LAFAYETTE — What Mark Hudspeth found attractive about his University of Louisiana at Lafayette offense left a tarnished impression on the Cajuns’ defense Saturday during his team’s first spring scrimmage.
According to Hudspeth’s mathematics, the offense recorded a 64-30 victory after completing just more than 100 plays underneath a persistent light rain that descended over Cajun Field.
That score left the defense with some post-scrimmage admonishment from Hudspeth and physical reminders as they ran short sprints and did pushups before leaving the field.
What stood out on offense was the Cajuns’ ability to avoid turnovers, said Hudspeth.
“Perfect ball security all day long,” Hudspeth said. “I thought the offense was very sharp. The number one thing they did was take care of the ball. They didn’t have even a bobble.”
Meanwhile, the defense needs to alter what the offense did well, said Hudspeth.
“Defensively we didn’t cause any turnovers or didn’t even knock the ball loose. We’ve got to create those turnovers,” Hudspeth said. “Another thing was we gave up some big plays, which is something that we cannot do.”
Starting quarterback Terrance Broadway wore a blue jersey, which protected him from contact.
That wasn’t true for the Cajuns’ three redshirt freshmen, who are locked in a close competition to become Broadway’s backup.
Letting his three backup challengers — Brooks Haack, D’Shaie Landor and Jalen Nixon — take hits from the defense was by design, Hudspeth said.
All three played well after not taking a snap since 2011, their final high school football seasons.
“They’ve got to get into the fire,” Hudspeth said. “I thought that all those kids needed to take some hits and keep playing.”
The offense scored on every series directed by Broadway, a former Capitol High standout.
Broadway lofted a high 80-yard pass that sophomore Adam Savoie cradled as he ran into the end zone, following an obvious blown coverage by the defense on the initial series.
Later during Broadway’s fourth series, he threw a 70-yard pass to wide receiver Jamal Robinson.
Robinson’s catch was one of two long receptions that he made for a touchdown during the afternoon.
Later in the scrimmage, Robinson caught a short Haack pass between two defenders and then turned on the speed and outran his pursuers for a 65-yard TD.
Broadway’s other TD pass came on a two-yard reception by tight end Jacob Maxwell.
The three freshmen quarterbacked the remainder of the way, getting equal snaps until the scrimmage ended with a series of field goal attempts by place-kickers Hunter Stover, Stephen Brauchle and Carlos Alvarez.
Junior tight end Larry Pettis had touchdown receptions from Landor and Nixon. Haack’s last touchdown throw was caught by freshman receiver Lance Pace.
Running backs Torrey Pierce and Effrem Reed, a former Dutchtown High, scored twice on short runs, while junior Demarcus Watts-Bracken added another rushing score.
Hudspeth said part of the defense’s performance was understandable, since ULL is replacing six starters.
“It’s also a new scheme and it’s going to take a while for them to grasp it. I noticed that their minds were thinking before reacting,” Hudspeth said.
One of ULL’s spring objectives is to find a placekicking replacement for Brett Baer and a holder.
The scrimmage ended when Stover, Brauchle and Alvarez kicked from a series of varying distances. It ended at 42 yards.
Hudspeth said Stover, who performed mostly of the Cajuns’ kickoffs in 2012, is slightly in front of Brauchle, a junior college transfer and Alvarez, a junior who has been Baer’s backup.
Holding for the kicks were deep snapper Jake Guidry, Nixon and Haack.
Eight days left
The Cajuns are just past the halfway point of spring drills.
ULL’s players are scheduled to participate in the school’s spring break beginning March 29. ULL will return to practice April 10 in preparation for the April 20 spring game at Cajun Field.
The next practice is at 3 p.m. Monday. Another practice is set for Wednesday beginning at the same time.