Texas A&M will try to run its record to 2-1 when it hosts Louisiana on Saturday (noon ET, SECN).
The Aggies struggled a bit against FCS Nicholls last week pulling away late for a 24-14 victory. The Ragin’ Cajuns (1-1) dropped a 66-42 decision at Tulsa in Week 2 after knocking off Southeastern Louisiana in their season opener.
Here are five things you should know about this matchup:
1. The quarterbacks
Since A&M redshirt freshman Nick Starkel went down with a left ankle injury in the opener, senior Jake Hubenak and freshman Kellen Mond have split time at the position. Neither of them set the world on fire against Nicholls, and both will see action this week against Louisiana (rebranded from Louisiana-Lafayette earlier this year).
Mond is 15 of 38 for 132 yards and a score this season while Hubenak is 12 of 15 for 93 yards. Mond is the greater running threat with 44 yards on 18 attempts.
For the Ragin’ Cajuns, junior Jordan Davis has hit 33 of 55 passes for 471 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. He has rushed for 108 yards and 2 scores.
2. Series history
Texas A&M is 5-1 against the Ragin’ Cajuns, the lone blemish a 29-22 loss in 1996. The Aggies turned over the ball eight times in that game, and three of them were returned for touchdowns.
3. The opening line
Texas A&M is a 24-point favorite on its home field. The over/under is 60.
4. Player to watch
The A&M quarterback shuffle is generating some headlines, but this game, on paper, sets up for a different approach.
Louisiana has been terrible against the run, ranking 129th out of 130 teams in FBS and allowing 383.5 yards per game on the ground.
The Aggies need their offensive line, which includes Colton Prater, Ryan McCollum, Erik McCoy, Connor Lanfear and Keaton Sutherland, to take full advantage. Anything less than 300 yards on the ground will have to be considered a disappointment.
5. What’s at stake
Kevin Sumlin is receiving racially charged letters, his team is showing up on everyone’s “most disappointing” list, and the word “hot” doesn’t really cover just how warm his seat has become in College Station.
Winning helps, as Sumlin himself noted in a press conference this week, and notching another one of those at home would make everyone around the program feel better.
It’s important to build some confidence before the SEC opener against Arkansas on Sept. 23 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Texas A&M should handle Louisiana pretty easily. Then again, things haven’t been that simple for the Aggies this season.