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Football: Playing Broadway wasn’t automatic

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, Dec. 24, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — The decision for UL starting quarterback Terrance Broadway to play in last Saturday night’s 24-21 New Orleans Bowl win over Tulane was no snap of the thumb and fingers.

Not after he had broken a bone in the forearm of his right, throwing arm just three weeks earlier against UL Monroe, then underwent surgery two days later to insert a protective plate.

There was, after all, next season to keep in mind – one in which Broadway will be a senior, and the Ragin’ Cajuns offense will return all of its starters except center Andre Huval, slot receiver Darryl Surgent and interchangeable tight ends Ian Thompson and Jacob Maxwell.

The Cajuns return running backs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire, starting wideouts Jamal Robinson and James Butler, and starting linemen Mykhael Quave, Daniel Quave, Octravian Anderson and Terry Johnson.

But making the decision ultimately turned out to be the right call for coach Mark Hudspeth and the Cajuns.

“Having him on the field gave us the leadership, gave our team confidence,” Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth prepped reserve quarterbacks Jalen Nixon and Brooks Haack to go in case Broadway could not.

Nixon wound up playing; Haack, UL’s No. 2 QB most of the season, did not.

“They got all the reps during camp,” the Cajun coach said, “then if he (Broadway) happened to be ready game day, or leading up to this, then we were gonna go with him. … And we felt like he was ready enough, and sure enough he was. Made some outstanding plays.

“The more we saw in practice (last week) the more confidence we got in him,” Hudspeth added. “But the thing: We just didn’t want to hurt the guy. He’s got a whole ’nother year coming back. … We didn’t want to risk his career over one game.”

Broadway, though, didn’t seem to mind.

“I knew Coach Hud wasn’t going to hold me back if I wanted to play,” he said.

And he did want to play.

Despite playing with a brace on his arm, Broadway wound up throwing for 143 yards, going 12-of-19.

He was picked off twice, but handed the 24-21 lead to Nixon when he went down with cramps early in the fourth quarter.

“I hadn’t practiced (or) participated in any activities since I got hurt and after my surgery, l so I was just out of shape,” Broadway said of having to exit early. “My body wasn’t hydrated enough. But I didn’t hurt my arm again, and that’s a blessing.”

Broadway’s 143 passing yards Saturday left him just seven short of leapfrogging Jon Van Cleave (5,267 yards) for fourth place on UL’s all-time passing-yards leaders list, which is topped by Jake Delhomme (9,216), No. 2 Jerry Babb (6,241) and No. 3 Brian Mitchell (5,447).

“Obviously his health kept him from doing what he normally would do at times,” Hudspeth said. “But, man, just what a competitor, what a leader, he is for our program, and I’m very proud that he’s our quarterback.”