LAFAYETTE — The fans at Louisiana-Lafayette’s spring game might have been hoping for something extravagant after the Ragin’ Cajuns’ dismal offensive showing in 2015, but the only flavor coach Mark Hudspeth brought with him was vanilla.
The Cajuns, in the midst of implementing some new offensive concepts they hope will inject some life into their offense, declined to show off any of those bells and whistles Saturday.
In fact, it might have been hard to separate the offense that took the field Saturday from the one that slogged its way to 26.4 points per game last year. It was a look that plainly lacked the pizzazz many were hungry for.
Don’t like it? Too bad. Hudspeth and his Cajuns aren’t about to unveil what’s coming down the pipe so people could have a warm and fuzzy feeling going into the summer.
And while he wanted to see more out of quarterbacks Jordan Davis and Chris Weaver, neither of whom had good days, Hudspeth isn’t putting much stock into what they did Saturday without them having the full toolbox at their disposal.
“I thought he struggled a little bit today,” Hudspeth said of Davis, whom he has declined to name as the starter despite the presumptions of anyone who has watched a practice. “But we really handcuffed him. I’ve got to take a little bit of credit; we really handcuffed the offense. We were not really running much of what we’re doing right now at all. We didn’t even use our signal system, so we didn’t get the tempo today like we normally do.”
Let’s go ahead and assume the word Hudspeth was looking for was blame, not credit. Though for what was a glorified practice in front of a smattering of fans, blame might be too harsh of a word.
Davis, for one, seems to have the right frame of mind. By both the eye test and the metric test, he struggled Saturday. He never looked like he settled in as he completed just over 50 percent of his passes and had a rating under 100. But he didn’t seem bothered after the game.
“We didn’t want to do too much,” he said. “We had, I think, a solid scrimmage just to show who is coming back, who’s going to be able to play next year. … I think it gave the fans a good showing of that.”
That was the true purpose of Saturday anyway, wasn’t it? Give the fans a glimpse of what’s to come. It’s like a teaser trailer. You don’t show the best bits; you wait until the real show for that.
Sure, the trailer we saw Saturday was pretty boring. It might have even convinced some they don’t want to see the show until they have read some of the reviews. But it also didn’t give anything away ahead of time.
“We really didn’t give them a huge opportunity to make a lot of plays,” Hudspeth said. “That’s on the coaches. But since we are putting in a new offense, you’d like to have a little element of surprise early in the year.”
The Cajuns ran a boring offensive scheme Saturday. To those eager for a reversal of last year, it might have been frustrating. But nobody will remember the spring game stats in September unless this vanilla flavor returns against Boise State.
If that happens?
Well, then you ask where they’re hiding the chocolate.