Peace Eze is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 2017 Outstanding Graduate. Annie B. Briley is the Outstanding Master’s Graduate. They will also be recognized during Friday's Commencement.
A rugged non-conference schedule which includes trips to SEC opponents Texas A&M and Ole Miss, a pair of nationally-televised Sun Belt Conference games in October and six games against schools that appeared in a post-season bowl highlight the 2017 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football schedule that was released by the conference office on Wednesday.
The Ragin' Cajuns will also face American Athletic Conference member Tulsa along with Division I-FCS opponent Southeastern Louisiana in non-conference action while hosting ULM, Texas State, New Mexico State and traditional power Georgia Southern in SBC game.
"We're excited about the opportunities provided for the 2017 football season," Director of Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard said. "We recognize that five home games is not our standard and moving forward we will focus on scheduling six or more games at Cajun Field or in the state of Louisiana.
"Playing a pair of games on national television, including a home contest at Cajun Field, provides us with an incredible opportunity to showcase what Cajun Nation, the University and the Lafayette community is all about. The support from our students, alumni and fans is second-to-none among schools in the Sun Belt Conference and we look forward to providing one of the great atmospheres in college football."
Louisiana, which finished 6-7 last season and earned a fifth trip in six years to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, opens the season on Sept. 2 against SLU in the annual Herbert Heymann Classic at Cajun Field. The game against the Lions, a member of the Southland Conference, will be the first between the schools since 1981 and the 40th meeting all-time between the former rivals in the Gulf States Conference.
The Ragin' Cajuns will then head out on the road for their next two games, beginning Sept. 9 when it faces Tulsa, which comes off a 10-win season that was capped by a 55-10 victory over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl. The game, which will be the 10th meeting all-time between the schools, will be the first of a home-and-home series with the Golden Hurricane scheduled to visit Cajun Field in the 2019 season.
The following week, Louisiana will travel to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M at historic Kyle Field on Sept. 16. The meeting will be the seventh between the schools since 1990 and the sixth in College Station. In the lone meeting between the schools in Lafayette, the Ragin' Cajuns defeated the No. 25-ranked Aggies, 29-22, before a then Cajun Field-record crowd of 38,783.
Louisiana opens Sun Belt Conference play on Sept. 23 against ULM at Cajun Field. The game, which marks the earliest contest between the schools since joining the SBC, is the 53rd meeting between the in-state schools with the Ragin' Cajuns holding an official 27-24 lead.
The Ragin' Cajuns will open the month of October at Idaho – the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl champion – on Oct. 7 in Moscow before returning home on Oct. 12 for the first of two straight nationally-televised Thursday contests on ESPNU. Louisiana will host Texas State at Cajun Field before traveling the following week to Jonesboro, Ark., to take on defending league co-champion Arkansas State on Oct. 19.
"It will be one of the most challenging schedules that we have had in the last seven years, and we will continue to work hard in making sure our team is up to the challenge," head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "We have played really well on the road in the past and we are excited about attacking the challenge of seven road games this year. We are also excited to picked to play in two ESPN Thursday night games. It will continue to bring our university and community great exposure to a national audience."
Louisiana will continue Sun Belt Conference play on Nov. 4 when it visits South Alabama in Mobile before stepping out of league action the following week on Nov. 11 at Ole Miss in Oxford.
The Ragin' Cajuns will return home for a pair of SBC games beginning Nov. 18 to face New Mexico State before hosting Georgia Southern in the home finale on Nov. 25.
Louisiana will close out the regular-season in Boone, N.C., when it visits defending SBC co-champion Appalachian State at Kidd-Brewer Stadium.
The renewal process for Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football season tickets is currently underway and fans are encouraged to renew their tickets for the 2017 season by April 17.
Season tickets, beginning at $110, are available for purchase. Reserved and chairback seating is available for $135 per seat with the Family 5 Pack available for $405.
Fans can renew their season tickets online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager. All fans who renew their season tickets will be entered to receive prizes in the "15 in 15" contest through Ragin' Cajuns Athletics.
Prizes will be available beginning on March 6 where one winner will be randomly selected each day from everyone who has renewed their tickets as of that day. The winner will be announced over social media and posted online at RaginCajuns.com.
Following the April 17 season ticket renewal deadline, the ticket office will process upgrades and any additional requests from season ticket holders before they are available to the public.
For more information, contact the Cajundome Box Office at (337) 265-2357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football schedule
- Sept. 2 – Southeastern Louisiana
- Sept. 9 - at Tulsa
- Sept. 16 - at Texas A&M
- Sept. 23 - ULM *
- Oct. 7 - at Idaho *
- Oct. 12 - Texas State * (ESPNU)
- Oct. 19 - at Arkansas State * (ESPNU)
- Nov. 4 - at South Alabama *
- Nov. 11 - at Ole Miss
- Nov. 18 - New Mexico State *
- Nov. 25 - Georgia Southern *
- Dec. 2 - at Appalachian State *
* - Sun Belt Conference game