March 24, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's defense stood tall on the backs of a tenacious front four as Tommy Spangler's GATA defense dominated most of the team's first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning at Joe Aillet Stadium.
Saturday's session lasted close to two full hours on a warm early spring morning in front of a couple hundred fans who turned out to get their fill of football for the week.
The Bulldog defensive front tallied eight sacks and two QB hurries and an impressive 18 tackles for a loss in all Saturday. Rufus Porter, looking to replace the recently graduated Jay Dudley, led the defense with eight total tackles and two tackles for a loss. Malcolm Pichon added seven tackles with two for a loss while IK Enemkpali recorded two sacks out of his three total tackles.
After an impressive first series that saw the first team offense drive 80 yards for a touchdown - capped off by a 15-yard run by Tevin King - the wide receivers struggled catching the ball, dropping 23 of the day's 28 incomplete passes in an uncharacteristic manner for the Bulldog receiving corps.
"I thought the scrimmage was back and forth," head coach Sonny Dykes said. "The offense just couldn't string things together but that is typically when you are in a game situation for the first time and all you have been doing is practicing plays. You have down and distance to worry about and having to execute in certain situations. There were a lot of good plays, just couldn't string things together."
Colby Cameron was 17-for-33 for 127 yards on the day with one touchdown while Nick Isham was 11-for-19 for 130 yards and one touchdown. Zach Griffith, the only quarterback to throw an interception in the scrimmage, was 9-for-13 for 72 yards and one score.
D.J.Banks, who impressed the crowd with a 61-yard touchdown reception from Isham, led the receivers with five catches for 114 yards. Quinton Patton, who surprisingly had five dropped passes, still managed to catch five passes for 56 yards.
Hunter Lee was impressive on the ground (10 carries for 58 yards) and in the air (four catches for 16 yards) as he tallied 74 total offensive yards in the scrimmage. King, who scored the first touchdown of the scrimmage, ran 13 times for 48 yards. Marlon Seets, a third string walk-on running back, burned several members of the third string defense as he ran the ball 13 times for 108 yards.
The offensive ground game was impressive with 307 yards on 61 carries and two touchdowns. Walk-on tailback Rickey Courtney had the longest run of the day with a 63 yard score.
Myles White, who dropped four passes and tallied 27 receiving yards on four catches, said Saturday's performance was sort of a wake-up call for the receivers in particular.
"The struggles came from a lack of fundamentals and focus. I thought we could have made a lot more plays and left them on the field but that is all going to come with time and we will make those plays. It is almost like a blessing in disguise as it will make us come out and work twice as hard. It is like a slap in the face but we needed it."
Louisiana Tech returns to action on Monday at 4 p.m. with the team's seventh practice of the spring.
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