LAKE CHARLES — McNeese State suffered the first potential bad blow of its football season when all-conference right guard Miguel Gauthreaux went down with an injured left leg in the Cowboys’ fully padded morning practice.
Coach Matt Viator said the 6-foot-1, 291-pound senior from Plaquemine will be evaluated in the next two days to determine the severity of his injury.
“Really all I know right know is he’s in an evaluation process and they’ll do some tests on him,” Viator said. “We’ll probably know in a day or two. We’ve got our fingers crossed.”
The lone senior on the offensive line, Gauthreaux has started the past two years and is considered by teammates to be the unit’s leader. He led the Cowboys with 27 pancake blocks last season.
Replacement Arinze Agada said it was hard seeing Gauthreaux get hurt on Thursday.
“It is tough,” Agada said. “We have to come together, knowing that was a veteran that went down. We’ll pull together.”
Agada is a 6-1, 285-pound sophomore from Missouri City, Texas. He was the only true freshman to earn playing time along the offensive line last season.
LIONS PRACTICE CUT SHORT DUE TO RAIN: In Hammond, Southeastern Louisiana had its Friday morning workout cut short because of a thunderstorm in the Hammond area, but coach Mike Lucas said he was pleased with the team’s work and added energy by his team in afternoon meetings and an evening walk-through.
The Lions worked in full gear on the Southeastern Practice Fields, where they installed their goal-line offensive and defensive packages. After just over an hour into its workout that began at 6 a.m., the Lions were rushed off the field because of lightning before the remainder of the 25-period session was canceled.
“We got some good segments in this morning,” Lucas said. “It was good for the kids to get some time off. They were a little spunky in the team meetings this afternoon and we got our walk through tonight and had some good mental work.”
Southeastern wraps up two-a-days on Saturday with a 6 a.m. workout followed by a 5 p.m. practice.
GREEN WAVE DON PADS: In New Orleans, Tulane suited up in full pads for the first time during the preseason as the Green Wave made Day 5 of fall camp a hard-hitting, highlight-reel affair.
“My expectations were to continue to add to the offense and defense, and see how much the young guys in particular can absorb,” coach Bob Toledo said.
“From there, we will find out who can play. Once you put the pads on, that changes the game a little bit.”
The Green Wave return to practice Saturday for a double session with start times of 8:45 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. The morning practice is slated to be full pads while the team will don helmets, shoulder pads and shorts in the afternoon. The team will enjoy a day off from practice Sunday before retaking the field in full pads on 8:45 a.m. Monday.
DEMONS OFFENSE FARES WELL: In Natchitoches, Northwestern State’s No. 1 offense had the upper hand at the conclusion of Friday morning’s practice against the No. 1 defense in a best-of-5 situational drill that focused on third down and short yardage.
Junior running back Sidney Riley had a burst of 7 yards on the first play and followed that with a 12-yard gain two plays later while quarterback Paul Harris completed a pass for a first down as the first offense won the series 3-to-2.
“We came out this morning and fought through a hot day,” said head coach Bradley Dale Peveto. “The heat index was way up there but we got some good reps in and pushed through practice like you’re supposed to.”
The two-hour session was prelude to a 5:50 p.m. Saturday scrimmage in Turpin Stadium — the first of three for the preseason. The event is free and open to the public.
FAN FEST SET: In Ruston, Louisiana Tech fans and the local media will get an opportunity to talk with coach Sonny Dykes, his staff and the players at the annual Football Fan Fest from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Fans are encouraged to arrive by 12:45 p.m. in order to welcome the team into the arena shortly before 1 p.m.
Fans are asked to enter through the main upper doors on the concourse level of the arena.
In addition to autograph and photo opportunities with the players and coaches, the Tech cheerleaders, Regal Blues, Champ and Tech XX will be in attendance while free popcorn and drinks will be provided.
WARHAWKS START TWO-A-DAYS: In Monroe, the entire ULM team returned to the grass practice fields for the first session of two-a-day preseason camp practices Friday morning. It was the first time the returning upperclassmen and newcomers were on the same field since camp opened last weekend.
The team spent the two-hour workout in helmets and shoulder pads.
“The upperclassmen have continued to set the tempo in a nice fashion,” coach Todd Berry said. “They’re really familiar with the drills we run — we post the practice schedule every day, so they know where to go — they are running someplace, and the freshmen are sort of running in circles right now.”