UL-Lafayette receivers step up in Jamal Robinson’s absence _lowres

Associated Press photo by Kyle Green Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon knocks the ball away from Louisiana-Lafayette receiver James Butler during Saturday's game.

LAFAYETTE — Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Terrance Broadway didn’t have to throw the ball much in the Cajuns’ 55-40 win against Arkansas State on Tuesday, but when he did, he made sure to spread the wealth.

Broadway connected on nine of his 17 passes, but he hit six different receivers in the process. Without senior Jamal Robinson in the lineup, Broadway is doing exactly what he should be doing, coach Mark Hudspeth said.

“He’s just taking what the defense gives us,” Hudspeth said. “We’re running guys off and on the field now. We used to want Jamal here, or Jamal here. Now, they just all play.”

Hudspeth said not having to try and create matchups for Robinson has made offensive coordinator Jay Johnson’s job easier. Rather than focusing attention on getting Robinson in position to attack the defense in the best way possible, Johnson can direct his focus to playcalling.

Of course, Johnson and the Cajuns wouldn’t mind the burden of having a dynamic playmaker like Robinson on the field. But the way his replacements filled in Tuesday has Hudspeth and Johnson confident that they can continue to produce without Robinson moving forward.

“All those guys now are rotating,” Hudspeth said. “Devin Scott makes a nice play at the beginning of the game, C.J. Bates makes a nice play, James Butler makes a nice play early.

“To be honest with you, all those guys sort of stepped up and grew up a little bit, took a positive step forward. Hopefully they can continue their development.”

Trend continues

After scoring touchdowns on all four of their red-zone possessions last week, the Cajuns are now 17-for-17 in red-zone conversions in games they’ve won.

In their four wins, the Cajuns have scored on each of their red zone possessions, or possessions where they get inside their opponents’ 20-yard line. Fourteen of those 17 possessions have resulted in touchdowns.

The Cajuns only managed 10 red-zone possessions in their three losses, of which they converted eight. Only five of those 10 possessions ended in a touchdown, a more than 30 percent drop in touchdown percentage in games they’ve won.

Not worried about last year

Hudspeth said his players aren’t likely to be distracted by trying to avenge last year’s loss to South Alabama in the regular season finale.

The Cajuns played without Broadway, and backup quarterbacks Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon combined to complete just nine of 26 pass attempts in an ugly 30-8 loss.

“In the back of their mind I’m sure they want to play much better than they did last year,” Hudspeth said. “We know we didn’t have Terrance, and we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked.

“But I don’t know if that’s even going to be part of their mental process this week.”