Head Coach Rickey Bustle & Tight Ends Coach Troy Wingerter talk about the upcoming regular-season finale against Troy, and the victory over ULM.

Rickey Bustle

We really appreciate your membership in the Quarterback Club, the money from it helps us do a lot of things. It helps us buy different things, most of it's for the players, but also things we need in the offices. I appreciate you guys coming every week. It's been an up & down year.

Saturday was a heckuva football game. The folks that were out there, we appreciate you. It was nasty. I didn't wear rain gear, and my Fruit of the Looms were soaked.

It was a great effort by our kids for four quarters. I thought the teams were well matched in some areas. Our kids got dealt some poor field position, kicking against the wind, some rolling balls. But we shut 'em down.  That Goodin is a heckuva a back. Revell has only gotten picked five times this year, and we got two of them.

We knew going in what coverages we would get, and the offense had a good game plan and got the ball downfield.

It was great to see our kids excited. They have worked so hard, and they believe in this program. We were elated about the win. It was great to beat Monroe here. We've been trying. [applause]

What happened with the punts?

On that first punt, where the guy caught the ball and it bounced to us, the rule is that the ball can bounce up in the air and you have to let him go catch it. The ball bounced straight to Scott Hayes. But they said we hit him before he caught it. We did not.

On the 4th quarter punt, they said it hit our player in the leg. From the endzone camera, you can see it hit about a half-yard away. We sent those two calls in to be reviewed by the Sun Belt office.

There appeared to be some holds.

Hall Davis has drawn a lot of concern from people. Almost no one has put a back on him. We're sending in two or three plays a week saying that they're holding him.

On the defense, the one stat that worries me is the third down conversion rate we're giving up. Is there something we're not doing?

It's not one thing. Against ASU the conversion was 0-10. We've gotten our 3rd down conversions on offense, too.

We're in pretty good shape. Everyone should be at the motel who was there last week. Luke Aubrey should be back, he played about 18 snaps this game. Marlin Miller tweaked his ankle, Daylon McCoy will probably not play. Jazz Washington will probably play.

I'm going to talk about some of the redshirt freshmen that you guys have been asking about. All of the freshmen have put on 12-15 pounds.

Some guys we think will help, Keldric White, I think will be a heckuva receiver. He's not redshirted, but he hasn't played. Robert Robinson, offensive line, 6' 4" he's a good-looking guy. Ashton Tyler, offensive line, 6' 6", Daniel Lemelle is 6' 3", 280 pounds right now. Our two tight ends, Ian Thompson, Jacob Maxwell, are both 6' 4", 225-230 pounds, they're going to be just like Luke Aubrey, maybe Ladarius Green, and they can run. Ashton Leblanc, he's a walk-on kid, but he has given our defense fits catching the ball this Spring. Evan Ruiz had back surgery in August, he gives us a lot of depth when he's available.

On the defensive side, you haven't seen this kid much, 6' 5" 240 pounds Emeka Onyenekwu, #45. He hasn't played, but I really think he'll be something. Justin Anderson has had a shoulder injury. Brandon McCray, 6' 4", 285, he has feet and he can run. Andrew Hebert will be a linebacker, he's gonna be a heckuva player. Another kid I like a lot, Will Stevenson, he's not a big linebacker but he can run and he's tough as nails. Brandon Nash is a little bigger than Daylon McCoy, but he's tough and he can run. Winston Burnette is 6' 3", 220 pounds, he's good. Rodney Gillis, we like him, he's a corner, tore his ACL in the Spring.

Jewell Ratliff we signed last year, he's in school part time. There's another one I can't name, but let me say this: Speed. Quickness. Speed. Quickness. He can run. And we're told he broke Tyrell Fenroy's bench record this Fall. [From the audience: "Running back Rob Walker."]

We have another game coming up this weekend. A lot of teams play Troy and don't think they can beat them. These kids are coming after 'em.

Troy Wingerter, Ragin' Cajuns Football, University of LouisianaTroy Wingerter

Somebody said Troy's admission standards are below ours, and they don't have to comply with the APR.

When the NCAA instituted the APR, they put in a filter for 'institutions of low resource.' They put this in in part to help the HBCUs, the Historically Black Colleges & Universities. They were worried about the disparity in resources. So they looked at funding from the state, per-student university resources, and federal Pell grants and similar funding. So it's built on those 3 criteria.

There were about 490 programs in 2008 that were affected by the APR, that received a waiver. That's not schools, it's by each program. We don't fall into that category. Athletics appropriations here isn't as much as UL's allocation per student, and TOPS affects us because it's a financial allocation, not a fee waiver. And the other thing is that we don't have as many Pell's.

There are three Sun Belt schools that fit into that category: Troy, ULM, and ASU are considered Low Resource Institutions. So there's money allocated, $1.6M nationwide, to help all of them bring up the APR. They don't suffer any penalties, but each of them sets up benchmarks. Say a LRI school has an APR of 790, if they set and meet benchmarks, they won't be penalized. Just to give you an example, Troy signed 40 guys last year. They're placing a lot of guys in JC's, and they have a good relationship with a JC in Mississippi. Some of the JCs have gotten better in their requirements. But it's an academic risk, they're still at-risk students.

