While in New Orleans for last month’s Sun Belt Conference football Media Day, UL coach Mark Hudspeth was asked if Ragin’ Cajuns have a team motto for 2015.
“Our motto this year is ‘being ready,’ ” said Hudspeth, whose Cajuns open Saturday at Kentucky.
“If you get a turnover on offense, your defense better be ready.
Defense gets an interception, your offense better be ready. Opening kickoff, you better be ready. Opening game, you better be ready.
“So, for us, it’s being ready at a moment’s notice throughout the season — and staying ready,” Hudspeth added. “You can’t get ready from time-to-time. And early in the season last year, we were not ready in some of our early games. So, this year we want to be ready.”
UL dropped three of its first four games last season, opening with a home win over Southern before losing to Louisiana Tech and at Boise State and Ole Miss, then bouncing back with six straight Sun Belt wins.
The Cajuns feel the heart of the defense is their linebackers, especially the inside five-deep Mike/Will group of starters Tre’maine Lightfoot and Otha Peters along with reserves T.J. Posey, Tyren Alexander and Trey Granier.
The depth means playing time won’t come easy for all, but as Grainier sees it the tradeoff is well worthwhile.
“Posey and O.P. (Peters) and ’Foot (Lightfoot) and Tyren
(Alexander) – we’re all pretty much using each other to get better,”
he said. “We all feel we have something to contribute to the game.”
After missing most of last season with an ACL knee year sustained at his Mississippi junior college, former LSU running back and cornerback Jeryl Brazil of the Cajuns said he is “very anxious” to play for the first time in a long time.
On a personal level, he said, “I know I have a great opportunity against a great team to lay it on the line” on Saturday against the Wildcats.
And on a team level?
“That’s gonna be a great game,” Brazil said. “It’s a great opportunity for our team to experience some SEC talent early on in the season.
“Our goal right for right now is to beat Kentucky,” he added, “and that’s all we’re focused on, so Kentucky is in my head every day.”
Brazil has been competing for playing time at cornerback and is expected to join receiver Gabe Fuselier in returning kicks as well.