Mark Hudspeth Press Luncheon After Northwestern State Win [VIDEO]
Mark Hudspeth met with media to discuss the Ragin' Cajuns' victory over Northwestern State, analyze the off week and give a brief health update.
Coach Hud was pleased with the Cajuns execution against Northwestern State, and it was hard to find many negatives from the performance. One of the few negatives Hud could find involved the attendance, but he wasn't upset with Cajun Nation.
"Not sure who's counting the people walking in the gates, but I thought we had a great crowd," Hudspeth said.
He added that it was the "best student section I've seen since I've been here." The environment spoke for itself, and so did the numbers. With a 44-17 victory in their pockets from the home opener, the Ragin' Cajuns just need a little help on the health front now. This week's open date comes at a perfect time.
Darzil Washington will be out for a while, but Al Riles, Jalen Nixon (both with shoulder injuries) and several others that are either "banged up" or suffering from minor injuries need this week off to recover. While Hudspeth fully expects Riles, Nixon and starting safety T.J. Worthy (hamstring) to be back for Akron, he couldn't fathom having them back any sooner than two weeks.
When asked about the off week, Hudspeth responded with, "I would hate to have to play a game Saturday."
To wrap up the injury notes, Coach Hudspeth said that none of the injuries suffered against Northwestern State were season-ending.
With Nixon sidelined, it was Brooks' Haack's show to run on offense. With only one incompletion and several nice runs, he did enough to earn the trust of his coach and teammates. Most people don't think of Haack as a runner, but Hud wasn't too surprised with his quarterback.
"He can run the football," Hudspeth said. "He's not slow, but he's a passer first, runner second."
Haack just needs to work on his sliding. Hudspeth wants him to spend a little time working on it, or at least polishing up a juke step, if he's going to leg it out like that.
"Slamming into the guy is definitely the third option," Hudspeth said.
A coach wouldn't be a coach if they didn't find something to harp on. One of the negatives Hudspeth pointed out through two games speaks for itself: the Cajuns only have one turnover through two games (Tracy Walker's INT vs Kentucky). With new coaches and moving pieces on defense, those should be expected to come as the season progresses.
One player is quickly writing their way into Coach Hud's good book. Nickel Corner Zachary DeGrange co-led the team in tackles against the Demons, and the lunch-pail player is getting some kudos from Coach.
Hud said he's a big Zachary DeGrange fan, "He's a walk-on player that plays like a fifth-year scholarship player."
On a final, light note, Coach Hudspeth wasn't going to apologize for not giving Elijah McGuire his 6th touchdown against Northwestern State. It would have given him a new school record, but Hudspeth thought it was about time to share the wealth at that point in the game.
"Them other guys like to score touchdowns too," Hudspeth said. "It was those other guys' chance to get some carries."
Hud went on to say he hopes McGuire can still break the record one day, and with his skill, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
The Cajuns have the week off to rest and recover, while preparing for the Akron Zips. Hud will need the time, because he said he hasn't had a chance to look at film yet due to the move into the new Athletic Performance Facility. He'll get his chance though, and the Zips will be headed to town next weekend to test his preparation.