Mark Hudspeth Press Conference For Arkansas State [VIDEO]
Ragin' Cajun Head Coach Mark Hudsepth's met with media after a breakout win over Texas State, but Arkansas State lies ahead.
Amidst the troubling distraction of an NCAA investigation into his program, Coach Hudspeth is trying to get the Cajuns to catch stride in Sun Belt Conference play. If the tape from Texas State holds true, the hot streak could be on its way. One thing he won't have to worry about anymore is naming his starting QB. That was decided Saturday.
"I thought it all started with Jalen Nixon," Hudsepth said. He later added, "If we'd had that type of production, maybe we wouldn't be where we are record wise."
With the starting QB issue now in the books, Hudspeth can turn his attention on cohesiveness elsewhere, namely on the offensive line.
After the injury to Mykhael Quave, the Cajuns were forced to shift bodies around on the line. Hudspeth said Eddie Gordon will move back to Center, and Grant Horst and Jesse Freeman will both be options to fill in at guard. Either way, the offense broke out for over 500 yards against the Bobcats, and the usual suspects were on the scene.
Hudspeth praised the performances of receivers Jamal Robinson, who made Sportscenter Top 10 with one of his two TD grabs, and Al Riles. Both are dangerous weapons when they get into rhythm, and Robinson is getting close to prime form again. One-handed grabs make you think the beast is back.
"That was the Jamal Robinson that everybody remembered seeing," Hudspeth said.
There's a young freshman who is catching coach's eye too. Hud said Gary Haynes, along with Jerly Brazil, changed their return game over night. There'a an obvious learning curve for both players, but Haynes is going to start seeing an increase in touches sooner rather than later.
"He'll only improve if we get the ball in his hands," Hudspeth said.
Healthwise, the Cajuns expect Safety/Linebacker TJ Worthy to return to action next Tuesday against Arkansas State, but an even brighter note is Elijah McGuire's ability to shoulder a heavy workload and avoid injury.
McGuire registered a career-high 28 carries and ended up with 30 total touches against the Bobcats, but his coach thought he held up like a charm.
"I thought he toted it well, talking about the burden and the load," Hudspeth said of his star running back.
With a win under their belt in conference play, the Cajuns will try to build off the momentum to make a run to the bowl season.
An elephant sat squarely in the room, in the form of the ongoing NCAA investigation. Hudspeth seemed confident his team could deal with the distraction. They certainly had their fare share so far this season.
Storm clouds are forming, but all Hudspeth and his team can do is keep focusing on football in an attempt to make a fifth consecutive bowl.