Louisiana rallies past Middle Tennessee 13-10October 22, 2005 · MT Media Relations
The Rajun Cajuns (2-5, 1-2) converted a fourth-and-4 at the Middle Tennessee 43 to keep alive a drive that was capped by Booker Jenkins' 6-yard touchdown run on the option pitch from Michael Desormeaux.
Sean Comiskey's missed extra point gave the Blue Raiders (2-4, 1-2) the opportunity to have a chance to tie the game. However, after driving out to the Middle Tennessee 40, back-up quarterback Josh Harris' Hail Mary pass was batted down by the Ragin' Cajuns.
The Blue Raiders had taken a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
Middle Tennessee took the game's opening kickoff 76 yards in 6:29. Ralph King capped the drive with a 3-yard scoring run.
On Louisiana's first possession, Jeremiah Weaver forced a fumble by Tyrell Fenroy at the Louisiana 46.
The Blue Raiders were able to drive the ball to the 20 before the drive stalled. Colby Smith kicked a 37-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.
Louisiana answered on its next possession with an 11-play, 81-yard drive. Josh Harrison capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run.
Middle Tennessee had another scoring opportunity at the end of the first half.
The Blue Raiders took possession at their own 35 with 1:23 remaining. Clint Marks completed a 35-yard pass to Cleannord Saintil to advance the ball to the Louisiana 30. MTSU was able to reach the 11-yard line before Marks was flagged for intentional grounding. Smith's 42-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds remaining was short.
The Rajun Cajuns saw a scoring opportunity end with a failed fourth-down conversion on their opening drive of the second half. Desormeaux's pass from the Blue Raider 34 fell incomplete.
The Blue Raiders offense drove into Louisiana territory at the start of the fourth quarter. MTSU reached the ULL 21, but the drive ended when Mark Risher stripped the football away from Eugene Gross.
Marks completed 19-of-24 passes for 218 yards, but was sacked eight times by the Louisiana defense. Gross led the Raiders on the ground with 54 yards and King added 52.
Desormeaux completed 14-of-25 passes for 138 yards. Harrison led a balanced Louisiana ground attack with 55 yards and the touchdown. Fenroy added 53 yards.
Middle Tennessee travels to Florida International next Saturday for a 5 p.m. kickoff. Louisiana hosts Troy.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE
OCTOBER 22, 2005; FLOYD STADIUM
SAINTIL SETS CAREER-HIGH: WR Cleannord Saintil put together a career day with 11 catches for a personal-best 141 yards to record his first collegiate 100-yard receiving game. Saintil's previous receiving yardage high was 94 against North Texas earlier this year. The Naples, Fla., native entered today's game second in the conference in receptions and receiving yardage. Kerry Wright's 126 yards against Louisiana-Monroe (November 13, 2004) was the last 100-yard receiving game by a Blue Raider.
SMITH ENDS SKID: Junior placekicker Colby Smith has had a difficult year in the field goal department but got back on track today against UL. Smith, who entered the game 1-for-6 on three-pointers, connected on a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter to break a string of three straight misses. It was also Smith's first make of the year at home. Smith later missed a 42-yard try.
PENALTIES HURTING BLUE RAIDERS: Over the past two games, Middle Tennessee has had a problem with penalties. During that span, the Blue Raiders have been flagged 22 times for 284 yards. Middle Tennessee, which entered the game as the most penalized team in the league, was penalized 11 times today for 126 yards.
QUICK HITTERS: For the first time this season, Middle Tennessee scored on its opening possession of the game when it went 76 yards in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead ... Jeremiah Weaver made his first collegiate fumble recovery when he fell on a loose ball on UL's first offensive possession ... The Blue Raider defense caused a turnover on the opponent's opening drive of the game for the second game in a row ... The Blue Raiders scored 10 points in the opening quarter, besting their season-total of seven points in the first quarter this season ... Middle Tennessee fell to 0-3 at home this season.
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