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Bielema Says U-La-La Will Be A “Tremendous Challenge” For Arkansas

2788_louisiana_ragin_cajuns-alternate-2000OK, don’t laugh.

Arkansas has a new coach, new schemes, and an injury-riddled depth chart.  Their opponent is coming off a bowl game and actually finished 9-4 last season.

Still, when Bret Bielema suggested this week that Louisiana-Lafayette will be a “tremendous challenge,” that had to just be coach-speak, right?  He had to be kidding.  (Wait, we already know he’s not a comedian.)

 

“This is probably not your typical opener seeing as it is against a bowl-win team that won nine games (last season), won 10 games before that…

I don’t think anybody’s expecting a free pass.”

 

Don’t forget, the Razorbacks fell 34-31 to Louisiana-Monroe last fall.  You can ask the folks at Florida if Louisiana’s other directional school is similarly dangerous.  The Gators had to block a punt and return it for a TD with two seconds left to play in order to subdue the Ragin’ Cajuns 20-13 in Gainesville last season.

According to ULL — we at MrSEC.com prefer U-La-La — head coach Mark Hudspeth, that game at Florida has given his team some confidence heading into Arkansas.  “The way we at least played at Florida last year — we didn’t win the game, but we competed — I think gave our guys even more confidence that you know, we can compete on a bigger stage… They’re not by any means arrogant or cocky coming into this game, but they’re confident.”

So don’t chuckle, all you non-Hog fans, if you see Arkansas getting a little bit more from Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend than most expect.  Bielema’s already sounded the warning bell for fans and for his team.

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MSU Promotes Wilson To Replace Diaz

As expected, last year’s co-defensive coordinator will become this year’s plain ol’ defensive coordinator at Mississippi State.

Dan Mullen announced via release this morning that defensive line coach Chris Wilson will replace Manny Diaz as the Bulldogs’ lead D-coordinator.  But MSU still needs to find a replacement for Diaz the linebacker coach.  Whoever the new linebacker coach is will carry the co-coordinator title that belonged to Wilson this past season.

Mullen also promoted graduate assistant Angelo Mirando to replace receivers coach Mark Hudspeth.

Hudspeth left State to become the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.  Diaz left Starkville to become the defensive coordinator at Texas.

Before joining Mullen’s staff last offseason, Wilson spent five years on Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma.

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Mississippi State Loses Commitment Due To Diaz Departure

Linebacker C.J. Johnson from Philadelphia (Miss.) High School has de-committed from Mississippi State.

Johnson made the decision after learning of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s decision to leave for Texas.

“It started off that Mark Hudspeth was recruiting me,” Johnson told Rivals.com, “and he left and went to Louisiana-Lafayette, and then Coach Diaz left and went to Texas, and so it kind of got me thinking about some things and I don’t feel as comfortable as I did.”

Mississippi State will remain in the running for Johnson, who will play in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-Amercian Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Johnson told Rivals he also plans to consider LSU and Ole Miss.

“When I get home, it’s something I just want to talk about with my mom,” Johnson said. “I’m confident coach (Dan) Mullen is going to bring good people in, and hopefully I’ll be able to make a decision.

“It’s not something I’m going to drag out until signing day. I don’t want to come to a decision, and then right before signing day other things come up. It’s definitely something I’m going to sit down and talk to my mom about, and then make a final decision.”

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Report: MSU’s Hudspeth Takes The ULL Job

Mississippi State receiver and passing game coordinator Mark Hudspeth has reportedly accepted the head coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette.

In late November, Hudspeth said he was not interested in the job.  Hudspeth said in the last 24 hours that he changed his mind when contacted by ULL officials.  Now, if FootballScoop.com is correct, he’s completed his flip-flop and accepted the ULL job.

Hudspeth had been the head coach at North Alabama from 2002 to 2008 before joining Dan Mullen’s first staff in Starkville.

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MSU’s Hudspeth Won’t Interview With La-Lafayette

Mississippi State receiver coach Mark Hudspeth said today that he will not interview for the vacant head coaching position at Louisiana-Lafayette. 

“I am not a candidate and I’m full-speed ahead here,” the coach told Brandon Marcello of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

“I’m where I want to be.  Not to say one day down the road a position somewhere wouldn’t interest me, but I’m happy where I’m at.  Recruiting is going great.”

Hudspeth was the head coach North Alabama for seven years before joining Dan Mullen’s staff as State’s passing game coordinator before the 2009 season.

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