LAFAYETTE — With several returning players sidelined with injuries, the Louisiana-Lafayette football coaching staff got a long look at many of its newcomers Saturday as the team wrapped up its second week of spring practice with its first situational scrimmage at Cajun Field.
The Ragin’ Cajuns worked on all phases during the two-hour workout, which included several periods of live action situations along with special teams. Quarterbacks Brooks Haack, Jalen Nixon and Jordan Davis each took turns directing the offense, with C.J. Bates, Devin Scott, Gabe Fuselier, Al Riles and Matthew Barnes serving as the main receivers.
“I saw some positive things today. … I also saw some things that we’ve got to improve,” coach Mark Hudspeth said. “In a lot of ways, it looked like the first scrimmage of the spring. We’ve got to clean up some things. We had too many penalties offensively, we had some missed assignments on defense and had guys not getting lined up quick enough.
“We’ve got some of those first scrimmage issues to clean up. It’s nothing we can’t fix. A lot of new guys got some opportunities today. Hopefully this was a good learning experience for them and they take this and build on it.”
Travis Crawford recorded an interception during live action, with Karmichael Dunbar, Otha Peters, Tracy Walker and Simeon Thomas making key stops for the defense, which earned a 28-25 victory.
“Considering you’re putting in a whole new scheme, I think it’s coming along nicely,” Hudspeth said. “They’ve got so many guys out (with injuries), and they’re very thin, but the young kids are picking it up, getting a lot of reps and we’re creating depth. The installation part of (the defense) is coming along well. We just have to start reducing mistakes, hopefully do our job and clean some things up before next Saturday.”
Montrel Carter rushed for a pair of touchdowns in short-yardage situations, scoring on runs of 2 and 1 yard. Torrey Pierce and Darius Hoggins provided some key runs for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who were without Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Elijah McGuire and freshman Walter Williams.
“I thought they ran the ball hard,” Hudspeth said. “It was good to see some of those young guys running the ball well.”
The Cajuns return to practice on Tuesday. The spring game is set for 5 p.m. March 28 at Cajun Field.