MONROE — Alonzo Harris’ return couldn’t have been scripted better.
One week ago, the UL-Lafayette senior running back didn’t even touch the field against New Mexico State as sophomore Elijah McGuire took the bulk of the carries, rushing for 136 yards and a score against the Aggies.
Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth held Harris out of that game because of his bruised thigh. After a week of recovery, though, Harris showed the burst fans hadn’t seen much of this season.
Harris rushed 13 times for a season-high 133 yards in the Cajuns’ 34-27 win Saturday against the Louisiana-Monroe, including a 54-yard scamper on his third carry of the game. Apparently, holding Harris out last weekend worked in Hudspeth’s favor.
Harris wasted no time joining the program’s 3,000-yard club.
He entered the game needing 19 yards to become the third player in program history to eclipse the 3,000-yard mark for his career. After his first two carries went for no gain, Harris found daylight around the right side for a 54-yard gain.
“I can say I had an OK career here,” Harris said smiling. “I only have so much ability by myself. I give props to the guys up front, especially (senior offensive guard) Daniel Quave. He’s been here with me all four years, and me and him have had some amazing wonders. I thank him a lot for that. I just want to thank all the guys up front.”
Harris averaged 10.2 yards per carry Saturday night. His previous high was 6.1 yards per attempt, which he picked up Sept. 6 against Louisiana Tech.
He said the dominant rushing performance came as no surprise. Harris, McGuire and senior quarterback Terrance Broadway combined for 275 yards and two scores on the ground.
“I made a promise when I was getting interviewed last week,” Harris said. “It was something I had on my shoulder from last year. We put a lot of emphasis on (the run game) this week. I kind of saw it coming. We killed each other at practice this week in the run game.”
Hudspeth hits 100 wins
With Saturday night’s victory, Hudspeth reached the 100-win mark as a college head coach.
Thirty-four of Hudspeth’s wins have come with the Ragin’ Cajuns, tying him with Clement J. McNaspy for No. 5 all-time in program history.
He was also head coach at North Alabama from 2002-08.
Hudspeth received a pleasant surprise roughly 10 minutes before kickoff when his wife, Tyla Hudspeth, made an appearance with their newborn son, Captain Hudspeth.
Tyla Hudspeath gave birth to Mark Hudspeth’s fourth child Monday. The two had box seats waiting for them.
“She surprised me and said she didn’t want to miss it,” Mark Hudspeth said. “I can’t believe she did that, but I’m awful thankful.”
Giants activate ex-Cajun
Justin Anderson’s season is just beginning.
The New York Giants activated the former Cajuns linebacker to its 53-man roster after veteran running back Peyton Hillis went down with a concussion. Anderson was among the Giants’ final preseason cuts after he suffered a hamstring injury.
Anderson, a two-year starter in Lafayette, recorded 131 tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception with the Cajuns.