- No. 13 Coastal Carolina opened as 3.5-point favorites vs. No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Championship Game (Dec. 19, 12 p.m. EST)
- Coastal Carolina handed Louisiana its only loss earlier this season and has remained undefeated in 2020
- Read below for analysis and expected line movement on the game
On December 5, BYU stepped in for Liberty as an opponent for Coastal Carolina when the Flames were struck with a COVID-19 outbreak within their football program.
The Cougars desperately wanted another quality win on their schedule in their quest for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game bid, but instead, helped the Chanticleers make their own case for a premier game at the end of this season. Coastal staved off BYU on the final drive of the game with just a yard to spare, and won 22-17.
Coastal is currently the highest-ranked football program in Sun Belt Conference history; No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings and No. 11 in the AP Top 25. Earlier in the season, the Chanticleers handed Louisiana-Lafayette its only loss of 2020, and the two meet again next Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference Championship, where Coastal opened as a 3.5-point favorite.
Louisiana at Coastal Carolina Odds
|Louisiana-Lafayette||+3.5 (-115)||+142||O 53.5 (-114)|
|Coastal Carolina||-3.5 (-105)||-176||U 53.5 (-106)|
Odds taken from FanDuel on Dec. 13th
Revenge for the Ragin’ Cajuns
When Louisiana and Coastal played in October, the Ragin’ Cajuns found themselves in the unfamiliar position of being the clear public side. With several Power Five conferences yet to even begin play, Louisiana was still a reasonably big story following its season-opening upset of Iowa State and immediate placement in the AP Top 25.
?♂️ #TBT to when the ?????’ ?????? beat the No. 7 team in the country.
On the road.
By 17. pic.twitter.com/gfRPhJa4kE
— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Football (@RaginCajunsFB) December 10, 2020
This time around, the undefeated Chanticleers aren’t sneaking up on anybody – least of all Louisiana. The Cajuns didn’t have a game this past week, but they are just 2-2 following a bye under head coach Billy Napier, with the same record against the spread. When these two played earlier this season, Louisiana was coming off a bye week and lost outright as nine-point favorites. In ULL’s most recent game following an off week, the Cajuns blasted Louisiana-Monroe, 70-20 and handily covered the 29.5-point spread.
Louisiana squeaked by Appalachian State in its December 4 game, 24-21, but the Cajuns haven’t pushed for margin this season against teams that aren’t clear cupcakes.
Cause for Concern in Conway?
After the emotional win against BYU, and the corresponding flood of national attention, Coastal very nearly suffered a dreaded emotional comedown loss this weekend against Troy. With just under 90 seconds left in the game, Troy’s probability of winning was as high as 70-percent. With 35 seconds to play, Grayson McCall threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jaivon Heiligh for what was the game-winning score, and Coastal finished off Troy with a strip-sack on the Trojans’ next possession to preserve a 42-38 win.
Too easy for Grayson McCall
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 12, 2020
Chanticleers’ quarterback Grayson McCall has been one of the best passers in the country all season, and after he threw for just 85 yards against the Cougars, he responded with a big performance against Troy. McCall completed 24 of his 29 passes for 338 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Trojans. In his first game against Louisiana, he completed 70-percent of his passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Louisiana has had one of the stingiest pass defenses in the country this season, and has allowed an average of fewer than 170 yards per game through the air. In the Cajuns’ last three games, opponents have averaged just 119 yards per game, but two of those teams were lowly South Alabama and ULM, and the most recent was App State, who ran the ball more than twice as much as it attempted passes.
Expected Line Movement
Following a high-profile win against BYU and a big offensive performance against Troy, the line should continue to climb in Coastal’s direction. The likelihood that the Chanticleers were caught in a bit of a look-ahead spot this past week with ULL on the horizon likely factored into Saturday’s wild ride against Troy, but that speaks to where their priorities lie with chance to win a conference title at home on Saturday.