When does it expire?

It's open-ended. It's like removing the halo rule. A few years ago the NCAA removed the 2 yard halo, which made it more nebulous. Same concept. If you don't want to get sued, you make the rule as subjective as you can. So in the recruiting violations, one of the criteria is the intent to violate. Right now, the APR is relatively new. It does affect us. I looked at the number of props at ULM, and our University is going in the opposite direction.

Some people ask why we don't loosen our standards. We couldn't. I could not get into UL today. Our mission is heading in a different direction, which is great. We're here to find character guys, guys who will graduate, players who will be good alumni.  About 3/4 of our guys right now have to be admitted by exception, but 1/4 of them meet the regular admissions criteria.

Today at 10:00 AM, I drove to HLG and checked six classes, to make sure our kids are in class. We're all required to do it. Is it in our job description? No, but it affects our APR.  If we don't do it our kids won't be able to play, and we get fired.

Anyway, it's a three-prong filter, athletics allocation, university allocations per students, and Pell grants.

Is the conference going to do anything to level that?

Would you? Troy's been doing well this year. If Troy's bringing us attention, the prevailing wisdom is, 'Let's get it.' The conference will be able to put more teams in bowls because of Troy. The Sun Belt is getting more exposure, more money.

In recruiting, how do we do against ULM?  Is there a school we're constantly butting heads with?

We butt heads with USM and Tech. I don't know why, but in New Orleans I'm battling with Tulsa every kid I'm recruiting.

We're not really recruiting against ULM. Besides Luther Ambrose, there isn't a guy we offered. They're good players, but we didn't go after them.

How does Troy look?

Troy is a good football team, they're averaging about 500 yards per game in conference, 400 on the season. Defensively they have four front guys that are pretty phenomenal, including the #1 defensive lineman coming out of junior colleges.

I've heard that Troy may pull some players this weekend, keep people healthy. If you were in Troy's position, would you rest players?

No. Troy has some really great players. If they pull them off, great, but I don't think they will.

What concerns you the most about Troy?

The Levi Brown to Jerrell Jernigan connection.  They do a fantastic job of keeping you off balance. Their front line is very good. Their left guard has enormous arms, they have some good-looking kids.

At times, we have allowed the opposing quarterbacks too much time. Can we do anything differently?

I don't sit in on the defensive meetings. But I'm telling you, we're not leaving anything in the bag this weekend. We're throwing everything at them we have. Offensively, we're pulling everything out, including the kitchen sink.

Why did we put McGuire in the shotgun? When he does go in, everyone knows what's going to happen.

You just answered your own question. When #8 is in the backfield and has a head of steam, he hits the line hard.

We got humiliated by Troy last year. Are the kids talking about it?

Oh yeah. One of their fans stole the 'TNT' [tackles 'n' turnovers] maul the defense carries. Antwyne Zander and Lanier Coleman went into the stands to get it. Antwyne wanted to kill the guy, but we got a compliment from one of their administrators for handling it well.

Recruiting, how does the process work? In the meetings, when a decision comes down, how do you come together over differences of opinions?

Easy. Two equal kids, we'll take Louisiana every time.

You all know the process. I go out in my area, recruit my schools, see the coaches, they give me names of kids. There are also a lot of reports out there, basically two kinds. One from the high school coaches, and one is 'pay for play.' There are a couple of services in Louisiana, but the guy writing it is also getting paid by the high school players to promote them.

We'll sit down, watch the film on players, pass them on to the position coaches with a rating of 1 to 4. A score of 3 or 4 might play, on a 2 we'll wait. Anything less than a 4 we stay in touch with. For a 4, the head coach makes the final decision. We're recruiting in the Dallas metroplex, east Texas, Houston, Louisiana. Jorge Muñoz goes into Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida panhandle. Hurley Brown goes into south Florida.

The video is everything. It's arduous, it's a long process.  We have limited travel money and the video eliminates travel costs.

How did we get the linemen from Canada?

Jesse Newman... we have tapes & DVDs stacked yea high. I happened to pick up Jesse, I said 'Holy cow, he's big, he's talented, he's 21, he's more mature.'

Jamal Nassar is different story. We were working a camp in Vancouver, and ran across him.

Does Troy have lower admission standards?

They're open admissions. UL has selective admissions.

Are we recruiting a bigger running back?

We have one. Yobes Walker is 220 pounds.

I want faster, first. We always want faster. I think Rob Walker brings us the best of both worlds.

I appreciate your loyalty to the program. I want the same thing you want. I will be fired from this place one day, but I still want the best for this place. Getting up every day, and getting the chance to do my best for this school, that's what I want.

And if you can find someone better than me, that's what I want.

I've been fortunate to be here as long as I have, and I'll stay as long as they want me.