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Football: Desormeaux steps up in Fenroy’s absence

Dan McDonald


ORLANDO, Fla. – With the injury absence of tailback Tyrell Fenroy, UL’s football squad had most of its offensive success riding the shoulders of quarterback Michael Desormeaux Saturday against Central Florida.

Desormeaux, who entered the game with three straight 100-yard rushing games, finished with 92 rush yards along with 154 passing yards on a 14-of-29 performance. His 246 offensive yards was most of UL’s 314 total in the 37-19 loss to the host Knights.

"He gave a great effort," Cajun coach Rickey Bustle said of the junior from New Iberia. "He had some good throws and he scrambled well. It’s a shame he has to do so much. We protected pretty well until right at the end, but he kept us going and made some plays."

Desormeaux will likely maintain his national lead in rushing among quarterbacks, after entering the game 29th nationally in rushing and the QB leader with a 105.5 average.

The next biggest offensive threat, though, was the 51 yards of backup tailback Deon Wallace.

As if he wasn’t doing enough, Desormeaux also had a pooch-punt attempt on UL’s first possession when the Cajuns faced a fourth-and-five from the UCF 34. The attempt went for only 13 yards and started the Knights at their 21.


UL has 14 players from Florida on its total roster, and 13 of them were on the travel roster for Saturday. Two were playing close to home, with freshman cornerback Orkeys Auriene from Daytona Beach-Mainland Regional HIgh and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Sharrick Moore from Tampa and Freedom High.

The only Florida product not on the trip was true freshman quarterback Brad McGuire from Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Two Florida players served on the four-man captain crew – Derrick Smith of Fort Lauderdale and Terrell Richardson of Pensacola. Other captains were Junior Ramos and Rodney Hardeway.


Showers were forecast for the Orlando area throughout Saturday afternoon, and they hit Bright House Networks Stadium 50 minutes before kickoff with a heavy shower that sent most non-essential personnel scurrying under the all-metal grandstand.

But, just like South Louisiana, the showers dissipated 15 minutes later and didn’t return until exactly five minutes after the game ended, when a quick shower doused the final spectators leaving the stadium.

Loving the Night Life

Saturday’s game was the first on-campus night game in UCF history, and in contrast to South Louisiana where night football is traditional, UCF officials were concerned about problems that darkness might bring.

Lights connected to generators were placed in dark areas of the campus, and university officials urged tailgaters to lock up equipment along with providing a storage place in the UCF Student Union. Several reports of stolen tailgate equipment were received after the Knights’ first two home games, both of which began at 3:30 p.m. and ended well before dark.

"Safety will be our biggest issue this game," said UCF vice president of strategic planning and initiatives Al Harris during the week prior to the game. "There’ll be a lot of people and cars moving around in the dark."

Speaking of Traffic

UCF is also struggling with traffic and parking problems related to the opening of the new facility. Eighty-four cars were towed last Saturday for the Memphis game after 25 were towed for the home opener against Texas – maybe not surprising since the nearest non-credentialed public parking to Bright House is approximately three-quarters of a mile from the stadium.

In addition, UCF officials on Saturday required RV’s to have upward exhaust vent attachments after high carbon monoxide levels were measured the first two weeks. Each RV was checked upon arrival for the vents.

Cajun Tailgating

At least one of those RV’s was on hand next to UCF’s baseball field where the UL Alumni Association held a tailgating party. Central Florida area alumni had the opportunity to gather with fans traveling with the UL squad as well as president Ray Authement, athletic director David Walker and university development officer David Comeaux.

Rod and Michelle Vargas of Winter Park coordinated the gathering for area alumni.

LAGNIAPPE: The Orlando Sentintel had a half-page-size cardboard insert in its Saturday paper with "Go Knights" on one side and "Cook the Cajuns … The Spice is Gone" on the other … Desormeaux could have had a fourth straight 100-yard rushing game except for picking up 13 lost yards on a pair of sacks … Attendance was announced at 42,646, which was probably about 12,000 more than were actually on hand.