Ragin’ Cajuns pile up school-record 759 yards of total offense in homecoming blowout of New Mexico State
LAFAYETTE – Andre Nunez completed 19 of 25 passes for a career-high 315 yards and tied a school-record with five touchdown passes as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns piled up a school-record 759 yards of total offense and defeated New Mexico State, 66-38, on Saturday for homecoming at Cajun Field.
Earnest Patterson recorded a career-high 114 yards receiving while Elijah Mitchell rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns as Louisiana (3-3) scored on all seven first-half drives before punting to open the second half.
Nunez tossed three TDs in the first quarter, beginning with a 50-yard catch and run by Ja’Marcus Bradley before hitting Jarrod Jackson on a 30-yard strike and Trey Ragas on an 11-yard score.
The senior quarterback a 22-yard scoring pass to Jackson in the second quarter before his 31-yard scoring strike to Rhyeem Malone in the third quarter tied the single-game record held by Jake Delhomme against Northern Illinois in 1996.
Patterson added a school-record sixth receiving TD in a game after taking a second-quarter lateral from Jackson and racing 79 yards a 28-14 lead with 2:04 remaining in the first quarter.
Mitchell, who ran for a career-high 191 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 42-27 win at Texas State, gave Louisiana a 35-14 lead in the second quarter on a 31-yard TD before adding TDs of 36 and 9 yards in the fourth.
Louisiana gained 344 yards on the ground against NM State (2-5) while throwing for 415 yards through the air. Trey Ragas added 94 yards on the ground on a game-high carries for Louisiana with Raymond Calais adding 90 yards on 10 attempts.
Josh Adkins completed 25 of 44 passes for 284 yards with a touchdown for NM State with Josh Huntley recording 373 all-purpose yards – the second highest in school history. Huntley, who scored on an 87-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, led the Aggies with 85 yards rushing, 112 yards receiving and 176 yards in kick returns.
Louisiana will return to Sun Belt Conference action on Saturday (Oct. 20) when it travels to Boone, N.C., to face Appalachian State in a 2:30 p.m. CDT game.
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• Louisiana’s 28 points scored in the first quarter equaled the most by the Cajuns since a 70-7 contest against Nicholls State on Sept. 14, 2013.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns 66 points were the most in a game since the Nicholls game (70) in 2013.
• Louisiana won the coin toss (first time since the Mississippi State game on Sept. 15) and elected to receive.
• Louisiana scored on all seven of its drives in the first half (6 TD, 1 FG) and gained 534 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes.
• Louisiana’s 759 yards of total offense was a school-record, eclipsing the previous record (728) set at ULM in 2008.
• Louisiana’s 759 yards of total offense was the third-highest by an FBS team this season and behind Ole Miss (826 vs. ULM, 10/6) and Boise State (818, vs. UConn, 9/8).
• Andre Nunez’s four TD passes in the first half were the most by a Cajuns quarterback since Terrance Broadway threw four against Georgia State on Nov. 16, 2013.
• Nunez’s career-high 315 yards were a career-high and marked the 34th time in school history a Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback eclipsed the 300-yard mark in a game.
• The 315-yard game for Nunez was the first by a Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback since Jordan Davis (309) at Tulsa on Sept. 9, 2017.
• Louisiana defeated NM State for homecoming for the second consecutive year and improved to 40-27-2 all-time in homecoming games.
• The homecoming win over NM State marked the first time Louisiana defeated the same opponent in a homecoming game in consecutive years since wins over East Carolina (1984-85).
• Louisiana’s 66 points scored were the most scored in a homecoming game, surpassing the 49 scored against NM State in 2013.
• In three homecoming games against NM State, Louisiana has scored a combined 162 points (54.0 ppg.).
• Earnest Patterson’s 79-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter was the first of his career.
• Patterson’s 114 yards receiving marked a career-high and was Louisiana’s first 100-yard receiving game of the season.
• Louisiana had a 300-yard passer (Nunez, 315), a 100-yard receiver (Patterson, 114) and 100-yard rusher (Elijah Mitchell, 107) for the eighth time in school history and first since facing Tulsa in 2017.
• Louisiana set a school-record with 37 first downs (previous record – 33, vs. NM State , Arkansas State  and Middle Tennessee ).
• The 104 points scored by both teams was the second-highest in school history – two points shy of the record (106) set against ULM in 2017.
• NM State’s Jason Huntley’s 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the first against the Ragin’ Cajuns since Huntley returned a kick 97 yards in the 2017 contest.
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