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Football: Cajuns lose Gillis again during blowout win

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, October 5, 2013

UL’s sixth-year senior with rotten luck was on the receiving end of yet another lick of it Saturday night.

Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said safety Rodney Gillis broke his lower right leg in the first half of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 48-24 win over Texas State at Cajun Field.

UL officials weren’t immediately sure if the break involved the ankle.

The injury could be career-ending, but Hudspeth held out a sliver of hope

“I’m just sick for the kid,” Hudspeth said of Gillis, who missed two entire seasons with major knee injuries and received a special NCAA waiver to play a sixth year.

“I just went and hugged him a while ago, and told I told him we loved him. He’s gonna be out for while. Don’t know the severity yet, if he can come back later in the season. But he’s going to be out for an extended period of time.

“Love that kid to death,” the Cajun coach added. “He had battled so many injuries just to play this game, and it’s just a testament to his character that he just keeps a great attitude and his faith in the Lord.”

Gillis and Sean Thomas were UL’s two starting safeties for a second straight game, marking the first time this season the Cajuns have had the same two safety starters in back-to-back games.

MBAMALU’S STATUS:

The UL basketball team came onto Cajun Field at halftime Saturday night to be recognized, and when it did starting senior swingman Bryant Mbamalu was in a walking boot and using a scooter power by his good foot.

According to a UL spokesman, Mbamalu sustained a Jones fracture – a broken bone on the outside of the foot, at the base of the fifth toe – while practicing Sept. 13.

The senior was hurt after coming down on the foot of teammate Kevin Brown.

He is treating the injury with rest, SID Brian McCann, and his status for UL’s start of the season next month is uncertain.

THOMAS LIFTS REDSHIRT:

The Cajuns lifted the redshirt off of true freshman cornerback Simeon Thomas, who made his UL debut in Saturday’s second half and finished with two solo tackles.

Thomas did not play in the Cajuns’ first three games while he was awaiting eligibility clearance from the NCAA.

Once the Florida high school product finally received that he traveled with the team to Akron for its Sept. 21 win over the Zips – but did play because he had been most of the week.

INCLEMENT WEATHER:

Due to inclement weather prior to the game, teams warmed up in UL’s indoor practice facility before eventually moving to a wet Cajun Field.

UL’s Pride of Acadiana band also called off its march to the stadium because of the weather conditions, which included rain and thunder.

It wasn’t raining at kickoff, however.

UL WINS CHALLENGE:

UL won its week-long athletics “social media challenge” with Texas State, which was based on Facebook, Twitter and Instagrams activity.

Cajun social media sites picked up a combined 6,000 new likes and follows, and 25-plus-percent growth.

UL’s prize: Texas State’s Bobcats mascot was photographed wearing a Cajuns T-shirt.

LAGNIAPPE:

Cajuns senior reserve linebacker Andrew Jackson was sick and did not play. … UL’s captains were Sean Thomas, linebacker Justin Anderson, quarterback Terrance Broadway and center Andre Huval. … The Cajuns wore their white fleur-de-leis helmets.