Ragin' Cajuns Head Coach Rickey Bustle and Tight Ends Coach and UL Alum Troy Wingerter talk about the homecoming game against FAU, and the three game road swing that begins this week at FIU.

Rickey Bustle

Saturday we just played poorly, no 'ifs' or 'ands' about it. We took about 15 plays of defensive film. It was amazing how many times we were right there with the right play, and people weren't making plays. We busted a coverage on that first touchdown. We missed one-on-ones several times.

At 11:00 I was looking for one of those defensive coaches to bring today I couldn't find any.

Nobody is more upset than those kids, they're upset with the way they played. This is the same defense that played the first three games. It's the same bunch. I'm more offense than defense, but these kids are much better that. Their swagger is shaken a bit.

They play hard. Just because they didn't play well, doesn't mean they weren't playing hard, they weren't loafing. You should have seen them, they had tears in their eyes. They have character.

Our kids have a lot of pride. They're going to bounce back.

Offensively, at the beginning of the year I said we would be solid. Yobes Walker did very well Saturday. The game is slowing down for him, he's taking care of the football. It was great to see good plays from Marlin Miller. Brad McGuire came in again and did well-- he's questionable this week with a toe. But it's good to see other guys step up.

That was a critical play on that 3rd down when FAU scored, but it was great to see the offense come back & score.

I trust these kids, I believe in them, they'll bounce back. You gotta flip the page. It's one game, we still have a lot of our goals we can make.

When the sideline got the personal call, who was it, and if it was a coach did he have to do "the 100 yard worm?"

That was me. But you couldn't see it on the game film, so no, I didn't have to crawl.

What happened is I was over the sideline when the official was running down the field, and he ran into my arm.

On one play Antwyne Zanders got tackled.

We turned in about eight plays where it appeared there was holding but no penalty. We're interested in seeing what the Sunbelt office says about it.

On the running plays, FAU reminded me of UNT. Are they doing something to break through?

Yes, it was similar. It's the linebackers, it's execution. They weren't in the right place.

We have to get the defense off the field. Why couldn't we shut FAU down on 3rd downs?

We're not a great blitzing team, but we have to cover people better. You gotta get off the field, we all know that.

Did we rush their quarterback? It didn't look like we were blitzing at all.

We blitzed early. We moved him early, and he made a couple of bad throws. But one of them wasn't a blitz, that was Hall Davis off the line. Then they hit those passes, and we backed off.

We didn't get to him. But they don't get to our quarterback a lot.

You don't usually spend a lot of time with the headphones. This game you had them on more. Why the change?

I probably wear them more the past two years. I get vocal on that thing, Troy will tell you.

Wingerter: I was going to say, are you kidding?

Bustle: We talk a lot between series. But while the series is going on, the play caller needs as little distraction as possible.

What was your mindset when we had 4½ minutes left in the game? Why punt when we haven't shut them down all night?

I wanted to try to block a punt. I gambled. I thought FAU would substitute in some players, run up the middle, and they did. We used our time outs to try to block the punt, get a touchdown, then try for an onside kick. And then they broke through on third down.

It was a judgment call, and I made it.

We beat FAU by 1 point three years ago. Since then, they have bigger players, and they've dominated. Troy we can't compete with, but their infrastructure doesn't compare with ours. What do we need to do to compete, to dominate?

It goes back to recruiting. Florida has a great recruiting base, that's why we have 20 kids from down there. There are a lot of kids down there, and a lot of competition for them. They signed 200 kids into Division 1 last year.

Look at FAU's three quarterbacks, they're all 6' 5", 6' 6".

Do we need more money for recruiting?

No, we have enough money.

I appreciate you being here. I love you guys, no one is more disappointed than I am.

Troy Wingerter, Tight Ends Coach, Ragin' Cajuns Football, University of LouisianaTroy Wingerter

Keeping up with the Joneses isn't like the old days. Our conference is getting a lot better. This morning from 6:30 on, I studied FIU film, and I was thinking, they are really, really fast.

