Hilltoppers host Cajuns in Sun Belt fray

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Updated: 10/14/2013 11:42 am

Bowling Green, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will both try to extend their respective three- game winning streaks on Tuesday night, as the two teams meet in Sun Belt Conference action at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

Louisiana tested itself early in its schedule and came away with a pair of road losses to Arkansas (34-14) and Kansas State (48-27), but since then it has reeled off three consecutive victories. The Cajuns opened up Sun Belt play on Oct. 5 at home against Texas State and prevailed in a 48-24 final, and while it's still early, they are tied atop the conference standings with Arkansas State.

Western Kentucky got off to a similarly slow start, as it began the season on a three-game road swing, coming away with just one win, but it too has bounced back in recent weeks by posting three consecutive victories. The Hilltoppers' most recent triumph was arguably their most impressive, as they dominated ULM on the road on Oct. 3, 31-10.

Louisiana leads the all-time series with Western Kentucky, 4-2, which includes a 31-27 win in Lafayette last November.

The Cajuns offense has been one of the Sun Belt's most potent, racking up a conference-best 38.8 ppg on 459.2 ypg, and they are led by their outstanding dual-threat quarterback.

Junior Terrance Broadway has completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 1,153 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions, and following a 335-yard performance against Texas State, he now has a school-record six career 300- yard passing games. In addition to his aerial exploits, Broadway has added 154 yards and four scores on the ground.

Broadway's favorite target is Jamal Robinson, who has hauled in 23 passes for 379 yards, and he ranks eighth nationally with six receiving touchdowns. Darryl Surgent has also been active with 17 grabs for 186 yards and two scores.

Alonzo Harris is the most utilized tailback, carrying the ball 55 times for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Elijah McGuire has been even more explosive on limited reps, posting 244 yards (7.6 ypc) and four touchdowns.

Defensively, Louisiana has not played particularly well, but in a lackluster Sun Belt, its yardage (386.4 ypg) and point (28.6 ppg) allowance both rank in the top-three.

Justin Anderson is the unit's top playmaker with 51 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Overall, the team has created 12 turnovers (six interceptions, six fumble recoveries).

The Hilltoppers are one of the few teams in the league that can keep pace with Louisiana offensively, as they rank third in both scoring (31.2 ppg) and yardage (473.7 ypg).

The offense runs through tailback Antonio Andrews, who ranks second in the nation in rushing with 882 yards and is tied for third in touchdowns with nine. Andrews is far more than just a rusher, however. The senior is an all- purpose monster, displaying his talents in the receiving game (16 receptions, 176 yards) and as a return man (285 yards).

Brandon Doughty has been something of an enigma under center. He has looked sharp at times, completing better than 67 percent of his passes for 1,398 yards with seven touchdowns, but he has made more than his fair share of mistakes, as his 10 interceptions are tied for third-most in the nation.

Doughty does a good job distributing the wealth on offense, as eight different receivers have double-digit receptions. Joel German (21 receptions, 256 yards) and Willie McNeal (18 receptions, 262 yards, TD) are the top targets, while Nicholas Norris (16 receptions, 192 yards) does his best work in the red zone with three touchdowns.

In addition to its impressive offense, WKU also possesses one of the league's top defensive units, as it ranks second in scoring defense (23.8 ppg) and first in total defense (351.0 ypg).

On a unit filled with impressive playmakers, Xavius Boyd has emerged as perhaps the best linebacker in the SBC. Boyd has stuffed the stat sheet with 63 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble, and prior to the Hilltoppers' bye a week ago, he was the three-time reigning SBC Defensive Player of the Week.

Andrew Jackson has also been stellar at linebacker for WKU with 42 tackles and three QB hurries, while Jonathan Dowling is a shut-down defensive back with 37 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and five passes defended.

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