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Football: Morel may be UL’s man

Football: Morel may be UL’s man

Football: Morel may be UL’s man

Connor Morel’s relief stint for UL’s football team Saturday probably won’t be his last Cajun appearance.

The senior quarterback from Destrehan, who skippered the Cajuns to a 38-28 win over Florida International after regular Michael Desormeaux was hurt, could get his first college start in his last college game this weekend.

Desormeaux was a questionable starter at FIU but led UL to touchdowns on its first two possessions.

However, he was hit while scrambling on the first play of the second quarter. He added bruised ribs to the clavicle injury he had late in UL’s 34-24 win at Middle Tennessee one week earlier.

"We’re going to see how the week goes," said Cajun coach Rickey Bustle when asked about this week’s starter. "His bruised rib isn’t in the same spot as before, but he’s still sore. Right now it looks like Connor would be the starter, but it’s a wait-and-see."

Morel, who had seen only mop-up duty in three games prior to Saturday, had taken virtually every practice snap with the number one offense last week.

"I took all the reps until Thursday and that’s a no-contact day," he said, "and that helped a lot. The whole week my mind-set was to be ready to play regardless, and it’s going to be pretty much the same thing this week. Mike’s going to play until we get the diagnosis that he can’t.

"I want to play, but it’s unfortunate that it’s at that expense. Mike and I are very good friends and he’s supporting me all the way. I really wish he hadn’t gotten hurt, but at the same time I’m glad I got a chance to play. It would be a nice Thanksgiving for me to get to play some."

Morel, whose father Tommy was a three-year starter at wide receiver for LSU from 1966-68, knew almost instantly that he was entering the game Saturday.

"When I saw Mike was on the ground and wasn’t getting up real quick, I immediately started warming up and went to the offensive line group," he said. "I told them this was where we were going to determine how this was going to come out. I wasn’t going to let Mike going down affect us winning that game, and they embraced me with open arms. Chris (Fisher, UL’s starting center) was the first one that told me they had my back, and I really appreciated that."

Just in case

Both Morel and Bustle were asked Monday about backup quarterbacks, specifically what would happen if Morel was injured. If Desormeaux was unavailable, the Cajuns’ options would be true freshmen Chris Masson or Brad McGuire, both planned to redshirt, or other roster players not listed as quarterbacks.

"We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it," Bustle said.

UL had running back Deon Wallace of Houston and wide receiver Richie Falgout of Lafayette High running as scout-team quarterback during Sunday’s evening practice. UL took its regular Monday off and will return to workouts today.

"Chris (Masson) told the coaches he’d do whatever was needed to help the team," Morel said. "He wasn’t selfish about having his redshirt taken, but it’s really doubtful he’d get his redshirt pulled this week. We’ve had Deon and Richie both running some with the second squad just in case."

Last time

The Cajuns have 22 listed seniors on this year’s roster, but two of them – defensive back Derik Keyes and defensive lineman Lanier Coleman – will not be with the group honored pregame Saturday on Senior Day. Those two have or are expected to fulfill NCAA requirements of completing 80 percent of their degree requirements in their first four years and gaining back their final year of eligibility next season.

Advertiser file photo

UL reserve quarterback Connor Morel (left) may be called upon again Saturday as the Cajuns attempt to finish the season a three-game winning streak, which could elevate UL as high as third in the Sun Belt race.