Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore linebacker Kevin Fouquier might be a local kid, but his first memories were formed in the football offices on Louisiana Tech’s campus.
Fouquier, a Comeaux High graduate, spent his formative years in Ruston, where his father, Kevin Sr., was a defensive coach on the Bulldogs staff.
“I remember everything,” Fouquier said. “The weight room, his offices, I remember the big mural of — God, who was that quarterback? Terry Bradshaw, yes. They have a big, huge mural of him in one of their staff rooms.”
Fouquier said he attended his first school in Ruston but doesn’t remember much outside the football offices.
Having a dad who was a college football coach has had a bigger effect than living in a couple of different locations, though. Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth notices the difference between someone like Fouquier, who has been around football all his life, and the average player.
“Any time you grow up around the game, you pick up things way easier than people who maybe just start picking up the game in high school,” Hudspeth said. “Kevin grew up with his dad watching film. He knows all the nuances. He’s just ahead of the game.”
Of course, sometimes the dad and the coach are present at the same time.
Fouquier’s dad takes in games from the sideline, and he usually splices his postgame congratulations with some coachspeak.
“With my dad, it was, ‘You should’ve did this. You need to get into your drop a little faster. Read your mama …’ ” Fouquier said, and he wasn’t referring to his mother, Christine. “What he means by that is (to) read my keys off the offensive linemen. He was really critiquing my game. What he saw from the stands, I guess he can’t resist being an old coach. But soon after, he told me he was proud of me.”
After getting a chance to look at Louisiana Tech on film, Cajuns players noticed a few things to prepare for.
“Last year they were a spread-it-out, get-it-on-the-perimeter type of team,” Fouquier said. “This year, against Oklahoma they weren’t afraid to run the ball. A lot of run personnel formations. I feel like we’ve got to get more prepared for the run than the pass as opposed to last week.”
That starts with running back Kenneth Dixon, whom the Cajuns know to be a big-time threat despite a lackluster performance against a stout Oklahoma defense last week.
The Bulldogs’ offensive philosophy reminded junior linebacker Domique Tovell of a former Sun Belt Conference opponent.
“When I look at Tech, I think of another Western Kentucky who wants to run the ball as much as they can,” Tovell said. “If they can control the line of scrimmage, that’s what they’re going to do the whole game.”
The Bulldogs defense likely will provide a little better test for the Cajuns than Southern did a week ago. Quarterback Terrance Broadway saw an aggressive defense with a talented secondary, while running back Alonzo Harris noticed a defense that will “give a lot of different looks.”
The Cajuns didn’t have the services of two projected starting linebackers last week against Southern, and that could be the case against Louisiana Tech as well.
If last week’s performance meant anything, that might not matter. The Cajuns linebackers had an excellent game, helping hold the Jaguars to 77 rushing yards on 32 carries.
“It shows that we (linebackers) can all play every position on the field if we had to,” Tovell said. “We’ve got a lot of good talent in the linebacker corps. If one or a few of us go down, another guy can step up because we’ve got guys who know all the positions.”
It helps when you have seniors like Boris Anyama (five tackles, one for loss) and Trae Johnson (eight tackles, one QB hurry) to fill the gaps.
Senior linebacker Jake Molbert wasn’t able to rejoin practice Thursday, but he was at least able to get some work in with the Cajuns strength and conditioning team.
Defensive end Marquis White was held out of practice again as well. Linebacker Trey Granier was practicing in a full capacity Thursday.