Wolf Pack get Cajun flavor for bowl game | NevadaAppeal.com

Wolf Pack get Cajun flavor for bowl game

Staff Report

The Nevada football team opens the bowl season with a Dec. 20 game against Louisiana Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The 2014-15 college football bowl season will kick off with Nevada and Louisiana Lafayette in the 14th annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 20. The Wolf Pack (7-5) will meet the Ragin' Cajuns (8-4) at 8 a.m. (PT) on ESPN from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

"I am very excited that our players and staff will have one more opportunity to compete together at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl," said Nevada's second-year coach, Brian Polian. "The game presents us a chance to pursue an eighth win on the season and also serves as a reward for our players, who have worked so hard this year. This bowl also gives our young people a chance to spend some time in New Orleans and continue to enjoy the opportunities and experiences that being a football player at the University of Nevada provides."

The Wolf Pack were in jeopardy of missing a bowl appearance as losses by Boise State and Oklahoma likely would have kept Nevada out.

Instead, Boise State won the Mountain West championship 28-14 over Fresno State, even though the Sooners fell to rival Oklahoma State. Boise State clinched a berth in the Fiesta Bowl against Arizona, thus lifting the Wolf Pack into the New Orleans Bowl.

Nevada is making its 14th bowl appearance in program history, its ninth bowl trip in the past 10 years and the first under second-year head coach Brian Polian. The Wolf Pack will make its first appearance in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Nevada is 1-0 against the Ragin' Cajuns all-time with the lone meeting in the series history resulting in a 38-14 Pack victory in Sept. 2, 1995.

"The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns are going to be a great opponent in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl," Polian said. "They are very athletic across the board and have an explosive offense. Coach Hudspeth has done a tremendous job leading their program to multiple bowl games and I have no doubt that we will have our hands full. This should be a very exciting challenge for our players and coaches."

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After seeing its bowl streak snapped at eight games in 2013, the Wolf Pack responded with a positive campaign under Polian. Nevada tallied a 7-5 record, defeated a Pac-12 opponent in Washington State, won four road games, defeated three conference opponents and returned the Fremont Cannon to Reno with a victory over UNLV.

After posting an 8-4 record and a 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt Conference, Louisiana Lafayette will make its fourth consecutive bowl appearance. The Ragin' Cajuns are led by fourth-year head coach Mark Hudspeth.

Nevada and Louisiana Lafayette rank within three spots of each other nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. Both offenses begin with the rush attack as the Cajuns average 229 yards on the ground per game and Nevada averages 215.

The New Orleans Bowl will feature a 1,000-yard rusher in ULL's Elijah McGuire, while Nevada will counter with three rushers over 620 yards on the season. Both teams are quarterbacked by seniors. Senior Cody Fajardo leads Nevada as one of two players in FBS history with over 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 rushing in a career. The Ragin' Cajuns are led by three-year starter Terrance Broadway.

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl made its debut in 2001. Louisiana Lafayette has played in the bowl game in each of the past three years, defeating Tulane, 24-21, last season.

Tickets for the bowl game from the Wolf Pack's allotment are available at the Lawlor Events Center ticket office or by calling 775-348-PACK. Tickets will also be available from NevadaWolfPack.com.

Ticket prices available from Nevada range from $40 to $60. Purchasing through the Wolf Pack ticket office ensures seats in the Wolf Pack section and helps the Wolf Pack reach their ticket obligation.