Hudspeth: Munoz will call plays for the Cajuns
First-year offensive coordinator Jorge Munoz will call plays and work from the press box when UL opens its 2016 season on Saturday morning against Boise State at Cajun Field, Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said after practice Wednesday.
Before he promoted Munoz from receivers coach to replace Jay Johnson — now the offensive coordinator at Minnesota — as UL’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, Hudspeth suggested he might even call plays himself if he stayed in-house for the hire as opposed to bringing in someone from the outside.
Not anymore, though.
“Throughout this whole process, I have gotten all the confidence in the world in Jorge,” Hudspeth said. “He has demonstrated to me that he’s ready for this. And he’s done it before, so this is not his first time.”
Munoz, a holdover from the staff of former UL head coach Rickey Bustle, called plays during part of his 2008-10 stint as Bustle’s pass game coordinator.
He also was offensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois in 2006 and 2007.
“He has done a great job with our offensive staff,” Hudspeth said of Munoz, who previously worked from the sideline when Johnson was offensive coordinator from 2011-15. “He’s done a great job in preparation, in his organization of how we practice and meetings, (and) coaching the quarterbacks.
“Obviously I’ll have the right of opinion, at certain times when I want something called. But I’m gonna let him (Munoz) call it.”
Hudspeth said tight ends coach Reed Stringer will join Munoz in the press box, and he did with Johnson, while offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue and running backs coach Marquase Lovings will remain on the sideline along with new receivers coach Michael Desormeaux.
Defensively, defensive coordinator Melvin Smith again will work from the press box, joined by inside linebackers coach Mike Lucas, while co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison and defensive line coach Levorn Harbin again will work the sideline.
Slot receiver Gabe Fuselier didn’t practice Wednesday due to what Hudspeth suggested was a minor hip injury sustained during practice Tuesday.
But it won’t impact his availability for Saturday, according to Hudspeth.
“He probably could have (gone Wednesday),” the Cajun coach said. “But he’ll be 100 percent for Saturday.”
Hudspeth said Fuselier will start Saturday, and that senior Al Riles — who would be starting if he hadn’t sprained an ankle during preseason camp — remains on track to play Saturday.
“Al’s OK,” Hudspeth said. “He’s 100 percent. We’re excited.”
Reserve slot receiver Gary Haynes remains suspended for undisclosed disciplinary reasons and is out Saturday, but is expected to make his season debut Sept. 10 against McNeese State.
Wide receiver Jared Johnson, as expected, is out Saturday after undergoing surgery to repair a minor knee injury sustained early in preseason camp.
But Johnson “may” be back for the McNeese State game, Hudspeth said after practice Wednesday night.
Juco-transfer backup offensive tackle Staten Wade is “expected” to be ready for UL’s Sept. 17 game against South Alabama, Hudspeth said Wednesday.
“We got good news on him,” the Cajun coach said.
Wade is out with a meniscus-related knee injury.
CALAIS WILL RETURN
True freshman running back Raymond Calais will be back to handle the first kickoff UL receives Saturday, Hudspeth said after Wednesday’s practice.
Calais had been battling with starting running back Elijah McGuire and juco-transfer defensive back Levarious Varnado for the Cajuns’ No. 1 kick-return job.
Saturday’s 11 a.m. game will be televised by the American Sports Network and can also be seen online on ESPN3.
Contrary to what’s been posted elsewhere online, a UL spokesman said the game can be seen live (albeit not in HD) by Cox cable subscribers on channel 23.
That means no reruns of Gunsmoke, Bonanza and Rawhide at that time, as was displayed on Cox’s programming guide Wednesday.
Live coverage also will be available on DirecTV 50, Dish TV 50 and AT&T Uverse 50.
Channels for other cable providers in Lafayette and around Acadiana, according to UL, are 8 (SuddenLink), 10 (Charter), 15 (LUS) and 60 (Allen).
On the air in Lafayette and around Acadiana, the game can be found on channel 32.1 (ASN for Acadiana) and channel 50.1 (MeTV Acadiana).
The game is not, however, being televised in Boise.