Mark Hudspeth On McNeese State, Melvin Smith [VIDEO]
Ragin' Cajuns Head Coach Mark Hudspeth has a lot on his mind. A loss to Boise State, an upcoming matchup with McNeese State and the firing of Melvin Smith weigh heavily on his shoulders.
After Brett Rypien and Boise State torched the Cajun defense for over 300 yards in the first half of week one's loss, Hudspeth looked over the tape and it forced him to make a difficult decision. Melvin Smith's defense struggled last season, but Coach Hud expected improvement this season with an injection of talent.
"It just didn’t happen, and I owe it to these seniors," Hudspeth said. He didn't want to put off the decision any longer, for the players' sake. " I just felt like, why wait?"
It's the coach's job to get players in the right position. Whether it was the verbiage, overall scheme or his delivery, Smith's men weren't executing the game plan.
Coach Hud has an idea of how his defense should play. They recruit to fit that idea, and he's hoping the change at defensive coordinator will bring out the defense he envisioned.
How should that defense look? He made it sound simple.
"Gap sound. We don't give up big plays. We fly to the ball and create turnovers," Hudspeth explained.
The lack of turnovers was glaring, and it was a large factor in Smith's dismissal.
If the Cajuns calm down their defense, the offense has a better chance to thrive under Anthony Jennings.
With no turnovers in his debut, Jennings impressed his coach. Against McNeese State, he will be expected to take another step forward.
The Cowboys are a rugged FCS unit. Coach Hud thought there was a common misconception about McNeese State's talent level.
"They've got division one players on that team," Hudsepth said with respect.
To add gas to the fire, McNeese State fans are salivating for an upset. Coach Hudspeth sees the challenge ahead, but will his players take the task lightly?
A win would go a long way lowering Coach Hudspeth's blood pressure, but a loss? A loss at Cajun Field would create a shockwave reaction through the fan base and athletic department. Coach Hudspeth doesn't want his next press conference to be on those terms.