Head Football Coach Rickey Bustle and Offensive Coordinator Ron Hudson talk about the Southern game last week, and the upcoming tilt against KSU.


Ragin' Cajun Head Football Coach Rickey Bustle

I want to thank all of you. You all were part of that crowd. I know you were excited, but you can't imagine how the kids feel until you look in their eyes. When I get them out of the tunnel I call them together to talk to them, and I couldn't help see them looking way up over my shoulder.

I thought we played OK, there were some good things in the game. Offensively, I though we played better than I expected.

I didn't like the fumbles. I didn't like being backed up to the goal and not getting out of it. Offensively I thought we played pretty well, it was better than what we've seen in the off-season.

Defensively I thought we could have played better.  Southern pops it out quickly, it's a three-step game for them, and then they hit one long. Then they hit another one.

I think we tightened up. Obviously we played much better in the second quarter. Stewart I think caught eight balls in the first first half, but he only caught one in the second half.

I really think the defense is our strength. The offense is coming along. The kicking game was solid. Spencer Ortego was Sun Belt Player of the Week on Special Teams, he did a great job of kicking... just like I coach him to do every day. Scott Hayes had some great kicks. Our first two kickoffs were great.

Kickoff coverage could have been better. I thought we could have blocked two kicks. I looked at the film, I don't know how we missed them. I was disappointed.

Overall, I'd give the team a B-, or a B. It was a strange mood. The kids felt excited about winning, they got a monkey off their back. But they did not feel they played their best ball, and I like that part of it.

The two long SU passes were not blown coverage, they were poor technique.

Sometimes in scrimmages you focus on one side or one position, but the other night it was strange looking at the big picture and all the new guys, Masson, Richards, Sails. We thought Undrea ran the ball well. But there are changes we need to make, to play in the conference, and to compete with KSU.

Injuries, we had a little more than I realized. Sails is questionable, he has an AC [acromioclavicular] joint bruise, Richie Falgout probably won't play, he has a bruised-up ankle. Other than that, normal nicks and bruises.

When we threw the touchdown at the 10 yard line on fourth down, was it lack of confidence in the kicker?

No. I felt we could make it, and if we didn't score, I felt we could hold them up against their goal line.

Who runs behind Sails?

Draylon Booker will be ready to go, Geoffrey McCullough too. Julian Shankle popped in there and did some good things.

Yobes Walker, McCulough, they can all play in the one-back game.

Chris Masson threaded some balls in tight places.

It was scary.  I thought he handled it well for the first game. Coverage, read-wise, he was very good. But we threw a couple of bubble screens that we shouldn't have. But he played a great game, he read well. He does have the great arm, and he has good anticipation.

How would you rate the SU offense?

I thought Lee was very good. We blitzed a few times and he hit the hot read. We twisted too much at times, but we weren't going into that game blitzing a lot. They have a three-step passing scheme, no one gets to the quarterback much.

What is KSU going to do?

Their quarterback doesn't throw like that, but they are going to bloody you up, they are going to run at you. They want to be physical.

Motivation-wise, how much do you use last year's game?

I don't know how much you use it, but the kids know what happened, they knew we could have won. That more than anything helps our confidence.

I noticed that at times Zanders lined up on the left.

That is decided by the coverage, he's still the middle linebacker.  We were moving the underneath people, trying to help with the slant.

Your son didn't play in the second half.

He played some.  He was sick as a dog, he had IVs in him before the game and at the half.

You were able to run people in and out.

I think we can do that, we have some quality backup.  No doubt we can do that on the offensive line, we can do that with the linebackers. We're a little thinner on the secondary.

How is Jonathan Decoster?

He was just cramping up.

When we ran McCullough at tailback with Matt Desormeaux blocking, it looked good.

McCullough can run, and in Desormeaux scored twice in the preseason.

You dressed out all five quarterbacks.  Any plans for a special package?

We'll travel with three, we're not limited at home on dressing them out.

Lance Kelly, what's his situation?

He played about 19 snaps on defense, another 7 or 8 on special teams. I didn't have to use him to kick.

We appreciate your support, not just as a great crowd, but for everything you do, in the off-season, at tailgating. The kids feel it, the recruits feel it. Kids want to go where they get that sort of support.

