March 28, 2009
RUSTON -- Louisiana Tech head coach Derek Dooley said he saw positives and negatives on both side of the football during Saturday morning's 96-play intra-squad scrimmage conducted at Joe Aillet Stadium.
"I see plays being made on both sides of the football," Dooley said. "It's encouraging. Today's scrimmage allowed the guys to see what impacts winning and losing football games. We had a lot of turnovers; the offense has to learn to protect the football.
"It wasn't sloppy today and that was good. The weather was cool and so the guys didn't get fatigued. We weren't flopping around out there. It's a sign that we have some experience. The guys were playing hard and trying to execute the plays and that's encouraging."
The Bulldog offense, which returns the vast nucleus of last year's unit, scored on four of the first eight possessions of the morning.
Senior running back Daniel Porter scored the first touchdown of the day on a 41-yard run around the left end where he went untouched to the endzone, making an inside cut around the 20-yard line that left a would-be tackler in his wake.
Porter, who ended the day with 53-yards rushing on seven carries, also scored on an 11-yard burst up the middle just two possessions later.
"Daniel Porter showed what he is today," Dooley said. "He made two nice runs for scores. Cruz Williams also made a nice touchdown catch. We have to continue to make big plays on offense and try not to give them up on defense."
Two possessions following Porter's second score of the day, transfer quarterback Randy Hardin found Williams in the left corner of the endzone on a 17-yard score. Williams, who recorded three receptions for 35 yards, leaped high over the defender to pull down the ball on the third-down and goal play.
Hardin completed 7-of-13 passes for 48 yards and one score. Jenkins ended the day 9-of-23 for 105 yards and one interception.
"Ross has had a solid spring for us," Dooley said. "We are farther along at quarterback than we have been in the previous springs. Ross still has some decision-making to work on. He took some unnecessary risks today."
Red-shirt freshman kicker John Hinton connected on a 37-yard field goal early in the scrimmage but missed his next two attempts while senior place-kicker Joel Hall was 2-of-3 in field goal attempts, connecting from 35 and 31 yards.
Cade Glasgow and Steven Ensminger combined to punt six times for a 32.3 yard per punt average.
"My biggest concern is our specialists," Dooley said. "We have a new kicker and a new punter. We don't know who our kicker will be yet. Cade Glasgow is our punter right now, and Steven Ensminger is backing him up. We have a long, long, long way to go.
"It can be the difference is a number of ball games during the year. It affects field position. It's an area we were solid in last year. I'll lose some sleep over it between now and the fall."
The Bulldog's only other score of the day came on a R.P. Stuart four-yard run on an end around play in the 19th offensive series of the day.
Defensively, the Bulldogs forced four turnovers on the day while also recording eight sacks as Deon Young and Darrius Terry registered interceptions and Christian Lacey and Solomon Randle recovered fumbles.
"In the secondary, we are very far along at safety," Dooley said. "We have two outstanding safeties (in Young and Antonio Baker) and then Tank Calais is having a great spring for us. We have four corners (in Terry, Terry Carter, Josh Victorian, and Olajuwan Paige) who are very young. We are young on the perimeter and experienced inside in the secondary."
After the opening eight possessions, the Bulldog defense settled down and allowed only two scores with Stuart's four-yard touchdown run capping a drive that started inside the red zone.
Tech returns to practice Tuesday as the Bulldogs continue preparations for the T-Day Spring Game April 11 at 1 p.m.
Season tickets for the 2009 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by logging onto www.latechsports.com or calling 318-257-3631.