Cajuns land ESPN date for season-opener at Iowa State
UL’s season-opening Sept. 12 game at nationally ranked Iowa State will be carried by ESPN, making it one of four national cable television appearances for the Ragin’ Cajuns over the first six games of their revised 2020 schedule.
The game against the Cyclones will start at 11 a.m., Iowa State announced Tuesday.
UL’s Sun Belt Conference opener Sept. 19 vs. Georgia State in Atlanta will also be an 11 a.m. CT start, and it will be carried by ESPN2.
The Sun Belt also announced Tuesday that the start time for UL’s Oct. 7 game at Appalachian State has been moved up a half-hour to 6:30 p.m. CT, and that that game be carried by ESPN.
A kickoff time of 7 p.m., meanwhile, has been set for UL’s recently scheduled visit on Oct. 23, a Friday night, to Alabama-Birmingham.
The Cajuns-Blazers game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.
In one other scheduling-related development Tuesday, the Sun Belt said UL’s home game against Arkansas State – which had been scheduled for Nov. 5, a Thursday night – has been moved to Nov. 7, with kickoff time and television coverage to be announced later.
IOWA STATE FAN PLAN
In a letter to Cyclones fans posted online Monday, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard announced the plan for fans at UL’s season-opener in Ames, Iowa.
“We have decided to provide fans, who purchased season tickets, the opportunity to attend our opener on Sept. 12 vs. Louisiana,” Pollard wrote.
“We estimate there will be approximately 25,000 fans at the first game.”
According to cbsnews.com, which cited New York Times statistics, “the decision comes despite Ames having the second worst COVID-19 outbreak in the nation in relation to population size.”
A social distancing plan is in place due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Face coverings will be required and tailgating will be banned.
Appalachian State, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that it will allow no fans in September with hope that it can in October.
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UL senior safety Cameron Solomon has been named to the national watch list for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player – at any level – with the best combination of academics, community service and on-the-field performance.
Solomon was a 2018-19 Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll member.
He currently holds a 3.212 GPA and has been active with organizations locally including the Boys and Girls Club and Feeding Children Everywhere.
The product of Ashdown (Arkansas) High and Tyler (Texas) Community College had 29 total tackles, including a career-high six in an October game at Arkansas State, while appearing in all 14 games including two starts a season ago.
Solomon has 47 total tackles in his first two seasons as a Cajun.
ALL-SUN BELT PICKS
Three Cajuns recently were named to the preseason All-Sun Belt first team: running back Elijah Mitchell, outside linebacker/defensive end Joe Dillon and punter Rhys Byrns.
Quarterback Levi Lewis, running back Trey Ragas, offensive linemen Max Mitchell and O’Cyrus Torrence, defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill and cornerback Eric Garror were named to the second team.
Garror made the second team both on defense and as a punt return specialist.
UL’s was picked to win the Sun Belt’s West Division and Appalachian State the East Division in the conference’s annual preseason coaches’ poll.
LEWIS ON ANOTHER LIST
Lewis picked another preseason accolade this week, when he was named to the 30-member national watch list for the 2020 College Football Performance National Performer of the Year Trophy.
He’s also on watch lists for the the Manning Award Preseason, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Maxwell Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Senior Bowl.
Former UL running backs and defensive line coach Marquase Lovings, now the interim head coach at FCS member Austin Peay in Tennessee, made his head coaching debut when the Governors opened the 2020 college football season last Saturday with a 24-17 loss to Central Arkansas in the FCS Kickoff Classic at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
Lovings was named interim head coach in July, shortly after ex-Cajuns head coach Mark Hudspeth – just one year into the job – abruptly resigned as Austin Peay’s head coach for personal reasons amid a reported disciplinary suspension.
UL and Central Arkansas are scheduled to play Sept. 21 at Cajun Field.
HELPING LAKE CHARLES
Cajuns head coach Billy Napier along with UL players, student-athletes from other sports and staff members donated blood to aid those in the Lake Charles area when a mobile blood bank visited the program’s facilities Monday.
Beginning Tuesday and continuing through Thursday, UL, the Cajuns’ athletic department and the AmeriCorps community service program also are collecting donations from 3-6 p.m. at Cajun Field to benefit those impacted last week by Hurricane Laura at longtime rival school McNeese State and its surrounding Lake Charles communities.
Items being collected including bottled water (singular bottles or jugs), bottled sports drinks, dry/non-perishable foods (canned or boxed), cleaning supplies (rags, cloths, sponges, mops, gloves, trash bags, tarps) and personal care items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, diapers and wipes).
Vehicles should approach the parking lot from Gate 5 adjacent to Cajundome Boulevard.
Gathered supplies will be taken Saturday to Lake Charles.