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Sources: Jacksonville State, Louisiana to Play in 2023 New Orleans Bowl

Sources: Jacksonville State, Louisiana to Play in 2023 New Orleans Bowl article feature image

Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jacksonville State’s Ron Wiggins.

Jacksonville State will play in its first bowl game in school history against Louisiana in the New Orleans Bowl, sources told Action Network.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are New Orleans Bowl regulars, having played in seven of the past 13 New Orleans Bowls.

But this will be a new experience for Jacksonville State. Because the Gamecocks are in their second year reclassifying from FCS to FBS, they could only receive a bowl bid if there weren’t enough six-win teams to fill all 41 bowls.

Fortunately for JSU, only 79 of the required 82 teams were bowl-eligible, allowing the Gamecocks to snag a spot.

Jacksonville State (8-4) finished third in Conference USA behind undefeated and No. 24-ranked Liberty and New Mexico State. Under coach Rich Rodriguez, Jacksonville State has gone 17-6 the past two seasons.

This will be Rodriguez’s 12th bowl game as a head coach. He's gone 5-6 in bowl games at Michigan, West Virginia and Arizona.

While this will be Jacksonville State’s first postseason appearance since losing in the FCS quarterfinals in 2020, Louisiana is making its sixth consecutive bowl trip and second straight under coach Michael Desormeaux.

Louisiana (6-6) won its final game against ULM to stop a three-game losing streak and reach bowl eligibility. Louisiana is 5-1 in its past New Orleans Bowl trips, the most recent of which came in 2021.

Louisiana is one of a record 12 Sun Belt teams to earn a bowl berth. On Thursday, it was announced Coastal Carolina and San Jose State would play in the Hawaii Bowl. The remaining 39 bowls will be announced on Sunday afternoon.

This will be the second meeting between Louisiana and Jacksonville State after JSU won the only meeting in 2000. Louisiana is projected as a 2.5-point favorite, according to betting power ratings from Action Network’s Collin Wilson.

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