Then I realized I had the film on too fast. That's the God's honest truth.

FIU will bring a lot of noise. They blitz about 38% of the time. They game-plan differently against different teams. Against Toledo they blitzed a lot, against other teams they sat back, didn't blitz much.

They have a linebacker they call Buzzsaw, Scott Bryant. Their two linebackers lead the teams in tackles. They're not big on the edge, they try to run the ends instead of shutting you down from the start.

The quarterback is the guy they had last year, and his backup is the player they were using a couple of years ago, so they have experience there.

T.Y. Hilton is their bell cow. He's a terrific player. He'll make some plays. You have to get in their face and have an idea what you'll do about him. The offensive line has 5 returning starters.

I know you're all upset. But I'm a fan, too, I played here. Ron Hudson & I were walking up to the tunnel at the end of the game, someone ran to the tunnel, and he said, "You're breaking my heart. How can you let this happen?"

It's breaking my heart, too. The defensive guys took it hard. They were jacked up. We took some shots early. We got pressure early, he was throwing on the run. Then he hit a touchdown, then another.

Are we going to make changes on the kickoff?

Yeah, we got a plan, Justin Lustig has a plan. We have an 11AM meeting on Mondays. I'm responsible for blitz, each of is responsible for an aspect of a game. Rickey and Justin talked about it, I wasn't in on that conversation. But yes, we have a plan.

We can kick it in practice. If everyone played from the neck down, it would be easy. But they play with their heads. It's our job to get these young adults ready to play. That's our responsibility, and I make no bones about it.

Are we playing Ladarius Green and Luke Aubrey at the same time at tight end?

Yes we play both. We're blessed. We were recruiting an athlete from Destrehan, he went to Tulsa. And then Shawn Quinn turned over a lot of stones, and found Ladarius. He was small, but we watched him and he had the athleticism. He's a great person, a great athlete, and he's the meanest sonofagun you've ever seen.

The Mackey Award people approached us about him, and we put together film. It gave us a chance to really look at how he plays in the game, and let me tell you, he's a heckuva an athlete. He blocks as well as Erik Jones from last year, and Erik was a great player.

How are we doing with our recruiting classes?

Groups like Rivals and Scout put a number of stars on each player, and then they rank the teams. I have my own opinions about that. First, it's easy to find a 5-star kid when he's seeking you. There are 4- or 5-star kids out there that we put a lot of time and effort into recruiting, and we're not getting too many of those. There are 2- and 3 star kids, and we are getting a lot of those.

The average player in the NFL only had 2.6 stars coming out of high school, so my feeling is I'm a better recruiter if I can find the kid everyone else missed. And then strange things happen with the ratings. There was one athlete, he was ranked as a 4-star recruit... until he committed to us, and then he was immediately downgraded to 2 stars.

So the ranking doesn't bother me.

There are some kids we went after, and we didn't get them. I'm not afraid to go after a kid and not get him. We're doing that more.  We went after a local kid, and then he went to Tulsa. You have to take those chances. But overall, I feel we are filling the needs we have right now.

The guys at FAU are good-looking, and they're big, but they may not have the mobility we need.

I'll take the guys we have. They're not pretty, but they're good players. That's why they make watch lists. The guys we get can play.

Do you think the recruiting is good enough?

Nope. You never coach a perfect game, you never play a perfect game, and your recruiting is never good enough.

When you played, what did it take to get the defensive guys out of that funk?

Well... I hated the defensive guys when I played. Now we're good friends. There's competition between us.

Our guys need to play smarter & better, and sometimes they don't. Defensively we didn't play as well as we can, but offensively we got blown up a few times, too. As a team we didn't play well enough to win, and we were flat-out embarrassed. You don't ever plan to get your butt kicked like that. You don't plan to lose at all.

