The final score wasn’t an accurate reflection of Southern’s performance in its 45-6 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday.
At least that’s the way Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth sees it.
Hudspeth went to the Jaguars locker room after the game to congratulate the team on the way it competed under adverse conditions.
Southern was nearly two hours late leaving campus and didn’t arrive at Cajun Field until 45 minutes before kickoff. The delay happened because university officials were trying to certify that several players were academically eligible. Eventually time ran out and five Jaguars who would have started had to be left behind.
Odums said on the Southwestern Athletic Conference coaches conference call Monday morning that he learned of Hudspeth’s visit when he returned to the locker room after doing his post-game interviews.
“The players and assistant coaches said he came in and really encouraged them,” Odums said. “If you know coach Hudspeth, you know he’s a great guy and his heart is always in the right place.
“He told them they have a chance to be a really good team. He said, “from watching interviews I know (Odums) talks about a process and a mindset and you displayed that with the show that you put on. You competed and you didn’t fold your tent in the face of adversity. You gained the respect of a lot of people around here with the way you handled yourselves.””
Odums said he was “really appreciative” for what Hudspeth said about his players.
Southern still has not completed the certification process.
Odums said he and his staff will evaluate quarterbacks Deonte Shorts and Austin Howard throughout the week before deciding how to use them in the home opener against Central Methodist on Saturday.
Shorts started against UL-Lafayette, but completed just 2-of-9 passes for 21 yards. Howard played most of the game, including the entire second half. He completed 18-of-31 for 181 yards and a touchdown.
Odums said wide receiver Randall Menard was having an MRI on his left big toe, which was injured Saturday when Menard’s cleat got stuck in the turf. Odums said he didn’t think the injury was serious.