In what was a sloppy game played in rough weather, No. 25 Louisiana outlasted Appalachian State in a 24-21 win that was anything but pretty. The night featured four bad snaps on special teams, two missed field goals and one intentional safety—just another night in the Fun Belt.
For Louisiana, it was a game to forget for its special teams unit. The punting team had three bad snaps—one of which preceded an Appalachian State touchdown drive, and another that resulted in a safety. The Ragin' Cajuns also had an errant snap on a point-after attempt following their first touchdown.
The situation grew so dire that head coach Billy Napier opted for an unorthodox strategy late in the game to avoid having to punt again.
Leading 24-19 with under two minutes to play and the ball on their own 35-yard line, Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis took the snap and darted back to his own end zone, running off as much time as possible before stepping out of bounds for an intentional safety that brought Appalachian State to within three points.
Despite drawing more than a few raised eyebrows from the broadcast booth (and from viewers on Twitter), the gamble paid off. Appalachian State took over on its own 45-yard line with 1:35 left, then drove down to the Louisiana 13 with five seconds remaining. Chandler Staton's 30-yard, game-tying field goal attempt was pulled wide left, and the Ragin' Cajuns held on.
The win was Louisiana's first-ever over Appalachian State in nine all-time meetings. Appalachian State has beaten Louisiana in each of the last two Sun Belt championships, though Louisiana will face Coastal Carolina in this year's title game.