Ragin' Cajuns Head Coach Rickey Bustle and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Fouquier talk about the win at Arkansas State, and the upcoming contest at Middle Tennessee.

Rickey Bustle

Coach, you look a lot happier this week.

You ought to see our kids. That's a tough place to go play. For the first time this year, we played like a team. All year, it's been like pistons, offense, then defense, then offense.

The defense did a great job, they had several turnovers, and kept us in the game. On offense we wanted to throw downfield more, but we focused on getting the first down.

We had a lot of different kids catch footballs and make plays. Marlin Miller had a great impact on this game. He wasn't perfect, last week he got a crash course on being a running back. But he made ASU account for him.

Chris Masson threw extremely well and put it in the right places. In the 4th quarter they came back, but a team like that's going to make some plays.

It was a hard-fought game. There was a lot of pushing and shoving, I don't like that. We had a couple of personals. One of them was not very smart, it was 20 yards behind the play.

The officials... I asked [Sun Belt Conference Coordinator of Football Officials] Don Lucas what the fine was for saying something about the officiating. I can't afford $30,000 like they charge in the SEC.

But to see those kids after the game was great. We tried to loosen it up last week, we cut back a little on practice, which you try to do about this time each year. You shouldn't be teaching fundamentals at this point.

It gets tougher this week. Middle Tennessee is playing very well right now.

I thought I saw something from Chris Masson this week, he came out to be a leader on the sidelines, he showed a lot of emotion in and out of the huddle. I thought this was his best effort.

I agree with you. This was his forté a little bit, throwing it around. And I thought he ran it hard inside.

I think it's something that comes with time. With a redshirt sophomore it takes some time, but he gained a lot of confidence in this game.

This game we put more pressure on the passer.

The last two weeks, we've changed some things we do up front with slants and pressure, and it's been good for us. We've been in a base front for a while, but we felt we're helping them with the slants. Sometimes they slant the wrong way, but it helps moving them in there.

There were several times it looked like they hit the kicker, and one time it looked blatant.

He did bump him, and I'm waiting to hear back from Don. Spencer Ortego did say one time that the guy was close when he ran past him. He went down like he was supposed to.

What about Middle Tennessee?

On defense, they can really run, their linebackers and secondary may be the best in the league.

Offensively, they're a mirror image of Troy. The quarterback Dwight Dasher makes a difference in their game.

Injuries, how's Brad McGuire?

Brad got some snaps last night.

How's Ladarius Greene?

He got to come out and run around last night. I don't know, we'll see. But he finally got over the hump a bit. What I'm pleased with, our other guys are pitching in now.

Kevin Fouquier, Football Offensive Coordinator, Ragin' Cajuns, University of LouisianaKevin Fouquier

Appreciate ya'll coming today. Obviously it was a great win for us. The kids played hard, played physical.

ASU's a good football team, they had Iowa and Louisville down late in the game. They've had some problems up front with their offensive line.

Our kids tackled better. They were focused, got after 'em pretty good.

On the 18-play drive, they converted three 4th downs. I'm sending in several calls to the officials. On the fumble, you can't advance the ball on a fumble on 4th down.

In the 20-something years I've been coaching, I've never seen a team held to 0-for-10 3rd down conversions, but we did that Saturday. We're leading the conference in interceptions. We're getting better. The FAU game still sticks in my throat. We missed tackles, they got 180 yards after contact, they hit deep balls. That sticks with you.

For FIU we played well. We had 95 gradable plays. But it was hot. The first half we did well, the second half we were trying to survive.

The kids have a little confidence. I was pleased to see Lance Kelly step up. He screwed up on the penalty, then on the next play they fumbled and Lance went and got it. On the interception, if Gerren Blount takes it up the sideline instead of cutting across field, we don't get that penalty.

This week is a bigger challenge. Dasher throws it all over, and he's beating people with his feet. They spread you out, then run the quarterback draw, quarterback power, and the zone read.

Dasher is real mobile, he's like a running back, but he can throw. You watch him against Clemson, Maryland, on a quarterback draw he runs 7 yards or more, untouched. And if you come off of the receivers, he'll throw it downfield.

Their offensive line is pretty athletic. They're not fat guys.

It's another big challenge to go up there, but I'm looking forward to it.

Will it be televised?

Yes, same channel. I'm hoping for the same announcers, we're 2-0 with them.

It's a tribute to our kids, they had about three of those older retired ladies working security for our flight, and they said our kids were great. They took another Sun Belt school on trips several times, they said they wouldn't take them again. The kids were rude, the coach ripped them for just doing their jobs.

With Dasher, we talk about stats like sacks, but we may want to look at containment. Troy basically didn't let him get outside, and made him run inside.

They like to freelance it on their routes, and they'll go where you're not. They have two, three nice wideouts.

How do we match up with their offense?

Hard to say right now. I'll tell you on Sunday.

How did you grade out the last two games defensively?

Good. The FIU deal, right there at the end, they had 12 plays and we blitzed 'em 7 times. They made a couple of catches and scored. The defense was out there for 95 plays, that was the first time we've played that many snaps in several years. John Porche said it was 103° out there, in the second half we were trying to survive.

This game, the offense did well, we only played 52 snaps, it kept our kids fresh.

Not counting the Nebraska game-- we had guys injured and it was makeshift-- the only game we didn't tackle well was FAU. All the other games we've played, I thought we've played well enough to win.

The other quarterback gave ASU a spark. Did he do something we weren't prepared for?

He scrambled a lot, we didn't have a lot on him film-wise. He gave them a spark, on a third and 28 he made 25 yards. We missed a couple of sacks. We came scot-free up the middle, he got out of it. It's hard playing two or three different guys, each of them has their own style.

Who are your starting safeties?

Gerren Blount's been playing well, and Motor [Maurice Rolle] is getting a chance.  Between Lance Kelly and Chris Richard, it's whoever is hot.  Lance is practicing well, but if he struggles we'll put Chris in there. Chris is a little bit more fluid, a little more athletic.

Who are the young players on defense that are promising?

We've got a good walk-on with Will Stevenson. Winston Burnette they say is doing a good job, all the linebackers, Andrew Hebert, Brandon Nash. I want to see Justin Anderson from Foley. He came in with a hurt shoulder, but in our drills he's a football-smart kid.

On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive linemen are going to be good, Daniel Lemelle and Robert Robinson both move around well. The kid from Teurlings, Ashton Leblanc, he's as quick as a hiccup. He loves to play, and he goes 100 mph. He practices hard, plays hard, gives us a great look.

I've changed my philosophy so much over the past 10 years of coaching. People talk about speed and size, but I want football-savvy kids.