Mark Hudspeth Press Conference-New Mexico State
It's going to take Ragin' Cajuns fans a while to get over the loss in quadruple overtime to Tulane, but it's Head Coach Mark Hudspeth's job to move on and win the next game.
In his weekly press conference, Hudspeth had to relive the emotionally draining loss, question by question.
"Wow, what a college football game," Hudspeth said. "Unfortunately, we didn't come up on the end we wanted to come up on."
Hudspeth pointed out the Cajuns' inability to capitalize on a blocked punt they recovered inside Tulane's ten yard line, and he pointed out that their defense held the Green Wave to 0-16 on third down. The defense played well all regulation, then things got wild in overtime.
Tulane got the better of the Cajuns through the air in extra time, but Hudspeth still banked on his defense to get it together when the time was tight.
On a fourth and short in overtime, faced with a hard decision, Hudspeth decided to kick the field goal instead of going for it, even though they converted all three of their attempts in regulation. It took a lot of effort for them to move the sticks previously, and Hudspeth didn't think the gamble was worth rolling the dice.
"I would still make the same call again because we were playing so well defensively," Hudspeth said.
His decision almost paid off. Stevie Artigue, who hit all four of his field goal attempts, nailed his kick and forced Tulane's hand. It just so happened their kicker hit a career long to extend the game.
On top of investigating the individual moments that led to the outcome, Hudspeth also filled his press conference with praise. He said he was proud of Artigue, his defense, and Elijah McGuire.
It was yeoman's work on Saturday for "The Prophet," who ended up touching the ball 38 times. He took a beating, raising the question of whether the juice was worth the squeeze. Even if Hudspeth wanted to prevent wear and tear on his star running back, Eli didn't give him the option of taking him out.
"I thought he was a warrior out on the field," Hudspeth said. "We tried to spell him, but he wanted to stay in the game."
The effects of his efforts took their toll, but Coach Hud said the heartbeat of the team didn't sustain any injuries. The same can't be said for the rest of the team.
Luckily, the offensive line's health issues are only temporary. Grant Horst and several other linemen had to sit on the sidelines against Tulane, but Hudspeth assured the fans that the entire group would be back next week against New Mexico State. Gary Haynes might not be so lucky.
It will be a wait and see with Haynes, who suffered a leg injury on a punt return. Hudspeth said the team was awaiting news from the medical staff regarding Haynes' injury, and he said if Haynes had to sit out, Gabe Fuselier and a few other bodies would step in to fill his role.
Looking forward to New Mexico State, Hudspeth emphasized that the defense must try to contain the explosive Aggies.
"We have to keep them in front, sort of like we did against South Alabama," Hudspeth said.
Surely, Cajun Nation would take a similar result. The win over the Jags was an impressive defensive outing, but can they do it twice in a row in conference play?
The Cajuns aren't the first people to leave New Orleans with a hangover, but their only medicine can be found on the field. Wins cure all ills in college football.