The biggest yell from Louisiana-Lafayette’s Tuesday football workout came at the end of the two-hour practice, when coach Mark Hudspeth told his team that Wednesday’s scheduled practice was canceled.
The workout-ending team huddle in the Moncla Indoor Center quickly became an impromptu hip-hop dance.
“When I told them they were off tomorrow,” Hudspeth said, “you saw that last bit of gas they had, they burned it off right there. That was good to see ... it’s fun seeing the kids having fun.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns, aiming at their Aug. 30 season opener against Southern, won’t return to drills until Thursday afternoon, and will have two days off this week before setting into game-week routine. Hudspeth said his team needed the recovery time after more than two weeks of fall camp.
“You got to know when to pull back and when to push,” he said. “There’s a fine line between preparation and overtraining. Right now the preparation part has been good, maybe a little bit of over-training, and we need to get our guys’ legs back.
“The first goal was to get them through camp healthy and we’ve done that. The second goal is to get them in the starting gates ready to come out full speed. We’re not there, but this will be the first step when we do that. Our kids have really been grinding, and we’re ahead far enough where we can take off for a little bit.”
The one-day break wasn’t the only one the Cajuns caught Tuesday. Following afternoon showers, the squad went indoors for practice and took advantage of the much cooler conditions.
“I told them they were living right,” Hudspeth said. “I think around noon it was about 103 outside.”
The squad will hold a full-scale practice Thursday and will have a “mock-game” Friday morning at Cajun Field to go over game preparations and situations before taking Saturday off and returning for its traditional game-week kickoff Sunday evening.
Fan Day activities are also set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Cajundome.
The only Cajun on the anticipated two-deep chart that remains a question for the opener is junior safety T.J. Worthy, who is still recovering from a concussion early in fall drills.
“I anticipate T.J. being back for the first game,” Hudspeth said. “Is he going to be ready to put in mentally, I don’t know, but he should be turned loose by then. Other than that, everybody pretty much will be available. Everyone else should be fine by then, and this added rest will do nothing but help them.”
Hudspeth said his only concern in the UL-Lafayette offensive line is in snap consistency, after senior Terry Johnson moved to center last week.
“That’s a little bit expected there,” Hudspeth said of the inconsistency. “We’ve still got two more weeks. We just have to fine-tune those snaps because as a quarterback you have so much to worry about, the last thing you want to worry about is snaps right, left, high and low.
“But as far as the blocking assignments, working together, he (Johnson) is getting more comfortable with the calls, that’s all looking good.”
The second project of UL-Lafayette’s Facilities Master Plan will officially kick off Wednesday when a ground-breaking ceremony for the Athletic Performance Center takes place at 10 a.m. inside the Moncla Indoor Facility.
Part of the indoor turf was already occupied by a stage during Tuesday’s drills.
“It’s another major step for us,” Hudspeth said. “When we first got here, some of the things we wanted to do, win conferences and bowl games, and one of them was to improve our facilities. It’s gratifying to see all this happening.”