The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will face the East Carolina Pirates Saturday at 11 a.m. in the 12th annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
ECU is playing in its first New Orleans Bowl, while ULL is making its second consecutive appearance.
Both teams are familiar with the venue, as ULL defeated San Diego State in a 32-30 thriller in last season’s New Orleans Bowl, and ECU defeated Tulane 28-23 at the Superdome just last month.
The Cajuns finished with an 8-4 record and in second place in the Sun Belt conference under Head Coach Mark Hudspeth, who is 17-8 in his two seasons at ULL.
The Pirates also finished 8-4 and were Conference USA East Division runners-up. ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill is 19-18 in his three seasons with the team.
ULL’s dedicated fan-base and proximity to New Orleans made the team an easy choice once again for the New Orleans Bowl.
Last year’s official attendance was 42,481, which outpaced the event’s previous attendance record by more than 12,000 fans.
New Orleans Bowl organizers are hoping last year’s attendance mark could fall again as ULL fans have already purchased 3,000 more tickets through the university than last year, according to the ULL athletic department.
The New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau estimated that last year’s New Orleans Bowl produced a $25 million local economic impact.