Ron Hudson, Ragin' Cajuns Football, Offensive Coordinator, University of LouisianaOffensive Coordinator Ron Hudson

What do you expect to do against KSU?

We moved the ball well last year, it was a completely different scheme. Snyder has taken over again, he's a turnaround coach. He's very sound, strong fundamentals, a blue-collar coach. They're going to stop the run, they're going to be disciplined. They're going to make you earn your yards.

Our offense has a lot of bells & whistles, but it's relatively simple. We isolate people, we want to attack this or that area. After watching KSU play, they showed a lot of pressure, they pull the safeties up.  We anticipate the same thing.  We have to run the ball on them to do well.

So we'll use our formations, and some play-action. We think we can take advantage of that. We're trying to get different matchups.  But we're going to line up and run the football. We believe we have to run the football to win. If we don't run on you, it's because you're giving us something to take advantage of.

Their defensive tackle, Fitzgerald, was All ACC at UVA. Their linebackers are all big, tough, they have big, long, physical guys. I believe Snyder wants to stop the run, make you one-dimensional. Our offense may be better suited to handle that than most, our quarterbacks can run, so we can play 11 on 11. You have to respect the quarterback, and defend him.

Do they have certain situations where they bring the safeties up, or do they do it all the time?

Any normal distance, they're in the box, the linebackers are five yards back. So there are some opportunities to take advantage of that. On second or third and long, they'll put the safeties back. But first & ten, they'll try to stop the run.

What will you do without Richie Falgout?

Louis Lee has been great, Pierre Hill stepped up, he played as a true freshman last year. And then there are the tight ends, you'll see them in different spots. Their speed and size gives us unusual matchups. Vernon Wolf is back this week or next week.

A couple of times, we went fast and the refs blew the whistle.

The offense is set up, we've set it up our way. We have different tempos, huddle, no huddle, we're trying to push the tempo, and then really push it. When we get momentum, we try to hurry it up.

It's the ref's job to be ready. Once the ball is down, they start the clock. But there was the heat and humidity, I'm not sure the chain gang was ready for that.

Sometimes you will see that we set the next play regardless of how we do on the current play. We paint a portrait, this is how we think the game will go. We will have some speed-up plays even if we didn't get the yardage. One play was scripted that way, but the officials had to get set up.

If we have a couple of three & outs, we'll change the tempo, let the kids play, see if they respond.

Weather ought to be an advantage. Does that help?

It truly does. Not just that, but we talk about the plays we'll run if it's hot, we'll run side to side, pick up the tempo, things that let them don't let them rest. Sometimes we plan it before the game, sometimes we see it on the sidelines.  We'll up the tempo, see if we can't wear them down.

At FIU a few years back, we went a whole series with chunk plays, fast-paced, hurry up, and by the last few plays FIU was fighting to get into position. When we smell blood, we attack.

When KSU has the ball, what will they do?

They are a big physical team. They have a kid who was All Conference in track. They are big, good looking, long guys. They will line up and try to hit you in the mouth. Snyder believes in being physical. They're going to run the 'I', they'll run the option, then they'll throw if you bring your safeties up. They'll respond to the defense's response.

We do a good job of running the football, and our defense has done a great job of responding to that. Our defense has seen it, they saw it all Spring and all camp, and they did a good job getting after it. KSU is not a trick 'em offense, they line up and say "We're coming at you." Our defense is tough, they have great character, and they play for each other.

Were we vanilla Saturday night?

Pretty much, you saw little movement from us. That was for a couple of reasons. They had a bunch of new faces, so we weren't 100% sure what they would do.

On our end we had a new quarterback, we didn't want to cloud the picture up for him. And he did a great job with that. Southern tried to cloud it, bring some different things, and he did a great job.

This week, you'll see more movement, we'll push the tempo. That's a double edge sword. Movement slows your tempo.

Talk about Blaine Gautier, he looks great. Are you saving him for conference?

No, I wouldn't say that. To borrow a phrase, you play the game to win. We're going out to beat KSU.  We're going to pick the kids we think match up well, and we're going to play them. Yes, we have some things for Gautier.  But it's less about waiting for the conference, as waiting for the right occasion. It just depends on how we feel he fits into the situation we have going.

I want to thank you all for your support. If you're tied to this University, you should be proud of the kids who are representing you.

We have some great kids.