In a wildly entertaining shootout in the New Orleans Bowl, Louisiana-Lafayette outlasted East Carolina, 43-34.
As long as you aren't a defensive purist, this game was impossible not to enjoy.
It wasn't the most well-played or cleanest game, and there was an endless string of missed opportunities by both defenses, but it was fun.
There was no doubting the effort of any player on the field, and these two coaches were letting these young men aggressively go after it.
However, it took a bit for these offenses to hit their stride. ULL got a 12-yard rushing touchdown from Terrance Broadway with just over eight minutes in the first quarter. That was it for the scoring in the opening quarter.
Then the second quarter began, and if you blinked, you missed a score—45 points went on the board in a flurry of activity.
It was one big play after another. The biggest was a 68-yard touchdown run by ULL's Alonzo Harris. At the end of the second, the Ragin' Cajuns held a 31-21 lead.
The Pirates scored the first 10 points of the third to tie the game up, and it stayed close within a score until the final seconds.
With just over three minutes left, ECU got the ball back and was down by six. The Pirates were only able to pick up five yards on the first three plays, and they went for it on fourth down while deep in their own territory. On fourth, a roll-out pass was knocked out of the hands of its intended receiver and the game was all but over.
With the way this game was going, there is no blaming head coach Ruffin McNeill for the play-call. This was a game where he had to try and win it with his offense. The offense just ran out of gas.
There is no arguing what ESPN's College GameDay offers up with this tweet.
If you like offense, you'll love the New Orleans Bowl. #ECUvsULL— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) December 22, 2012
The bowl game's sponsors were, I'm sure, happy to tweet this out.
Not a lot of people had this game circled on their schedules, but it was a fun game that I'm sure picked up viewers as it went along.
A quick scan of Twitter unearthed numerous tweets similar to this one.
This New Orleans Bowl game is pretty darn good, actually. #pleasantlysurprised— Robert Edwards (@RJ_Edwards) December 22, 2012
ESPN gives us all a glimpse of just how intense the offensive action got in this game.
The 45 combined points scored in 2nd quarter of the New Orleans Bowl ties FBS record for points in a quarter of a bowl game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 22, 2012
There was a good mix of rushing and passing in this game, and both coaches were using everything at their disposal. Both teams had 10 different players catch at least one pass.