LAFAYETTE — Coach Mark Hudspeth and his Louisiana-Lafayette football team aren’t exactly sure what to expect out of Kentucky’s offense under new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
Dawson is a Louisiana native who came to the Wildcats from West Virginia, where he served in the same role the prior three seasons under coach Dana Holgorsen. He also spent time with the pioneer of the Air Raid offense, Hal Mumme, at Southeastern Louisiana, meaning the Cajuns are preparing to see the Wildcats air the ball out.
The only question is how much. Hudspeth said Dawson’s offenses have looked different at each of his stops, leading him to question how much of the input was on the head coaches.
“Is (Kentucky coach Mark) Stoops going to put his stamp on some of those things … or is he going to turn it over to him and let him go 100 percent?” Hudspeth said. “Time will tell. We’ve got a plan, then we’ve got a secondary plan.
“Hopefully one of those plans will be sufficient, we’ll find out soon enough.”
The Cajuns are armed with multiple plans because film from last year’s Kentucky games is essentially useless when scouting from a schematic game planning standpoint.
Instead, the Cajuns have used the Kentucky film to scout personnel, while trying to figure out how the Wildcats offense might look through film from Dawson’s previous stops.
“We’re expecting to see more of what he did at West Virginia, a lot of motion to get our eyes in different spots,” said senior safety T.J. Worthy. “On the motions, the secondary’s got to communicate with each other.”
Of course, the Wildcats will have issues of their own preparing for the Cajuns defense, which not only features a new defensive coordinator, but an entirely new defensive staff to go along with several new starters.
“I feel like it’s an even battle,” junior linebacker Kevin Fouquier said. “Our defense doesn’t really know what the offense will bring 100 percent, and neither will they know what our defense is going to attack them with. … It’s going to be an interesting battle.”
A corner of the Leon Moncla indoor practice facility was littered with weightlifting equipment Wednesday, as the team has begun moving into its new digs at the Athletic Performance Center.
The first look at the weight room revealed an expansive space with rows upon rows of brand new equipment, much of it had already been installed by Wednesday. Hudspeth said the weight lifting company Power-Lift told him the Cajuns made the largest order in the history of the company.
The building itself is virtually finished, Hudspeth said, and the team is planning on moving into the facility full time in the two days following the September 12 game against Northwestern State.
A third option
Before he was even asked the question he’s received just about every day since the beginning of preseason practice a month ago — Is Brooks Haack or Jalen Nixon the starting quarterback? —Hudspeth couldn’t resist getting a joke in.
“The starting quarterback is going to be Gunner,” Hudspeth said, referring to his son, freshman quarterback Gunner Hudspeth. “I mean, the sucker’s getting better every day, and I am the head coach.”