WATCH: Mark Hudspeth Previews Ragin’ Cajuns Vs Georgia Southern
Coming off a brutal loss to Idaho, the Ragin' Cajuns desperately need a win against Georgia Southern to keep their hopes of going bowling alive.
Head Coach Mark Hudspeth's team struggled to move the ball against the Vandals, and he's trying to search for the issue. The problems continue to shift and change though, as the answer eludes Hudspeth and his coaching staff.
"We’ve got to find some answers offensively," Hudspeth said. He added, "Each week, it seems to be something different.”
The most concerning part of their offensive production has been the low outputs from star running back Elijah McGuire.
McGuire's health is holding him back, as Coach Hud referenced several times that his "tires" aren't spinning. It goes back several weeks, when his tires ran flat.
"He has not been himself since the first half of Tulane," Hudspeth recalled. He insisted McGuire was just banged up, not injured, "Right now, there's a difference between playing hurt or playing injured."
After the game against Idaho, Hudspeth said McGuire was fifty percent, at best, but he also insisted that McGuire would play on short rest against Georgia Southern. They are taking all precautions at practice to try to freshen his legs, but realistically, he still won't have his typical burst.
McGuire's health heavily affects the running game, which puts more pressure on Anthony Jennings and the passing game.
The inability to stretch the field and create big plays is allowing opposing defenses to squeeze down on the Cajuns in the box, and Hudspeth acknowledged that has to change.
"We've got to be able to throw the football better and create some bigger plays. We have not created any big plays," Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth isn't just focused on either. He wants to defense to help out more as well.
"We need to create some more turnovers. It's something we work on everyday," Hudspeth said.
The defense is working on turnovers, and they're trying to prepare for Georgia Southern's option attack in only a few days.
Their former Head Coach Willie Fritz now coaches Tulane, so the Cajuns have a little experience dealing with his style. That being said, Georgia Southern passes the ball more than when Fritz was there, and Tulane exploited the Cajun defense with through the air too.
Whenever you face an option attack, discipline and preparation are key. Hudspeth's main concern is the lack of time.
"It's hard enough to prepare for the option, it's even harder to prepare on a short week," Hudspeth said.
A win would keep the Cajuns' hopes of playing in a bowl game alive, but a loss would be devastating with another game against the Georgia Bulldogs one week later. The time for urgency is now, and it's Hudspeth's job to get the players to respond to the challenge.