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Cajuns visit Tide, Tigers face Ole Miss in fifth week

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth in the series previewing the 2018 football season.
I understand from a money perspective why teams from the Sun Belt Conference play SEC teams.
But historically, the Sun Belt is 9-143 against the SEC.
Everyone in Louisiana remembers Troy’s 24-21 win last year over LSU.
Troy has upset then-Big 12 Conference’s Missouri at home in 2004, throttled Oklahoma State in Troy in 2007 and beat Mississippi State in Starkville in 2001.
In 2016, South Alabama stunned Mississippi State as the Jaguars won 21-20.
In 2013, Western Kentucky beat Kentucky 35-26 after a 32-31 overtime victory in 2012.
Also in 2012, Louisiana Monroe grabbed a 34-31 overtime win over Arkansas.
All the Tide faithful remember when ULM shocked Alabama with a 21-14 upset in 2007.
Middle Tennessee has beaten Vanderbilt three times (2001, 2002, 2005).
One of UL Lafayette’s biggest wins was over then Big 12’s Texas A&M 29-22 in 1996.
So can the Cajuns beat Alabama in the fifth week of the 2018 season? Nope.
Alabama and UL Lafayette first met in 1941 and have played a total of eight games.
The Crimson Tide won the most recent meeting 25-6 in 1990 to extend their series lead to 8-0.
The defending national champions will be still undefeated and the Cajuns would be able to slow the Tide with either quarterback Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa.
Former Alabama assistant Billy Napier will see old friends on the other sideline but it won’t be a welcoming committee that his team will face.
But the Tide will pay the Ragin’ Cajuns a $1.25 million guarantee according to media reports.
LSU will take on Ole Miss and this game will go a long way to see if the Tigers will compete in the SEC West.
A loss to both Auburn and Ole Miss would put LSU way behind with the hardest part of the schedule still ahead for the Tigers.
The next four games against Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama will still be at best a 2-2 run and the Tigers will still be out of the title hunt.
Ole Miss is predicted to struggle and finish at the bottom of the SEC West.
Quarterback Shea Patterson left the program after the NCAA sanctions, but junior college transfer Jordan Ta’amu will lead the offense for head coach Matt Luke.
Ta’amu threw 11 touchdowns with four interceptions last year.
Luke went 6-6 last season as the interim head coach and sealed his new deal as Ole Miss won three of the last four games including a 31-28 upset over rival Mississippi State.
Wide receiver A.J. Brown will be an impressive target after 75 catches for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Defensive tackle Josiah Coatney and JUCO transfer Vernon Dasher in the secondary need to lead the way for the Rebels to do better than 5-7 or 6-6.
This is a must-win game for LSU and the Tigers have a 69.5 percent chance of a victory.

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