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Smith fired as Cajuns Defensive Coordinator

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NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Nevada vs UL Lafayette Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

24-Hours after losing to Boise State 45-10, Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth announced that defensive coordinator Melvin Smith "has been relieved of his duties effective immediately."

Smith, who was Hudspeth’s position coach at Delta State in ‘90 and ‘91, was starting his second year as the defensive coordinator of the Ragin’ Cajuns. He came to UL after being an assistant coach for close to 20 years in the SEC. His stops included Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn.

“We appreciate everything that Melvin has done for us since coming here, and we wish he and his family nothing but the best in the future,” Hudspeth said in a statement released by the program Sunday afternoon. “Making a change is never easy, but we feel this was the necessary thing to do for the success of our program.”

This coaching change should have minimal effect on a Cajun defense that gave up 426 yards through the air and another 158 on the ground for a total of 584. Second year inside linebacker’s coach and former Southeastern Louisiana head coach, Mike Lucas, will fill in the vacancy for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The Cajuns defense fielded several players that are either young or transfers that have not played in the system for a long period of time. As the season progresses, expect this group to start to gel when conference play rolls around.