Football Midweek Practice Report 08.11.12.

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football team returned to the practice field Sunday night focused on the stretch run of the 2008 Sun Belt Conference season. Coming off of a loss to UTEP, the team sought to regain the momentum that made them successful the previous four weeks.

The team returned to practice on Tuesday and spent Wednesday inside the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility. The Cajuns will practice on Thursday and walk-through on Friday prior to facing Florida Atlantic at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are traveling for the first time in over a month – the last road contest was Oct. 11 at North Texas. The road team has won each game in the UL-FAU series.

Five questions for offensive coordinator Ron Hudson...

How did practice go this week?

I thought we came out Sunday night and had a good focused practice. Overall I felt our tempo was good. We shortened things. We have a lot of guys with minor injuries, so we’re trying to keep it short and crisp and not beat them up too much. They handled it well. We moved around well, had some sharpness. I like the intensity we had...I thought we had a little fun.

Do you think the team has put last Saturday’s game behind them?

I do. It stings a little bit, still. I hope we have from the standpoint of we don’t want to have a hangover and not perform well the next week. At the same time, I also hope they remember a little bit because we got on a roll and I’m not sure whether we forgot what got us on that roll and that was just focusing on the next play. Everybody is talking about bowl games and other things. We didn’t win the games we won because we thought about that. We knew every game was a dogfight and we had to go in and fight. When we started the game last Saturday we didn’t think that way and it wasn’t until the second half that we began to play that way. From that perspective I hope we remember.

What’s the difference in FAU’s now vs. how they played earlier in the season?

I know the staff – I worked for Coach Schnellenberger. They do a great job and there’s not a better coaching staff around in my opinion. I think they read their clippings and thought they were pretty good and coach came in and said no we will be the same tough disciplined team that we were last year. Early on they weren’t tough and disciplined and that’s what they thought they would be. Coach Schnellenberger had to put his foot down and make some changes. Now you see their guys starting to regain their confidence because they’re regaining that toughness that they’ve earned based on how hard they’ve worked.

How important will the offensive play line be in these next two weeks?

It’s going to be everything, for several reasons. No. 1, for us to have any type of success our guys have to play well. They have to be physical and smart because everybody’s trying to do unique things defensively to take away what we do. We have to be smart enough to see it and still be physical enough to do our job. Conversely, those other two teams (FAU and Troy) have extremely good offensive lines and our defensive line will put up a fight. If our defensive line can play well and cause problems that will help us because it gives us a chance to continue to play and be physical and not worry about the scoreboard, just focus on the next play.

What’s the scouting report on FAU’s defense?

They’re a big physical team. They have one of the best linebackers in the country – they are really good. They are physical, sound and don’t give up big plays easily. You don’t see a lot of people running behind them. You have to play four quarters of sound football to defeat them. If you make a mistake they are going to make you pay. They are not going to give you a game...they won’t make a mistake.

Official Louisiana Injury Report (as of Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008)
Ian Burks, OL (back – probable)
Brad Bustle, OL (shoulder – probable)
Jeremy Cook, DL (knee – probable, upgraded from questionable)
Michael Desormeaux, QB (knee – probable)
Richie Falgout, WR (leg – will play, upgraded from probable)
Junior Jean, DL (shoulder – out)
Erik Jones, TE (knee – will play)
Derik Keyes, SS (shoulder – probable)
Daylon McCoy, LB (hamstring – doubtful)
Jaron Odom, OL (knee – out)
Chris Richard, LB (shoulder & back – out)
Maurice Rolle, FS (hip – will play, upgraded from doubtful)
Undrea Sails, RB (knee – out)
Derrick Smith, WR (ankle – questionable, downgraded from probable)
Phillip Walker, FB (toe – questionable, upgraded from doubtful).