Cajuns hope to rebound at frustrated K-State

LAFAYETTE — There was plenty of disgust and disappointment to digest on the practice fields at Louisiana-Lafayette and Kansas State this week.

The season-opening games for both schools last week didn’t end as planned.

That means personnel changes are planned at least for ULL on Saturday, when the Cajuns travel to Manhatten, Kan. for a 5:30 p.m. contest with Kansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

ULL lost 34-14 at Arkansas last Saturday, a disappointing but not entirely surprising result for the Cajuns.

The night before, Kansas State lost 24-21 to two-time defending Football Championship Subdivision champion North Dakota State before the second largest crowd in Snyder Stadium history.

ULL coach Mark Hudspeth said his team will look different from how it appeared defensively against Arkansas.

Tyren Alexander will see more action at outside linebacker, ULL’s secondary is undergoing a complete makeover and Hudspeth is orchestrating more competition at placekicker after Stephen Brauchle missed a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter at Arkansas.

Hudspeth said junior Hunter Stover, who normally only kicks off, also will get a look at kicking field goals.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that Brauchle won’t be the field goal kicker,” Hudspeth said. “I will make that decision at game time.”

ULL tackle Mykhael Quave said the offensive line, which had players performing at three new positions, also has to improve.

“As a whole, Arkansas was not (the offensive line’s) best game,” he said. “It wasn’t anything particular that went awry. As a unit we didn’t play well. ... “Right now, we’re an offensive line with a chip on our shoulders. Someone has to pay for last week.”

Hudspeth said he likes the Cajuns’ response to the Arkansas defeat.

“I liked the way they came back on Sunday night. They’ve got that little edge to them right now,” he said.

After Arkansas passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns, Hudspeth is overseeing a makeover in the secondary.

T.J. Worthy has moved into the starting lineup at strong safety, while senior Rodney Gillis or junior Sean Thomas (formerly a cornerback) will be the starting free safety.

Corey Trim will again start at one cornerback, and the other starter will be Trevence Patt, a junior who started at strong safety last week.

Cedrick Tillman, who started alongside Trim against Arkansas, has apparently been demoted. Al Riles, a former safety, moved to cornerback.

ULL defensive coordinator James Willis didn’t hesitate to castigate the Cajuns’ performance against Arkansas. He said he gave the secondary a grade of “F” for the way it played against the Razorbacks.

“They didn’t produce, didn’t do what they are supposed to do and left some plays out there on the field,” he said. “We’ve worked hard since the spring on defense, but we just didn’t execute. That’s what’s so frustrating.”

Snyder said the Wildcats, last year’s Big 12 champions, are experiencing an array of emotions after the North Dakota State loss.

“Sad, angry, disappointed — all of those,” Snyder said.

The Wildcats started junior college transfer Jake Wallace at quarterback. He threw for 280 yards and completed 21 of 29 attempts.

Despite Wallace’s performance, Snyder is entertaining thoughts of using former Salmen High School quarterback Daniel Sams, a sophomore, more at quarterback.

“He deserves (to play more),” Snyder said. “You have a good athlete like Daniel, and you have to find places for him, which we will.”