It hurts. But we have to move on. When our kids play their game, you can't beat them. They're that good.

Why don't we go vertical more often?

If you go back and look what FAU was going, it was simple. they played two guys over the top, then played the box, and pulled in their corners to take away our vertical game. It was smart on their part. It was unorthodox, and it took away our long game.

In the running game, Yobes is improving, he's seeing the field better. Last year, number 32 made chicken salad, and you're not getting that kind of production this year.  Nobody is.

Is the FIU quarterback as good as Smith?

No.  I walked up to Rusty after the game and told him he was a great player. That's not easy for me to do. He is a great football player. They're good football players. I don't care for their attitude, but they're good players.

Are we recruiting locally?

Yes we are, I can't say much about it. We want the best of what this community and what Louisiana has to offer.

A few years ago when we hit Florida hard, we got flack about not signing more local kids. We'd love to take all Louisiana kids, and we've done more of it.

Why don't our linemen look like FAU's linemen?

If we recruit kids out of town, we're criticized because we aren't recruiting locally. If we recruit locally and we don't win, we're criticized because we aren't recruiting the big kids. It's just the nature of the game.

We get a lot of crap from local coaches for not offering kids that no one else wants. They beat us up.

Our goal is to take the best we can get. All things considered, we want Louisiana kids.

You're a UL alum, you're a product. What do you make of the RCAF?

I think it's crucial. Keeping up with the Joneses is different today. When I played, the Joneses were USM and Memphis, and Tulane some.

Facility-wise, we haven't kept up. Now our Joneses are ASU, Troy & FAU. All of the UL football coaches gave money to the RCAF. It wasn't a lot, but we think it's important. We need more money.

When a kid walks into Troy, and sees their stadium, when a kid goes to ASU, MT, their facilities are impressive. I think money into those areas would help us tremendously in recruiting.  Everyone talks about our potential. We just haven't reached it yet.

People have said for years that people would give money if, and when. It's time to put up. We need it badly, we need it for all of our sports.

These other programs, where are they so much better than we are? We have the Moncla Center.

Not a one of them has an indoor facility, it's the one "awe" factor we have.

But when you walk into MT's workout facility, it's new, it overlooks their field, all of their boxes are new.  At MT, they go to Scarlet Hall, their apartments for athletes. ASU has brand new apartments for athletes. Those help them recruit. WKU was a 1AA program until recently, but you should see the facilities they have. They have a brand new student-athlete center, state of the industry, computers, and a full time staff.  When a kid goes to ASU, and the team room has stadium seating, and they have separate meeting spaces for all of their coaches, those are the things that wow kids.

Small things like that build up. There's a kid we were recruiting hard, and he signed with UTEP because he wanted to move into Legacy Park, and didn't want to pay extra to live there. I'm just passing on the feedback from kids & parents.  In fact, Mr. Walker and Dr. Savoie are taking strides to improve the housing situation.

When I recruit, I emphasize the great people in the community and on campus.  Dr. Geoff Stewart and Dr. Mark Zappi do a great job with recruiting. Wow, do they do a great job with kids.

When we show recruits the Moncla Indoor Practice Facility, I don't talk about the tangible nature as much as I talk about what it represents.  For me it talks about the support we have from the student body, because they paid for it. They voted to spend their own money, to increase their tuition and fees by something like 5%. That's what I talk about.

When you go to Tulane, see their practice facilities, where they dress, it's better than ours. At Tech, the workout areas, the locker rooms, it's all new. Those are the things that help you recruit.

We pride ourselves on doing more with less, everywhere at UL. I like that blue-collar mentality, but high school seniors who are looking for bells and whistles don't always see it that way.

Because after all is said and done, you don't get to take any of these things on to the field with you. They help you prepare, but only the players play. Do you win because of facilities?  No.

This is home. I bleed this school. I don't want to ever leave this place. So I'm not answering you for what we need right now.

I'm answering for what I want us to be in the future.