MOBILE, Ala. (AP)Levi Lewis threw two touchdown passes to Ja’Marcus Bradley, and Louisiana-Lafayette beat Miami of Ohio 27-17 in the LendingTree Bowl on Monday night.
Lewis was 19 for 26 for 246 yards as the Ragin’ Cajuns (11-3) earned their first bowl win since 2014. Bradley finished with seven receptions for 88 yards.
Lewis found Bradley for a 9-yard score with 10:51 left in the third quarter. They connected for a 12-yard TD with 2:26 left in the third, lifting Louisiana-Lafayette to a 24-10 lead.
Elijah Mitchell also had a 2-yard touchdown run for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who earned their first bowl win outside their home state since 1944.
Miami (8-6) pulled within seven on Jaylon Bester’s 1-yard touchdown run with 11:35 left. but Stevie Artigue kicked a 38-yard field goal to help Louisiana-Lafayette close out the victory.
Brett Gabbert was 22 for 31 for 248 yards for Miami, and Jack Sorenson had 10 receptions for 107 yards. Gabbert is the younger brother of NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Billy Napier could be a candidate for some top jobs after the Ragin’ Cajuns’ successful season. The second-year coach has already said he is not interested in the opening at Mississippi State.
Miami: The future is bright with Gabbert behind center for the RedHawks. The true freshman completed 12 straight passes at one point. That streak tied Florida’s Tim Tebow and Alabama’s Jake Coker for the seventh-longest consecutive completion streak in bowl history. The record is 19 straight by former Georgia quarterback Mike Bobo in the 1980 Outback Bowl.
SUN BELT SUCCESS
Louisiana-Lafayette’s victory gave the Sun Belt Conference a 3-2 record this bowl season. The Mid-American Conference dropped to 3-4.
Louisiana-Lafayette will open next season with home games against McNeese State and Wyoming.
Winning the MAC championship after a 2-4 start to the season was a major stepping stone for the Redhawks. Dropping Iowa and Ohio State from the 2020 schedule should help continue the momentum. Miami opens the 2020 season at Pittsburgh.
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