Offense Begins to Find Rhythm in Fourth Spring Practice


 

 

March 20, 2013

Roster Spring 2013Get Acrobat Reader | Video Coach Holtz Post-Practice Interview

RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's offense began to show signs of creating a rhythm as the team practiced for just over two hours on the Tech Practice Fields Wednesday afternoon in Ruston.

With the offensive game plan continuing to be installed and players getting more and more comfortable with the playbook, a pair of veteran receivers continued to make highlight-style plays as they rose above the rest.

"Paul Turner and D.J. Banks have had a great `season' so far when you go back to the 10 winter workouts we had and with the way they are leading and working," head coach Skip Holtz said. "Today, some guys showed up with the ball in the air. One of the things both Banks and Turner have the ability to bring is their running ability after they catch the ball. They are both elusive, they are both quick, they both have the chance to make something happen with it once they catch it and that is one of the advantages of to running the spread. We get the ball to our best athletes in space and we give them the opportunity to do something with it."

The ability for Banks and Turner to make impressive plays came with a much better practice out of the team's two centers, Alec Davis and Johnny Ginart. Monday's practice featured several bad snaps that had the offense sputtering through the two hour session with the inability to start a play.

"The snapping was much better today," Holtz recalled. "Before we couldn't run a play in team because the balls were on the ground, they were over the quarterback's head; they were to the left and to the right and it was like you have to be a half-gymnast around here to get a snap. But the guys have worked at it and I think Coach [Matt] Moore has done a great job working with our guys. At least if you can get a decent snap, you have a chance to run a play. You have a chance to put everything together but if you can't get a snap right then we are wasting 22 guys' time out there on the field. It is an important part."

The ability to make plays on offense also came from improved play by quarterback Scotty Young. A product of Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, Young joined the program last year after transferring from Texas Tech. Young is beginning to the show the ability to become the leading quarterback for the Bulldogs.

"I think what Scotty Young did yesterday and today shows he has a chance to be a really good player. Obviously we are a long way away from the position where they are really ready to be evaluated. But he is showing signs of taking control, stepping in the huddle, being an upperclassman, taking charge with the offensive line and stepping up as a leader. That is showing with his play."

In addition, running back Kenneth Dixon showed why he was a Freshman All-American in 2012 and chosen by the Touchdown Club of Columbus as a National Player to Watch in 2013.

"We kept blowing the whistle today anytime there was initial contact because we don't want anyone to get injured but when Kenneth Dixon was running I must have said that when this becomes live they are still going to have to try and tackle him. The defense is getting there and putting their hands on him but when you look at some of the moves he's made; it is not hard to see why he was such a phenom as a freshman and what he was able to do on the field," Holtz said of Dixon.

After a pair of practices in full pads this week, the team will practice in shells in Joe Aillet Stadium Friday afternoon.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

 

QUOTES

Head Coach Skip Holtz

"I know I keep saying this but I love the energy out here. We are starting to be able to execute on both sides of the ball. We are actually able to run a play, get a snap and have everybody run to the right side of the ball. The same on defense. There are so many times you run a good play on offense because we had a breakdown on defense and vice versa. We still have a long way to go and at the end of the day, if we are putting together a puzzle piece then we have the edges together, maybe. We still have a long way to go and we don't have to see the completed picture until we go to N.C. State and open the season but I like the way they are working, I like the way they are starting to come together right now and I like what I am seeing with their attitude."

On the centers:

"The snapping was much better today. Before we couldn't run a play in team because the balls were on the ground, they were over the quarterback's head; they were to the left and to the right and it was like you have to be a half-gymnast around here to get a snap. But the guys have worked at it and I think Coach [Matt] Moore has done a great job working with our guys. At least if you can get a decent snap, you have a chance to run a play. You have a chance to put everything together but if you can't get a snap right then we are wasting 22 guys' time out there on the field. It is an important part."

On the outside receivers:

"Paul Turner and D.J. Banks have had a great `season' so far when you go back to the 10 winter workouts we had and with the way they are leading and working. Hunter Lee and Andrew Guillot are some others that have done a great job. But today, some guys showed up with the ball in the air. One of the things both Banks and Turner have the ability to bring is their running ability after they catch the ball. They are both elusive, they are both quick, they both have the chance to make something happen with it once they catch it and that is one of the advantages of to running the spread. We get the ball to our best athletes in space and we give them the opportunity to do something with it."

On QB Scotty Young:

"I think what Scotty Young did yesterday and today shows he has a chance to be a really good player. Obviously we are a long way away from the position where they are really ready to be evaluated. But he is showing signs of taking control, stepping in the huddle, being an upperclassman, taking charge with the offensive line and stepping up as a leader. That is showing with his play."

On Kenneth Dixon:

"We kept blowing the whistle today anytime there was initial contact because we don't want anyone to get injured but when Kenneth Dixon was running I must have said that when this becomes live they are still going to have to try and tackle him. The defense is getting there and putting their hands on him but when you look at some of the moves he's made; it is not hard to see why he was such a phenom as a freshman and what he was able to do on the field."

On having depth and flexibility across the skill position:

"It gives you that kind of depth. When you look at our RB position, we have Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King and a lot of guys that are working hard. But you know that if you got in a fix and had some injuries, you could move a guy like Hunter Lee to RB and you could move a guy like Lyle Fitte to RB. That just creates more depth and gives you more flexibility as an offense to play a little bit more two-back sets than we have in the past."

On the defense:

"I think Kim Dameron and Ronnie Bradford have done a really good job of identifying what we have and what we are going to have to do to take steps forward. We had 32 seniors and nine of those guys were starters on the offensive side of the ball. We are going to have to win different ways than we did last year. We don't have the seasoned quarterback, the receivers with the experience and the four offensive linemen that we just lost. Right now, there is going to be a lot that will fall on the defense and the improvements that we have to make there and that is going to start in the secondary."