Louisiana Football Coach Mark Hudspeth Touts Accomplishments, Humility
As the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns prepare for this weekend's season opener in Fayetteville against the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, head coach Mark Hudspeth called on Cajuns fans to "hang onto the rope" during a season showcasing a young team with a road-heavy schedule.
"We're sort of paddling upstream a little bit with all the road games, so we're going to have to make sure our fans are at every home game,” said Hudspeth, whose team will see five home games and seven away this season. “We've got to win all those home games, and then we've got to find a way to be a really good road team."
With only five starting seniors leading 50 juniors and sophomores, Hudspeth said the Cajuns have their “blinders on,” focusing on staying grounded after the successes of the past two years, which include two consecutive New Orleans Bowl wins.
"If you don't keep your team grounded or yourself grounded, this game will humble you pretty quick," Hudspeth said. "And I think our guys found that out last year."
When quarterback Blaine Gautier was benched with a hand injury last October, then-sophomore Terrance Broadway was thrust into the forefront with no previous starting experience. Now, Hudspeth said, it’s Broadway’s show.
"He wants the fans to see that this is his team and winning's important to him,” he said. “Representing our university, and representing Lafayette and Acadiana, that's important to him. He's a leader.”
“He's a winner," Hudspeth added, "and he's got a lot of football left to be played for the Cajuns, thank goodness, for two more years."
The Cajuns celebrated the season’s start last Saturday with the 2nd Annual Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Celebration, drawing more than 1,500 fans to the Cajundome Convention Center. Sunday’s Fan Day, also at the Cajundome, drew more than 6,000.
"I think our fans are just now starting to really realize just what we have here, and what's taking place,” said Hudspeth. “And what's great is all these fans have been with us from the ground level.”
The Cajuns sold more than 12,000 season tickets last year, a number Hudspeth said is not far behind some SEC schools.
“The perception of us across the country is changing, and we're becoming a household name,” Hudspeth said. “And that's what we're really working toward."
To listen to Coach Mark Hudspeth's interview on "Your Afternoon Drive Home," CLICK BELOW: