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Football: Cadona steady in first college game

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, September 1, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. — Aussie-import Daniel Cadona’s first punt in his first-ever American football game went for 42 yards.

It only got better for there for the Aussie import in UL’s 34-14 loss to Arkansas in front of 69,000-plus on Saturday.

“I thought he had a good game,” Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said. “For the first time to ever play in a college football game – probably not bad.”

Cadona averaged 43.6 yards on six punts. He had a long of 53, and had one downed at the 4-yard line.

“I thought he had great hangtime,” Hudspeth said. “He’s gonna be a nice punter for us, a good weapon for us.”

NO THOMAS:

True-freshman reserve cornerback Simeon Thomas did not travel to Arkansas for UL’s game vs. the Razorbacks due to what a team spokesman called a snag in his eligibility that is “expected to be cleared up” early this week.

Team spokesman Brian McCann said the Cajuns “opted to leave him rather than risk it.”

It’s uncertain if Thomas, from Carol City High in the South Florida area, would have played much Saturday.

But the Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth indicated earlier that he does plan to play Thomas, not redshirt him, in 2013.

THOMAS STARTS:

Junior Sean Thomas wound up starting at free safety over sixth-year senior Rodney Gillis, just as Hudspeth had said on Wednesday that Thomas “may do.”

Hudspeth indicated during the week the week that the decision was made in part because Gillis was “sick” and “banged up” and hadn’t gotten “as many reps” in practice as he might have otherwise, and in part because Thomas, who started preseason camp at cornerback, “is one of the smartest guys on the field.”

After juco-transfer Cedrick Tillman got beat on an early second-quarter touchdown pass, however, Thomas wound up playing a lot of cornerback and Gillis saw plenty of action at safety.

Tillman later made a third-quarter fumble recovery for the Cajuns.

PICKLE POWER:

The first thing UL strength-and-conditioning coach Rusty Whitt did upon arrival for the Cajuns in Arkansas on Friday was embark on a search for a very large purchase of pickle juice.

Whitt and the Cajuns believe the pickle juice helps alleviate cramping issues. They always like to have some on the sidelines – and especially on days as hot as Saturday.

LAGNIAPPE:

Junior quarterback Terrance Broadway, senior center Andre Huval, senior linebacker Justin Anderson and junior defensive lineman Christian Ringo were UL’s captains Saturday. … Hunter Stover, who battled a hamstring injury during the preseason, handled UL’s opening kickoff and sent it into the end zone. … Defensive lineman Justin Hamilton, who missed the start of camp with a stress fracture in his foot, didn’t start. Marvin Martin did instead. … Senior Darryl Surgent was back deep to take Arkansas’ opening kickoff. … Surgent also fielded Arkansas’ first punt. … Senior Andrew Hebert ended up starting at UL’s last unsettled linebacker spot over ex-safety Tig Barksdale and 2012-starter Jake Molbert. … Torrey Pierce was the second Cajun running back to carry the ball, on UL’s opening drive behind starter Alonzo Harris. … Reserve offensive guard Jeremy Sparks, who sprained an ankle early in preseason camp, did not make the trip.