Louisiana-Lafayette’s first scrimmage of preseason camp may not have answered most of the questions, but it apparently didn’t create many new ones.
The Ragin’ Cajuns went for 2½ hours in a closed scrimmage Wednesday night, their first trip to the Cajun Field turf since last week’s opening of preseason drills.
“We don’t go in the stadium very often,” coach Mark Hudspeth said, “and when we do, we expect them to play with a lot of energy and emotion and passion. They did that tonight, for the most part.”
No outside parties were allowed into Cajun Field, and no statistics or results were released from the 110-play workout, which marked the third day of full-contact practice.
Just as it has since before spring practice, the quarterback situation continues to draw the most questions. Hudspeth said juniors Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon and redshirt freshman Jordan Davis each worked “25 to 30” plays with the No. 1 offense.
Haack took the first snaps with the No. 1 offense. Two of the three also worked with the ones in a two-minute drill, but Hudspeth didn’t say which two.
“It’ll be interesting to see, to go back and watch it on film,” Hudspeth said. “All three made some plays. I just want to be able to go back and grade the film and see for sure who moved the team most consistently when you go back and study it.”
Hudspeth did say that some areas of his team aren’t where they need to be three weeks away from the Sept. 5 season opener at Kentucky. He blamed that on the large number of newcomers in camp and injuries that have thinned the ranks at wide receiver and on the offensive line.
“I think we’re a little behind for a couple of reasons,” he said. “We have so many new faces that we’re plugging in, and we’re really thin some places. We’re not to the point that we can’t get where we want. We’re trying to get some guys caught back up. We need to have another good week of practice before we scrimmage again.”
The Cajuns have a second scrimmage tentatively set for Tuesday, once again closed to the public.
Receivers receive praise
UL-Lafayette’s receiver corps has been banged up already with season-ending injuries to Jared Johnson and Lance Pace in the first week of camp. But Hudspeth still had praise for that group after the lengthy scrimmage, picking out veteran Devin Scott and true freshmen Gary Haynes and Keenan Barnes in particular.
“Our young wide receivers made some catches,” he said. “Haynes, I thought, was electric out there; he made some nice catches and nice runs. Keenan had some good catches. Devin had one nice catch ... he’s a fast guy that can really burn. A lot of guys stepped up and caught the ball. The good thing is, all three of our quarterbacks each had a big throw.”
Taking time off
The squad will take its first day off from practice Thursday. Hudspeth said he’ll send the team out for a walkthrough before a team event Thursday night. UL-Lafayette has its second two-a-day session Friday and will work out once Saturday and Sunday.
“We’ll clean up some things that we see in the film,” he said of the Thursday walkthrough. “We need that day off for them to get their legs back under them and go twice on Friday.”
No Wildcats yet
With the opener not coming until the first weekend in September, in contrast to last year’s Aug. 30 first game, Hudspeth said there is no urgency to begin working on specifics for the Kentucky game.
“Not anytime soon,” he said of starting to work on the Wildcats. “Right now, we’re just trying to get these freshmen and newcomers going in the right direction and get a handle on the offense and defense. Then we’ll start gravitating toward Kentucky about the two-week mark.”