The brutal heat was back for Tuesday mornings practice for the Louisiana football team with head coach Mark Hudspeth electing to run several periods in the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility to get the Cajuns out of the sun.
Although Hudspeth was happy with the overall effort during the session, he didn't feel that the Cajuns gave their best effort.
"It was a little up and down today," Hudspeth said. "We had some really good moments during the practice but I would have thought by now we would be putting together the consistency that we will need on August 31. We can't let the weather get to us. We have to play hard every snap."
Hudspeth was however happy with the continued development of the Louisiana defense and especially the secondary.
"This was the fourth straight day that the secondary was the pass skelly drill," Hudspeth said. "They just continue to get better and better."
The secondary was considered the Achilles Heel of the Cajuns at the start of spring practice and first year defensive coordinator James Willis and assistant coaches Tim Edwards, Tim Rebowe and David Saunders worked overtime to explore all playing combinations.
Bouyed by return of Rodney Gillis for a sixth year with the program and the addition of junior college cornberbacks Corey Trim and Cedrick Tillman, the unit has made a big jump since the start of preseason camp.
Another reason the secondary has come together quickly has been the play of safety Trevence Patt.
"Trevence is not only acting like a veteran in the secondary, but he is playing like one as well," Hudspeth said. "He started this during the spring and then took his game to a whole new level when he added 10 pounds during the summer and got himself into great shape."
After the practice had ended, the receivers met as a group and then went to catch passes off the machine as they normally do. The machine is similar to a baseball pitching machine but has been converted to throw footballs. The players start approximately 20 feet away from the machine and catch the footballs that are coming as fast as 40 mph straight at him. After each catch, the player moves closer and closer, usually stopping five feet or so from the machine.
On Tuesday, junior Jamal Robinson was showing off the reflexes and strength that make him one of the most dangerous receivers in the Sun Belt. Robinson kept going after hitting the five-foot mark and crept closer, eventually catching the ball with his two hands just 18 inches away from the slot the ball was being propelled from.
After having two practices on Monday, the schedule featured just one on Tuesday, allowing the Cajuns to spend the afternoon sandwiching a pair of position meetings around a session in the weight room.
The topic of the day among the players was Tuesday night's offense vs. defense showdown on NCAA Football 2014.
The offense will be led by co-head coaches Daniel and Mykhael Quave with Octravian Anderson serving as the offensive coordinator, Matt Barnes the defensive coordinator and Jamal Robinson as special teams coordinator.
In an unprecedented move, freshman Kevin Fouquier was named the head coach of the defense with Remaine Douglas as the offensive coordinator, Will Burrowes the defensive coordinator and Tig Barksdale as the special teams coordinator.
The team will meet on Tuesday night at Moody Hall to square off on the big screen. Both sides will be in their game uniforms. . . the offense in white and the defense in red, with the winning side getting out of conditioning on Wednesday.
"This should be a fun event tonight," Hudspeth said. "Anything that gives our guys a break from the rigors of preseason camp is a benefit to the team and the good-natured competition will bring our team closer."