The calendar says there’s one week remaining, but for all intents and purposes the Ragin’ Cajuns preseason camp ended with their second scrimmage Saturday.
It’s time for coach Mark Hudspeth to turn his focus away from evaluating his own players and toward preparing for the opposition.
“We’ll start easing into (game prep) probably starting Tuesday,” Hudspeth said after the scrimmage. “We’re going to come back Monday, clean up everything from the scrimmage and then Tuesday start prepping a little bit for Southern to try to give them a little introduction, scouting report.”
Hudspeth said he and the rest of his staff spent the rest of Saturday putting a hard grade on the scrimmage. With most starting positions locked down heading into the scrimmage, he was looking specifically to iron out his special teams units and see which players gave the Cajuns the best depth.
“We want to really see where we’re at special-teams-wise,” Hudspeth said. “After seeing a couple guys, we’re going to make a couple changes to our depth chart. We’ve got to get speed on the field, we’ve got to get our best players on the field.”
Hudspeth has maintained throughout camp that his team is ahead of where it’s been at this point in any of his previous seasons, a product of experience and staff continuity. But the thing that makes the Cajuns coach happiest is the fact that his team has avoided a major injury so far.
A couple players missed the scrimmage, including senior running back Alonzo Harris and junior left tackle Mykhael Quave, but nobody should miss an extended period of time.
“I’m just proud that all of our guys have come out without any season-ending injuries,” Hudspeth said. “That’s what would be disappointing, when you work this hard and something freakish happens.”
With two weeks of camp in the books, most aspects about this team have been set in stone, but there are still some things to look out for.
The offense? It looks as good as advertised. Donovan Williams looks like he fits in with the rest of a talented and experienced offensive line, as he was impressive in Saturday’s scrimmage. He opened some holes for running back Elijah McGuire and helped keep the heat off senior quarterback Terrance Broadway.
Broadway was sharp in the scrimmage, a continuation of a camp-long theme. He looks like he’s ready to play right now. The same goes for McGuire, who received a heavier workload than he’s gotten all camp with Harris on the sidelines. McGuire busted a couple long gainers, showing that his trademark explosiveness didn’t go away when he bulked up in the offseason.
The only positions that could still be up for grabs as the season opener draws nearer are on special teams. Hunter Stover and Stephen Brauchle have been duking it out for the starting kicker job over the duration of camp, and neither has separated himself.
“We’re going to have to wait and see,” Hudspeth said. “I want to see the film and see these next two weeks. It’s not set in stone. With me and kickers, it can change at halftime.”