LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette football team is just about where coach Mark Hudspeth thought it would be after it wrapped up its second preseason scrimmage Tuesday night, and that could mean good things for the Cajuns offensively.
“I probably saw what I expected to see, which would be some things that we’re really good at right now and some things that we’ve got to improve upon in the next 21/2 weeks,” Hudspeth said.
Media members were not allowed to observe the scrimmage, but Hudspeth sounded like he was pleased with just about everybody on offense.
Hudspeth said the quarterbacks “zipped the ball around really well” and did a nice job with play-action plays. Perhaps not wanting to point which quarterback he was leaning toward for the season opener, Hudspeth also said the option plays looked solid.
But it was the wide receiver corps that drew the most substantive praise from Hudspeth, with virtually every key member being singled out as playing well during the scrimmage.
“Jamal Robinson was just about back in full stride tonight,” Hudspeth said. “He was the Jamal Robinson we’ve been missing. He stepped up with some big-time catches. He’s so strong.”
Also impressing Hudspeth with their performances were freshmen Gary Haynes, JaMarcus Bradley and Keenan Barnes — who showed no ill effects from an injury he suffered in Monday morning’s practice.
“Gary Haynes showed up tonight in a big way,” Hudspeth said. “He’s awfully fast, awfully quick. Bradley caught some balls. I thought he did well too. That’s a guy we’re fixing to expedite his development. He’s a guy that’s going to help us this year. He will play, just about all our freshman wideouts will play.”
As far as what didn’t go so well at the scrimmage, Hudspeth said it was mostly a lack of contain on the defensive end to go along with too many penalties, problems he said should be fixable.
No tit for tat
Kentucky named Patrick Towles its starting quarterback Monday, so will Hudspeth follow suit sometime soon?
Don’t bet on it.
“Nope, nope, sorry, not going to be fair in that aspect,” Hudspeth said. “They’ve got too many advantages, so we’ll try to at least have one. I don’t know if that is one, but we’ll try to at least hold on to it.”
Hudspeth previously said he’d use Tuesday’s scrimmage as his final tool to make a decision on a starter against Kentucky, but he didn’t make things any clearer immediately after the scrimmage.
“I wish I just had that firm, ‘Boom, this is who it’s going to be,’ ” Hudspeth said. “I thought our read option tonight was fast. Then, when we did throw the ball off play-action, I thought we were strong there, too.”
A leg up?
Another competition that’s not getting near as much attention is at kicker, where true freshman Stevie Artigue is battling Carlos Alvarez.
Hudspeth said it’s still too early to name a starter, but he likes the trajectory off Artigue’s kicks.
“The difference right now between Stevie and Carlos is Stevie is getting way more height off the tee,” Hudspeth said. “He hits it high right off the bat. There’s no way anybody can block his kicks; he gets it up so quick. Carlos is a little better on kickoff. It could be a deal where each guy has a different role.”