The 2023 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will take place this afternoon as the Jacksonville State Gamecocks will take on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the Caesars Superdome. This bowl will kick off at 2:15 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.
Jacksonville State (8-4, 6-2 CUSA) had a successful first season in FBS this year, holding its own in the newly restructured Conference USA. The offense ran through running back Malik Jackson, who racked up 860 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, defensive lineman Chris Hardie led the way with 56 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and an interception. The Gamecocks were initially barred from postseason play due to FCS to FBS transition rules, but were able to become bowl eligible due to a shortage of six-win teams.
Louisiana (6-6) had an up-and-down season, but were able to get bowl eligible with a season-ending victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Quarterback Zeon Chriss was the triggerman for the Cajun offense before suffering a broken fibula in early November, opening the door for Chandler Fields to take over for the final month of the season. They also got plenty of production from running back Jacob Kibodi, who ran for 729 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jacksonville State: 67 overall, 77 offense, 52 defense
Louisiana: 64 overall, 37 offense, 103 defense
List of injuries and players opting out of game
No injuries or transfers to report
QB Zeon Chriss - Out (Fibula)
RB Dre’Lyn Washington - Questionable (Personal)
S Cejae Caesar - Out (Transfer Portal)
LB Kendre Gant - Out (Transfer Portal
QB Chandler Fields - likely starter
RB Dre’lyn Washington - (undisclosed, did not play in last game)
Against The Spread in 2023
Jacksonville State: 8-3-1 ATS
Louisiana: 5-7 ATS
Total in 2023
Jacksonville State: Over 5-7
Louisiana: Over 7-5
Jacksonville State: 2.82 plays per minute of offense
Louisiana: 2.21 plays per minute of offense
Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Jacksonville State -2.5
Moneyline: JSU -130, Louisiana +110
Opening line: Louisiana -1.5
Opening total: 57.5
Weather not a factor inside of the Superdome
Our Best Bet for the New Orleans Bowl
Jacksonville State -2.5
The New Orleans Bowl is practically the Ragin’ Cajun invitational as this is the program’s seventh appearance in the game since 2011. They always bring a large crowd to the Superdome to create a de-facto home environment.
With that being said, I think Jax State gets the job done in it’s very first bowl appearance. The Gamecocks are more balanced on both sides of the ball than the Cajuns and they are dealing with far less injuries/transfers. Plus head coach Rich Rodriguez has been to several bowl games, and should have his guys ready for this showdown.