MOBILE, Ala. — After last week’s win at Georgia State, UL-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth said he probably did not give Jalen Nixon enough of a chance after Nixon threw an interception on his lone series of the night.
Hudspeth did not put Nixon back in the game afterward.
The coach made sure he gave both of his quarterbacks a fair shake Thursday at South Alabama, for better or for worse.
Unsurprisingly, Brooks Haack made his second straight start after a steady performance in last week’s 23-21 win. It wasn’t necessarily a surprise when Nixon relieved Haack on the third play of the game in a third-and-short situation.
It was a surprise when Nixon stayed on the field for the fourth, fifth and sixth plays of the game — the last of which was an 18-yard touchdown run.
Between plays, when Nixon was on the field, Haack stepped onto the field and watched the offensive signal-callers. If his name was not called, he stepped back toward the sidelines.
The Cajuns continued to use their quarterbacks on a play-by-play basis throughout the game, though Haack got the majority of the snaps after a Nixon fumble resulted in a 7-yard loss in the second quarter.
Though the Cajuns were held scoreless for the rest of the first half, their quarterbacks played well despite the frequent changes.
Haack went 21-for-34 for 270 yards while Nixon ran for 30 yards on six carries and also converted a couple crucial third and short opportunities.
No Horst, no Walker
Neither left guard Grant Horst nor safety Tracy Walker traveled for Thursday’s game. It was the first game either has missed this season.
Horst missed the game with a concussion, causing the Cajuns to bring in Jesse Freeman for his first career start. This is only the second time in Hudspeth’s tenure he’s had a starting offensive lineman miss a game because of injury. The first was the man Horst eventually replaced this season, Mykhael Quave.
The Cajuns have now started four players at left guard this season, which is more than they’ve started in the previous three years combined.
Walker did not make the trip after injuring his shoulder late in the Georgia State game. Starting in his place was fellow sophomore Travis Crawford.
Freshman defensive end Mario Osborne was giddy before kickoff, and the reason was sitting not too far from him.
Osborne hails from nearby Daphne, Alabama, and played his high school football just 15 miles away from Ladd-Peebles Stadium. In the stands, roughly 10 of his relatives were there to provide support.
Kickoff time announced
The Cajuns played their final primetime game of the season Thursday.
Earlier this year, the school announced each of its remaining home games would kick off at 4 p.m., and a school official confirmed Thursday the team will kick off at 1 p.m. Nov. 28 on the road against Appalachian State.
Moving on up
Jamal Robinson passed former Cajuns receiver Donald Richard to move into third place on the school’s all-time receiving yardage list. With a third-quarter touchdown, running back Elijah McGuire moved past Keener Cagle, who played in the 1920s, on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Odds and ends
Steven Coutts had a rare miscue in the first quarter when he punted into the end zone from the Jaguars’ 45-yard line. It was only the second time in 37 attempts he has punted the ball into the end zone. ... Cajuns captains were Christian Goodlett, Dominick Jones, Donovan Williams and Eddie Gordon. ... Al Riles set a new career high in single-season receptions with a 4-yard catch at the end of the first quarter. ... A representative from the Cure Bowl, the newest Sun Belt Bowl tie-in, was in the press box Thursday. The Cure Bowl is Dec. 19 in Orlando, Florida.