LendingTree Bowl: Miami of Ohio (8-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (10-3) in Mobile, Alabama, Monday at 7:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Louisiana-Lafayette by 14.
Series record: Miami leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Louisiana-Lafayette is seeking its first bowl win since 2014 and first outside its home state since 1944. Miami is going for its first bowl win since 2010 though the program is 7-4 all-time and has won both previous bowl trips to Mobile.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s top-10 offense against Miami’s defense. The Ragin’ Cajuns rank eighth nationally in total offense (501.3 yards per game) and scoring (38.8 points). They’ll face a defense led by first-team All-MAC defensive tackle Doug Costin.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miami: QB Brett Gabbert is the Mid-American Conference freshman of the year. The younger brother of NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert, he became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for Miami. Has passed for 2,163 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Alongside the Sun Belt Conference’s top running teams, QB Levi Lewis has passed for 2,804 yards with 24 touchdowns against three interceptions. He passed for career highs of 354 yards and four touchdowns against Appalachian State in the league championship game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Louisiana-Lafayette and coach Billy Napier recently agreed to a two-year extension taking him through the 2025 season. … Miami is 5-0 this season in one-score games and has held a lead in every game. … The Ragin’ Cajuns’ last bowl win came over Nevada, 16-3, in the 2014 New Orleans Bowl. The last outside Louisiana was a 24-7 victory over Arkansas A&M in the 1944 Oil Bowl in Houston. … The only other meetings between these teams came in 1991 and 1993. The Redhawks won 27-14 and 29-28. … Miami is bowl eligible for the third time in four years, something the program accomplished only twice from 2006-15. … Only Clemson is averaging more yards per rushing attempt than Louisiana-Lafayette’s 6.39. Only Navy and Army have more rushing touchdowns than the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 41.
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