LAFAYETTE — After it dealt with a developing quarterback in Saturday’s loss to Akron, the Louisiana-Lafayette defense will hear a voice of experience during this week’s exam.
The senior signal caller awaiting the Ragin’ Cajuns is Jeff Driskel. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, the Louisiana Tech quarterback brings a physical frame that has some similarity to the 240-pound sophomore Thomas Woodson of Akron.
While Woodson managed to throw two touchdown passes and accumulate 238 passing yards, the real damage may have come when Woodson held on to the ball.
“He was a load to bring down,” Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said. “We tried to tackle him with single tacklers sometimes and some of our guys bounced off him like BBs. That sucker is 240 pounds and, when you have a 175-pound defensive back coming up at him, he shrugged us off and kept going on a couple of quarterback draws. That’s a weapon when you have got a big quarterback.”
Woodson finished with 93 yards on eight carries, including a 14-yard scoring run that let the Zips take a 14-point advantage in their 35-14 win.
The challenge posed by Driskel, the former Florida quarterback, takes a different shape.
“It’s even a little bit tougher (with Driskel) because he is more of a true, pure passer,” Hudspeth said. “Woodson was more of a physical runner. But Driskel can run the ball, too. They don’t mind (Driskel) running it. He is a big kid. He throws a nice ball.”
That has translated to Driskel completing 60.3 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and one interception during Tech’s 2-2 start that features wins over Southern, Florida International and a triple-overtime loss to Big 12 school Kansas State.