Akron plans to start quarterback Tommy Woodson against Ragin’ Cajuns _lowres

Associated Press file photo by KEITH SRAKOCIC -- Akron quarterback Tommy Woodson plays in the first half of a game at Pittsburgh last season.

LAFAYETTE — Akron is making a change at the quarterback position ahead of this week’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Akron coach Terry Bowden confirmed earlier this week that sophomore Tommy Woodson will make his third career start — and first of the 2015 season — after a strong performance against Savannah State last season.

“Right now, the way Tommy Woodson performed last week, he deserves to get the starting nod,” Bowden said. “We’ll go from there. How the rotation occurs, we’ll make that decision — if there is one — of what that would have to be.”

Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth originally thought his team would be preparing for Tra’Von Chapman, a more mobile threat who started Akron’s first three games.

Chapman split time almost evenly the first two games with Woodson and senior Kyle Pohl, who threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns against the Cajuns in 2013.

Pohl was held out of last week’s game after suffering a head injury, and Bowden said earlier this week he’s not ready to make a decision on Pohl yet.

“I thought they might go with Chapman, but I think they wanted to be able to throw the ball a little better than what they did,” Hudspeth said.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Woodson completed 12 of 20 pass attempts last week, throwing for 207 yards with a touchdown and a score in his first extensive action of the year.

The Cajuns are preparing as if all three quarterbacks will play.

“The styles of the quarterbacks, that’s the part that’s hard,” Cajuns linebacker Tre’maine Lightfoot said. “There’s a difference to all of them.”

Of the three, Chapman is the most mobile and Pohl is the pocket passer. Woodson is somewhere between the two.

Woodson started the Zips’ games against Ohio and Ball State last year, but he turned the ball over six times in those losses and only played once the remainder of the season.

What might’ve been

With the temperature expected to reach 90 degrees and a Midwestern coming to town, Hudspeth originally pushed the administration to make Saturday’s game a 1 p.m. kickoff to use the weather as an advantage.

The idea was squashed, though, and Hudspeth can understand the reasoning.

“They just felt that based on the way we draw at night in our community, that we just needed to go for the 6 o’clock kick,” Hudspeth said. “You’ll get a larger gate, sell more concessions. And right now, we sell a lot of season tickets — but with the way the economy has hurt us a little bit, we needed to make sure we gave a chance for as many people to get to the game as possible.”

Osborne ready, Prater doubtful

True freshman defensive lineman Mario Osborne has been battling a sickness that kept him out of practice last week and Tuesday, but he was back on the field Wednesday and should be ready to go.

If he had missed Wednesday’s practice, Hudspeth said Osborne would have been held out of Saturday’s game against Akron.

Osborne showed flashes of some great ability in his first ever appearance the Cajuns last time out against Northwestern State.

Playing in a reserve role, Osborne picked up three tackles and his first career sack against the Demons. Hudspeth said it was a stepping stone for what will hopefully be a solid first season.

“He’s a guy that’s going to help us tremendously,” Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth said senior defensive lineman Chris Prater, who missed the Northwestern State game with a concussion, probably will not play.