New Orleans Bowl Odds & Tips: East Carolina vs. UL Lafayette 12/22

Last Updated: December 14th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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New Orleans BowlOur 2012 bowl predictions continue on Saturday, December 22nd with the New Orleans Bowl, and we are set to make our New Orleans Bowl predictions, tips, and keys to the game for the duel between the East Carolina Pirates and the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

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2012 New Orleans Bowl: East Carolina Pirates vs. Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
2012 New Orleans Bowl Location: Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
2012 New Orleans Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 22nd, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
2012 New Orleans Bowl On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Key #1: Terrance Broadway has to make big plays
There aren’t many players in this game that can truly bust things open, but Broadway is one of them. He took over as the Cajuns’ quarterback three games into the season, and he really did a remarkable job with this team. The only bad loss of the bunch was a road game against the North Texas Mean Green, but when you consider that the “worst” offense performance of the year was putting up 20 on the Florida Gators, that’s pretty darn impressive. Broadway averaged 8.9 yards per pass attempt this year, and he was also a real winner on the ground with 661 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He accounted for a total of 24 touchdowns to boot. There are a number of players at this level that are dynamic, but few that have dominated as much as Broadway has in the Sun Belt, and that has to continue against the Pirates.

New Orleans Bowl Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
East Carolina Pirates +5
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns -5
Over/Under 66
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Key #2: The ULL defense has to find a way to mark Justin Hardy
Hardy led Conference USA this year with 83 receptions, and he was third in the conference with 1,046 yards. The key to winning games this games this year for the Pirates has been getting the ball in Hardy’s hands. ECU lost four games this year, and in those games, Hardy averaged 5.8 receptions and 71.5 yards per game. He averaged 7.5 receptions and 95.0 yards in eight victories. The sophomore had five 100+ yard games this year, and he finished out the regular season with 16 catches and 171 yards against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Louisiana Lafayette ranked just 115th in the nation against the pass, allowing 283.9 yards per game. This secondary has a lot of problems all year long, allowing six different receivers to have at least 100 receiving yards against it, including in the last game of the year when Florida Atlantic’s WR William Dukes had nine catches, 204 yards, and two TDs.


Key #3: East Carolina has to prove that it can beat a solid team
When you look at the 8-4 Pirates, a team that has won 13 games over the course of the last two years, you would think that there would be at least one win somewhere against a team that made it to a bowl game. Alas, out of all of those wins, not a single one came against a team that qualified for a bowl that year. The last victory came against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles way back on October 9, 2010. There have been some bad losses in the bunch too, including the last bowl game when the team was beaten 51-20 by the Maryland Terrapins in 2010, and dropping this year by 20 to the UCF Knights, 28 by the Navy Midshipmen, 21 by the North Carolina Tar Heels (who would have been bowl eligible had they not been banned from the postseason), and 38 by the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Cajuns meanwhile, with the same 8-4 record, beat the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, and they challenged the Florida Gators, losing by just seven points in a game that they were leading deep into the fourth quarter and ultimately only lost on a blocked punt returned for a score with a few ticks left in the game.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Friday, December 14th, 2012 @ 12:01 am (EST)
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