home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Football: UL ready for more – Cajuns not tired of Big Easy festivities

Tim Buckley, Daily Advertiser, Dec. 18, 2013

UL linebacker Justin Anderson, left, receives a pair of New Orleans beads upon his arrival for the New Orleans Bowl at the Marriott in New Orleans on Tuesday.

UL linebacker Justin Anderson, left, receives a pair of New Orleans beads upon his arrival for the New Orleans Bowl at the Marriott in New Orleans on Tuesday. / Brad Kemp/RaginCajuns.com

NEW ORLEANS — To UL linebacker Boris Anyama, it doesn’t really matter how the Ragin’ Cajuns spend the postseason – as long as they’re playing in a bowl.

Any time.


“If we would have (been invited) to the Red Beans and Rice Bowl,” he said, “I would have been like, ‘Let’s go.’ ”

Instead, after flirting with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport and the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, the Cajuns are playing for a third straight year in the New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome – sticking with a steady diet of gumbo and staying in what has become their de facto December home away from home.

Sun Belt Conference co-champs UL, seeking a third-straight 9-4 season and a third-consecutive New Orleans Bowl win, will face 7-5 Tulane in an ESPN-televised Saturday night.

The Cajuns arrived here Tuesday afternoon to some familiar faces and an even-more-familiar locale, the sounds of New Orleans blaring away as players and coaches disembarked from three big busses just like they did before beating San Diego State in 2011 and beating East Carolina in 2012.

“I’m gonna tell you: It never gets old,” coach Mark Hudspeth said, “pulling up in front of the Marriott here on Canal, with the band playing, and the players’ eyes as big as saucers, excited about a week in New Orleans – especially with the hospitality the city opens up for us.

“We’re really ready to play,” he added, “but, obviously, to have a little fun.”

It started with the music, but didn’t stop there.

“I was looking forward to hearing the trombones and the tubas playing along with the snare drum,” junior running back Alonzo Harris said.

“On the way over here I was thinking about what happens on the first day,” added Andre Huval, UL’s senior center from St. Thomas More High.

“You know the band’s gonna be here playing, they’re gonna give you beads when you walk in. It’s just an awesome experience.”

Over the course of three years, Harris has collected his fair share of beads.

He’s evidently made some friends at the Marriott as well.

“It’s kind of old, but it’s still a great feeling – just to be able to have an opportunity to come back to his beautiful city and try to win another bowl game,” the Alabaman said.

“I’m quite sure the hotel staff, they pretty much know all of us pretty well,” Harris added. “I know a couple of people at the front desk. It just feels like home.”

This time, though, it’s really Tulane’s house that UL be will playing in.

The Green Wave will be playing for a final time in their longtime home, the Superdome, before moving next season to a new on-campus stadium.

“Our third year in a row – but their home stadium,” Hudspeth said.

“It will be, I think, just a lot of fun,” he added. “A great reward for two really football teams.”

That includes one playing in its own front yard, but another – UL – feeling as if it’s right in its own backyard.

“Our guys got right off the bus, and they knew right where check-in was,” Hudspeth said. “Didn’t need to be escorted to their rooms; they know where our meeting rooms are, they know where meals will be served.”

And maybe, once there, at some point this week, they’ll even find some red beans and rice to go with that gumbo.