Posted: Aug 9, 2012 9:36 PM by UL Sports Information
The start of the second week of preseason had a different look to it as the majority of the morning practice was held in the Moncla Indoor Facility.
The location switch, was supposed to be for just a couple of periods, but when a thunderstorm passed through the Lafayette area moments the team was headed back outside, athletic trainer Travis Soileau informed head coach Mark Hudspeth and the practice concluded inside.
It is customary for any outdoor athletic activity to stop when lightning is in the area, with play being permitted to resume 30 minutes after the last visible lightning strike.
The storm had one other affect on practice as the wind that accompanied it cooled off the field, giving the Cajuns their first real break from the normal southern Louisiana August heat
"Practicing inside was a nice change," Hudspeth said. "Any time we can do something a little bit different, it gives our guys a little mental relief and allows them to focus a little better. The change of scenery is good for us."
"Today worked out pretty well. I was a little disappointed with how we competed on Wednesday beause I didn't think we got their best effort so I called them out and told them that they needed to step things up. They needed to understand that every day we don't get better, it means that we are getting worse, and that is one less day that we have to get ready for the season.
"They responded to the challenge and stepped up today," Hudspeth added.
The offense looked good during the end of practice scrimmage sessions, partly due to the efforts of the offensive line.
With four starters returning - seniors Leonardo Bates (LT) and Jaron Odom (RT), junior Andre Huval (center) and sophomore Daniel Quave (RG) - each of whom started all 13 games last year and played almost 95-percent of the snaps, the Cajuns have a veteran unit that should be as good as any in the Sun Belt. The lone open spot in the starting lineup should be filled by redshirt freshman Myhkael Quave.
"We've got a good, young group of guys back this year and they are playing very well together," offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue said.
One area where the Ragin' Cajuns are working to improve on is depth. The starters played so much each game more out of necessity. UL routinely used just six linemen each game.
"We have worked hard to improve our depth on the line," Rodrigue said. "We probably have eight guys that we would trust to start a game right now with two or three more guys who just need a little more time to get into that group. That speaks well of where we are right now, especially since there are only two seniors in that group of 10 or so."
Hudspeth noted the effort of the line, and especially center Andre Huval, who is on the watch list for the 2012 Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's top center. "Andre has taken ownership of the offensive line this year and his leadership shows," Hudspeth said.
LAGNIAPPE: Safety T.J. Worthy was a happy person at practice on Thursday after having his appeal to be eligible this season approved by the NCAA. Worthy was even smiling after the first practice when he completed an extra conditioning run for missing class earlier in the summer. . . after going the first seven days of preseason without enduring any changes because of the weather, both sessions were affected on Thursday. . . the morning session was held primarily in the Mocla Indoor Center while rains came again late in the afternoon just as the squad was hitting the field for a walk-through, sending it inside as well.