It’s been a wild last couple of weeks for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns. From getting a big win over South Alabama with freshman Levi Lewis to having to go back to Jordan Davis after an injury against Ole Miss, it seems par for the course for the position of quarterback the last few seasons.
Saturday’s homecoming game had just as much drama in it and a lot of it was just before kickoff.
During Mark Hudspeth’s presser on Monday following the loss to Ole Miss mentioned that Levi Lewis was going to be cleared for practice after suffering an ankle injury in the second half that forced Jordan Davis back into the ballgame.
“Levi practiced limited on Tuesday, practiced the full day Wednesday, the full day Thursday. Every day he got better and he just kept telling us ‘I think I’m going to be 100 percent or close to it.’” Hudspeth said of the product from Scotlandville after the Cajuns 47-34 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday.
Lewis participated in pregame warmups and according to Hudspeth he looked okay with his throwing motions and just moving around in general. However, Lewis didn’t feel the same.
“When we came up the tunnel he said, “Coach, I don’t want to hurt our football team, I just don’t think I can get away from people effectively enough.’ That’s what he does is get away from people. He said ‘I can sit in the pocket and throw it around, but I’m not going to be able to make some plays with my legs. I’d rather Jordan play.’” Hudspeth said when asked about the decision to start Davis.
Hudspeth then notified Davis that he would be getting the start with twenty minutes prior to kickoff. While that might cause most quarterbacks to crack under the pressure, the junior was up to the challenge.
“Throughout the week Levi and I were splitting reps so I was preparing still to be the starter just in case I got the opportunity.” Davis said of how he was able to be ready on short notice, “I’m thankful that I did get the opportunity.”
Making the Most of It
Davis made the most of the opportunity, going 18-of-31 for 203 yards and a touchdown. He also showed off his mobility with 71 yards rushing, including a 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
“Jordan obviously stepped up big.” Hudspeth said, “We went into the game with a quarterback that found out he’s fixing to play twenty minutes before kickoff and they went into it with a sixth year senior. Sometimes that’s tough.”
The Near Future at Quarterback
While there was consistency at quarterback at the beginning of the season, injuries and other circumstances have made it a little more uncertain who will be taking snaps as the starter from week to week. While the last few seasons have seen the Cajuns try and figure out who can actually get the job done on the field, the Cajuns head coach has some solid choices to choose from.
“I’ll say this; it’s good to have options. It’s good to have a lot of good quarterbacks instead of ‘who can get the job done?’” Hudspeth mentioned after the game when asked about who will start next week against Georgia Southern, “We’ve got a lot of guys that can get the job done and I thought Jordan played very well tonight.”
When you look at the world of college football as a whole, you’ll see a lot of players get frustrated that they’re not getting as much playing time as they thought they were and wind up transferring out to get a better chance at getting playing time. Despite the proverbial carousel at the position, Davis knows that the relationship between his teammates is good.
“We all have a really good relationship in that room. Everybody’s gotten a chance to play at least one play. But everyone kind of feeds off each other and we all help each other. It’s hard when a lot of people are bouncing around, but that has nothing to do with us as players, that’s coaching decisions.”
Davis also mentioned how even when one player isn’t getting the start, they’re motivating the guy who’s playing, especially when it comes to Levi Lewis.
“Levi’s a great kid. Selfless, he comes up to me before the game and is like ‘Hey, go handle business and do a good job.’ That shows a lot about his character and what he thinks even though he may have said that or it was a coaching decision. He was humble enough to say ‘Hey, do a good job and good luck out there.’ I do the same thing for him like in the game against Ole Miss. We all have a good relationship with each other and nothing that might happen on the field would be an issue off the field.”