Mar 1, 2013 12:19 PM by UL Sports Information
Five home games, including league battles against Troy and ULM, and five nationally televised contests, highlight the 2013 Louisiana football schedule, which was released on Friday.
"One by-product of being in demand by television is that it tends to wreak havoc with your schedule and in this case, it certainly did," third-year head coach Mark Hudspeth said.
"On one hand, it shows how far this program has come over the last two years that we are the only program in the Sun Belt chosen by ESPN to have three games televised in prime time. It also puts two of our most challenging games on the road a week apart and gives us three games mid-week playing days.
"It will be a huge challenge to start the season being tested by two historically great programs on the road. Those games will be a measuring stick to see how far we've come. In order to be a big-time program, you have to play big-time programs.
"The short turnaround late in the season for the Troy game will be something new, but with the Sun Belt championship on the line in November, we will adapt and overcome the challenge," Hudspeth added.
"Scheduling this year has certainly been a challenge, but I think we came away having put the program in a position to continue to grow a national following," Louisiana Director of Athletics Scott Farmer said. "By playing at least five times on national television, especially those three midweek games on non-traditional playing days, millions of people across the country will be exposed to Ragin' Cajuns football and see the quality program that Coach Hudspeth has developed."
After posting the first back-to-back nine win seasons in school history and capturing a victory in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl a second straight season, the Cajuns return 12 starters for the 2013 campaign.
The Ragin' Cajuns open the 2013 season at Arkansas on Aug. 31. It will be the first game for the Razorbacks under first year head coach Brett Bielema.
The biggest challenge of the season may come in week two when Louisiana travels to Manhattan, Kansas to face defending Big-12 champion Kansas State on Sept. 7. The Wildcats went 11-2 last year, falling to Oregon, 35-17, in the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl.
Louisiana returns to Cajun Field to open the five-game home slate against Nicholls State on Sept. 14 in the 13th annual Herbert Hymann Classic.
Back-to-back games against first time opponents follow as the Cajuns play a non-conference game at Akron on Sept. 21. After an off-week on Sept. 28, Louisiana opens up Sun Belt Conference play against new league member Texas State on Oct. 5.
The Texas State contest will be the only Saturday game in October. Like the 2012 schedule, the Cajuns will play a pair of midweek league games on national television over a three-week span.
Louisiana plays at WKU on either Tuesday or Wednesday, Oct. 15-16 and will be in Jonesboro, Ark. the following week to face two-time defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State on either Tuesday or Wednesday, Oct. 22-23. Times and dates for both games will be determined this spring with both games being televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.
The Cajuns open November with a non-conference meeting against New Mexico State on Nov. 2 and then have a quick turnaround to get ready for a league matchup with Troy, which will be played on Thursday, Nov. 7 and be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The Cajuns finish the schedule with two of their last three games on the road, sandwiching road games at Sun Belt newcomer Georgia State (Nov. 16) and second-year football member South Alabama (Dec. 7) around a Nov. 30 home game with ULM.
Football season ticket holders can look forward to seeing their ticket renewals in the mail in mid-March, according to the UL Ticket Office.
Fans wishing to add additional seating, move seats, or purchase new season tickets should email Ragin' Cajuns ticket manager Matt Casbon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by the UL Ticket Office (Mon-Fri. 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.) before the Friday, May 17th, 2013 renewal deadline.
Requests will be handled in order of 2013 RCAF Annual Fund Donor Level (RCAF4UL.com) with new season tickets requests being filled starting with those who have made a 2013 RCAF Annual Fund donation.
Fans will be contacted by the UL Ticket Office starting Monday, June 3, 2013.
• Louisiana opens its 112th season of football needing one win to record the 500th in program history. The Cajuns are 499-520-34 all-time.
• The Ragin' Cajuns will appear on national television at least five times. Louisiana will open the season with televised road games at Arkansas (SEC Network) and Kasnas State (Big 12 network). October will see the Cajuns play midweek games at WKU (Oct. 15 or 16) and Arkansas State (Oct. 22 or 23), with both games being televised on either ESPN or ESPN2. ESPNU will televise the home game vs. Troy on Thursday, Nov. 7.
• The Ragin' Cajuns will play four games against teams that went to bowl games in 2012, facing Kansas State (Tostitos Fiesta Bowl), Arkansas State (GoDaddy.com Bowl), WKU (Little Caesar' Pizza Bowl) and ULM (Advocare Independence Bowl).
• The Sun Belt Conference schedule drops from eight games to seven as FIU, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and North Texas have departed for Conference USA. Georgia State and Texas State joined the loop, giving the Sun Belt eight teams for 2013.
• The Cajuns will need to play well on the road if they want to claim the 2013 Sun Belt Conference title as Louisiana will play defending champion Arkansas State and fifth place WKU on the road. The Cajuns finished tied for second with Middle Tennessee, who left the SBC to join Conference USA, and ULM.
• The home opener against Nicholls State (Sept. 14) will serve as the 13th annual Herbert Heymann Classic. Started in 2001 to honor the long-time Ragin‘ Cajun supporter, the Hymann Classic is annually celebrated during the first home weekend of the season.
• Louisiana has gone 10-1 at Cajun Field over the last two seasons, going 5-0 in 2011 and 5-1 last year.
• Because of a scheduling oddity, the Ragin‘ Cajuns will once again play on only one Saturday in the month of October, hosting Texas State on Oct. 5.
• The season-ending Dec. 7 road game at South Alabama will mark the latest regular season game in program history. The Cajuns previously played as late as Dec. 4, facing ULM in 1976.
• A by-product of the Dec. 7 game is that Louisiana will have a pair of bye weeks during the season (Sept. 28 & Nov. 23).
• The Cajuns will face three first-time opponents this season, playing at Akron (Sept. 21) and Georgia State (Nov. 16) and hosting Texas State (Oct. 5).
• The seven Louisiana road games this season will be played in six different states with the Cajuns making a pair of trips to Arkansas to face both Arkansas (Aug. 31) and Arkansas State (Oct. 22-23). The Ragin' Cajuns will also play in Kansas (Kansas State), Ohio (Akron), Georgia (Georgia State), Alabama (South Alabama) and Kentucky (WKU).
2013 Louisiana Football Schedule
Date (Day): Opponent (TV)
Aug. 31 (Sat.): at Arkansas (SEC Network)
Sept. 7 (Sat.): at Kansas State (Big 12 Network)
Sept. 14 (Sat.) NICHOLLS STATE
Sept. 21 (Sat.) at Akron
Oct. 5 (Sat.) TEXAS STATE *
Oct. 15-16 (Tues.-Wed.) at WKU * (ESPN/ESPN2)
Oct. 22-23 (Tues.-Wed.) at Arkansas State * (ESPN/ESPN2)
Nov. 2 (Sat.) NEW MEXICO STATE
Nov. 7 (Thurs.) TROY * (ESPNU)
Nov. 16 (Sat.) at Georgia State *
Nov. 30 (Sat.) ULM *
Dec. 7 (Sat.) at South Alabama *
* - Sun Belt Games All Game Times Are TBA