Arkansas State (4-2) at Louisiana (3-3) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cajun Field (36,900) -- Lafayette, Louisiana. Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: ASU 3-0, Louisiana 2-1. Away Record: ASU 1-2, Louisiana 1-2. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, Louisiana 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 2-0, Louisiana 2-0. Series Record: Louisiana leads, 22-19-1.
GAME NOTES: Two of the Sun Belt Conference's best will square off in a crucial early-week showdown at Cajun Field on Tuesday night, as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns play host to the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
ASU and Louisiana are both 2-0 in conference play and looking up at first- place Georgia Southern, which is unbeaten in four league games. In a tight all-time series that dates back to 1953, Louisiana holds a 22-19-1 advantage over ASU, which includes a 23-7 victory in Jonesboro nearly a year ago to the day on Oct. 22, 2013.
Since dropping a pair of difficult non-conference road games to Tennessee (34-19) and Miami-Florida (41-20) in September, the Red Wolves have strung together three straight wins to pull to 4-2 overall. They most recently made easy work of Georgia State on Oct. 11, 52-10.
The Cajuns did not fare so well in their non-conference slate of games, as they sat at just 1-3 heading into October, but they have since won back-to- back games over Georgia State (34-31) and Texas State (34-10) to battle back to .500.
ASU is fresh off its most dominating offensive performance of the season in posting 52 points and 618 yards against GSU, upping its season averages to 29.5 ppg and 452.2 ypg in the process.
Fredi Knighten piled up more than 300 total yards and scored five touchdowns the last time out in the most productive outing of his career. He's completed 61.6 percent of his passes this season for 1,291 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions and has been a very effective rusher (333 yards, six TDs).
Michael Gordon has just 47 carries this season but they have resulted in 441 yards (9.4 ypc) and three scores, numbers that were heavily influenced by a 188-yard game at GSU.
J.D. McKissic is Knighten's most trusted receiver with 35 catches for 383 yards but he has yet to find the end zone. Dijon Paschal has been a solid deep threat with 249 yards and a score on just 13 receptions.
The Red Wolves have performed very well defensively, allowing just 20.5 ppg and 360.2 ypg.
Qushaun Lee (41 tackles, 4.5 TFL, sack) has been active in the turnover battle with two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Xavier Woodson has a team-best 47 tackles to go with 6.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks, while Chris Stone also generates a strong pass rush with 4.0 sacks.
The Cajuns' offense has been disappointing this season, only putting up 26.2 ppg and 413.2 ypg, but they have scored 34 points in two straight games and tallied 528 yards their last time out against Texas State.
Terrance Broadway has not lived up to expectations as the preseason conference player of the year. He's completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,117 with more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven). Even when his passing is off, he's always a threat to take off and run (344 yards, TD).
Broadway is just one piece of a potent rushing attack that picks up just shy of 195 yards per game. Elijah McGuire (395 yards, four TDs) averages 7.7 yards per carries, and Alonzo Harris (328 yards, five TDs) is the leader with a team-best 81 attempts.
After injuring his foot in last week's win, Jamal Robinson (15 receptions, 260 yards, four TDs) underwent season-ending surgery. McGuire (22 receptions, 242 yards, TD) is a trusted check-down option, and Al Riles (18 receptions, 220 yards) must step up as the top option out wide.
Defensively, Louisiana has not been up to par, allowing 30.8 ppg and 426.7 ypg, although after giving up a total of 169 points in its previous four games (42.3 ppg), it held Texas State to only 10 points a week ago.
Trae Johnson has racked up a team-best 35 tackles to go with 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks. Christian Ringo (8.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and Dominique Tovell (6.0 TFL, sack) have been impressive along the defensive line. Safety Trevence Patt (31 tackles) is questionable with an undisclosed injury.
Whichever team's rushing attack can get untracked in this one to control the time of possession battle will have a clear leg up. Figure that to be the hometown Cajuns led by their three-headed monster of Broadway, McGuire and Harris.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana 30, Arkansas 27Game Date and Time
Tuesday, October 21, 8 p.m. (ET)