March 27, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech’s football team scrimmaged for over two hours at Joe Aillet Stadium as the Bulldogs passed the midway point through the spring’s practice schedule.
Wednesday’s session was the team’s eighth spring session out of a maximum 15 spring practices a team can have.
The scrimmage, the first for Tech this spring, was an evaluation scrimmage for the coaches to evaluate individual talent rather than the offense or defense as a whole.
Due to the setup of the scrimmage, there were only three scoring plays overall with Ryan Higgins throwing a pair of touchdown passes and Scotty Young adding a third. Higgins connected to Travis Reyes for a 23-yard score and then went deep to Paul Turner for a 51-yard touchdown. Young connected with D.J. Banks for a 23-yard touchdown.
Overall, Holtz was left wanting for more consistency from the quarterbacks.
“It was a mixed bag overall today from the quarterbacks,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “You would see a great throw and then the next play there would be a guy wide open and they would miss it. I don’t think we threw the ball very accurately today. I put white shirts on some of the younger quarterbacks to let them run … I thought our quarterback play was very inconsistent today across the board. There were some flashes but not what it needs to be.”
While the quarterbacks did not have a consistent performance in the scrimmage, unsurprisingly running back Kenneth Dixon showed that he has picked up right where he left off following a 2012 season where he was named a Freshman All-American.
“Well, you have to tackle him,” Holtz said of Dixon. “It is a different story than just saying you had him in two-hand touch. He runs hard. I told Coach Petersen I wasn’t looking to see him carry the ball 30 times today because I have enough on film of him from last year but I was impressed with the way he ran [today]. Right now I am more concerned with who is going to be his [number] two. Who will be number two if he is not there? If Tevin King is not there, who is going to be the guy that will step up into that role? I was impressed with what I saw out of Dixon today but the biggest thing I am concerned about in the fall is just the depth. I was looking as much at the back-ups as I was him. He is impressive.”
Throughout the scrimmage personnel had eight plays to do what they could, whether it be score a touchdown or make a stop.
“This wasn’t necessarily an offense-defense type of thing, this scrimmage was more of ‘He’s in there, get the ball to him.’ It wasn’t just about a first down and every drive started 80 yards away,” explained Holtz. “The offense only scored a couple times but they only had eight plays and had 80 yards to go. If they didn’t average 10 yards a play, they weren’t going to score today because every drive ended at eight plays whether they were on the one going in or whether they didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t so much the offense or defense as it was the individuals.”
One of the main concerns that showed in the first few practices came alive again as the centers struggled snapping the ball. The Bulldogs lost four starters on the offensive line including center Stephen Warner, an All-Western Athletic Conference First Team honoree in 2012 as well as a Capital One Academic All-District First Team award winner.
“Well, it is live [today] and we went eight-play series, they get tired then they start thinking about other things and then the ball goes right over everyone’s head,” said Holtz of the bad snaps. “We are wasting our time if we can’t get a good snap. I told the team that we are either going to learn to snap it or we are going to learn to get under center, one of the two. Those are really the only options because you can’t run an offense if you can’t get a snap. I thought they were pretty decent with the 1s and the 2s but right now our third – we don’t have a third center that we could even come close to resembling playing with. I bet we had five balls go over the quarterback’s head today and I believe all of them were with the 3s.”
Louisiana Tech will not return to practice until Wednesday, April 3 when the team will begin a more detailed installation of the offensive and defensive playbooks. That practice, the ninth of the spring, will start at 4 p.m. and will be open to the fans and media.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.