-yard 50-50 ball.
But after Jennings overthrew Barnes in the end zone, UL settled for a 36-yard field goal from Artigue that tied the game with 1:39 left in the opening quarter.
It stayed that way until McGuire ran in from 4 yards out with 8:53 left in the first half, and Artigue hit the ensuing PAT to make it 10-3 Cajuns.
UL ran the ball eight times on the nine-play, 55-yard drive that came about only after Travis Crawford recovered a Nick Byrne-forced fumble as Texas State’s Brandon McDowell tried to return a Steven Coutts punt.
With the touchdown, McGuire tied Tyrell Fenroy (294 points) for first place on UL’s all-time scoring leaders list.
After a series of exchanged punts, UL got the ball again with 2:19 to go in the first half.
Jennings opened what turned into an 11-play, 64-yard drive with a 7-yard pass to McGuire.
For a moment, it seemed as if the Cajuns were playing to simply run out the clock.
But Jennings then completed a 14-yard pass to Barnes on the left sideline, and UL picked up 15 yards from pass interference on a ball thrown to Jacquet on the right sideline.
Jennings later threw a 7-yard pass to Riles on the left side, and Riles was able to get out of bounds with five seconds before the break, setting up a 42-yard field from Artigue as time expired that made it 13-3 Cajuns.
UL extended its lead to 20-3 after McGuire became the Cajuns’ career points leader by scoring on a 1-yard TD run midway through the third quarter.
The eight-play, 56-yard drive was initiated by an interception from cornerback Simeon Thomas, who nabbed a deflected Tyler Jones pass for his second pick of the season.
UL made it 27-3 midway through the fourth behind an 18-yard TD pass from Jennings to Barnes.