After the game ended, Coach Hudspeth walked to the middle of the field and congratulated Akron Coach Terry Bowden on the Zips 35-14 spanking of the Cajun's Saturday night. Coach Hudspeth was quick to point out the obvious, his team was dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
“I told (Akron coach Terry) Bowden, ‘That was just a good butt-kicking, Coach,’ ” Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said. “They’ve got good players,” Hudspeth said. “That’s a really good football team, and they were better than us tonight.”
Akron outgained the Cajuns 458-235, a ton of those yards coming on the strength of broken tackles that the Cajuns couldn’t seem to break themselves. Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson, a 240-pound bowling ball making his third career start, carried the ball eight times for 93 yards, and many of those came in crucial situations.
The Ragin' Cajuns offense could not find a rhythm early in the game running the football or passing. The Cajuns defense didn't tackle well and were called for a number of pass interference penalties down the field. Clearly the team was not executing on both sides of the football and Coach Hudspeth was quick to point to the distractions of moving into the APC during the off week.
“It’s just been too much; too many things to do over here. Game room, fancy locker room, fancy weight room, everybody’s thinking ‘Aw, we got this, we’re automatically gonna win because we’ve got this great facility.”
“The last time I checked,” Hudspeth added, “this facility don’t run fast enough to cover anybody man-to-man, and it can’t block.”
But not everyone was willing to blame the loss, or the lack of execution on the field to the distraction of moving into the new Athletic Performance Center during the off-week. The Cajuns defense struggled with tackling all night — especially on Woodson. Senior linebacker Dominque Tovell said they simply didn’t do their jobs.
“(Woodson) came out and made plays” Tovell said. ”He was a big quarterback. Physically we had to wrap him up. We just have to be more sound in what we do. We knew what he could do and he came out and made the plays when he needed. We had a poor night at tackling and it’ll come in practice.” Tovell said the passing attack from Woodson came as a bit of a shock.
“They came out and did some things they didn’t show on film,” he said. “They threw it a little more than we expected.”With the lack of execution on both sides of the football, coach Hudspeth called the loss a team effort Saturday night.
“This was a team loss,” Hudspeth said. “This wasn’t one person or one group. You can’t point fingers at one group.”While Coach Hudspeth didn't blame one person or one group, he was quick to point of the lack of production at the quarterback position in the first half.
“We only had seven points at the end of the third quarter,” Hudspeth said. “That’s very little offensive production.”
So he went with Nixon the rest of the way. With that said, it wasn’t a slam against Haack particularly. But most of Nixon's success came against the second unit of the Akron defense late in the football game. Nixon's play was also not without problems of execution as well as he stated in the post game comments.
“Today we lacked a little chemistry,” Nixon said. “We (QBs, RBs, WRs) weren’t all on the same page in a lot of situations.”
Not matter what the root causes were for the Cajun's performance Saturday night, it sounds like changes are on the way beginning with Sunday night's practice.
“Wake-up calls are the best thing that can happen to you,” Hudspeth said. “The wake-up call is coming at a good time, hopefully it will refocus our coaches and our players to come in and get it better than we ever have.”