LAFAYETTE (KATC) — Cajun players say they have no ill-will towards former head coach Mark Hudspeth. The man who led Louisiana to five consecutive bowls will line up on the opposite sideline of UL Saturday for the first time.
“Everybody is probably going to say hey to him,” said junior linemen Kevin Dotson. “There’s no bad blood between us so wouldn’t be any confrontation type thing.”
Hudspeth is a tight end coach at Mississippi State. His official record as Louisiana’s head coach reads 29-38, with two bowl wins. Hud had two more bowl wins, and more than 20 wins in total vacated after an ACT scandal involving five players. He coached the Cajuns from 2011-17 before being let go in December.
This week Hudspeth said he looked forward to seeing many players he recruited and coached after the game. Players reciprocated those feelings Wednesday.
“Honestly I would thank him just for giving me a chance to play at my dream school,” said junior receiver Jerrod Jackson. “This is the school I wanted to play at since I was in the eight grade. You know what I’m saying? Not sure if I was going to play football or basketball but you know, I’ll tell him thank you shake his hand.”
“We’re coming after you coach,” said senior Keenan Barnes. “I mean that’s all I can say. UL forever. Excited to see him. You know kind of rekindle things, whatever. But we’re coming down there for a business trip and to handle business.”
Louisiana is 1-0 in 2018 after beating Grambling State 49-17 in its opener. MSU is 2-0 this season and ranked 16th in this week’s AP poll.