HUD: “I’M STAYING”
Louisiana head football coach Mark Hudspeth put an end to the speculation today at his press conference concerning the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
Hudspeth opened the press conference by saying he was happy to be the head coach of the Ragin' Cajuns.
When pressed, he was more exact.
"We love Lafayette, we love the people and we love the University. This is where we want to be."
Hudspeth was considered to be a candidate at Ole Miss, but withdrew his name from consideration a week ago. Hugh Freeze was named the Rebels' coach earlier today.
But there was a ton of speculation about the job at Mississippi State, where Hudspeth spent two years as an assistant before coming to Louisiana. Bulldogs' head coach Dan Mullen is considered to be in the mix at Penn State and Hudspeth would have been high on MSU's wish list if Mullen should leave.
But Hudspeth says it doesn't matter.
"We have something special here. The sky is the limit. I'm staying at UL. I'm a Ragin' Cajun."
Hudspeth also said he was grateful to Athletics Director Scott Farmer and UL President Dr. Joe Savoie for their support.
"Dr. Savoie and Scott have made it clear they're committed to this program. I really appreciate their support."
While a new contract is not in place, it is believed Hudspeth will get a hefty raise and a contract extension after leading the Cajuns to their first bowl appearance in 41 years.
The Cajuns will take on San Diego State out of the Mountain West Conference on Sunday, December 17th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Gametime is at 8pm.
"We're excited to be playing a team of San Diego State's caliber. The fact we're playing a school from the Mountain West Conference will make for more national attention for the game."
San Diego State finished their season at 8-4 and Hudspeth says the Aztecs will present challenges on both sides of the football.
"They have a running back who's special. They'll spread you out and then run the football. They've got talented receivers and a talented quarterback. Where do you plug the dam? They do so many things well."
Hudspeth says for the Cajuns to slow down SDSU, it will have to start up front.
"Our defensive line is going to have to play really, really well. We have to slow their running game first and foremost."
SDSU plays a 3-3-5 defense and Hudspeth says he's impressed by the Aztecs' different blitz packages.
"They come at you from everywhere," he said.
Hudspeth also said Cornerback Dwight "Bill" Bentley, who suffered a separated shoulder in the season finale against Arizona, should return to practice this Wednesday.
San Diego State has opened as a 4 1/2 point favorite.