LAFAYETTE, La. — Troy’s two-game winning streak came to an abrupt halt Saturday with a 53-3 loss at Louisiana in Sun Belt action at Cajun Field.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (9-2, 6-1 Sun Belt), who clinched the Sun Belt West title with the win, closed out the game with 46 unanswered points and scored on nine of their 13 possessions.
Troy (5-6, 3-4) has to regroup quickly with short week of preparation for Friday’s home game against No. 23 Appalachian State in the regular-season finale. The Trojans need a win to become bowl eligible.
“It was a tough night for us,” Troy head coach Chip Lindsey said. “It was one of those situations that every time we took a step forward, we took two steps backwards, but we have a great opportunity to learn and get better next week. We need to have a great week of practice and learn from our mistakes.”
In Saturday’s game, Tyler Sumpter provided the only scoring of the game for the Trojans with a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3 late in the first quarter, but Louisiana answered with a 27-yard Raymond Calais touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the opening quarter for a 14-3 lead.
Trey Ragas scored on a 1-yard run and Elija Mitchell on an 11-yard run in the second quarter for the Cajuns, who also got a 49-yard Stevie Artigue field goal with 17 seconds left for a 31-3 halftime lead.
Artigue added a 45-yard field goal to start the third quarter and the Cajuns added a safety, an 8-yard Ragas TD run and a Chris Smith 80-yard score to build the margin to 50-3 after three quarters.
Artigue finished the scoring with a 31-yard field goal with 9:50 left in the game.
Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker completed 15-of-32 passes for 178 yards but was held without a touchdown for the first time this season, while DK Billingsley rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries and Jamontez Woods added 57 yards on 13 carries in his first action since week two. Back-up quarterback Gunnar Watson completed 3-of-8 passes for 25 yards.
Carlton Martial recorded 12 tackles for his fifth double-digit tackle game of the season to lead the Troy defense. TJ Harris added eight and AJ Smiley had six, including a 9-yard quarterback sack.
Louisiana rushed for 254 yards on 37 carries behind its dangerous trio of running backs with Ragas pacing the group with a pair of scores and 79 yards. Levi Lewis completed 21-of-33 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown.
Troy finished with 22 first downs to Louisiana’s 28 and 359 total yards to the Cajuns 598. The Trojans rushed for 156 yards in addition to throwing for 203.
The Trojans also turned the ball over three times, two off interceptions, and failed to get a turnover defensively.
Sumpter had a strong day punting, averaging 43.8 yards off six punts.
• Barker moved into fifth place on the Troy single-season passing yardage list (3,347).
• Kaylon Geiger moved into fourth place on the Troy single-season list with 74 receptions on the season after six on Saturday.
• Troy lost the toss and Louisiana elected to receive the opening kickoff. It marked just the third time in 11 games this season that Troy did not receive the opening kickoff.
• Sumpter moved into sole possession of fourth place with his 37th career made field goal; he also improved to 10-of-14 in his career from 30-39 yards with his 30-yard mark in the first quarter.