Defense Flies Around the Field in Mini-Scrimmage
April 1, 2016
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech practiced in full pads in what seemed like a two-part practice Friday at Joe Aillet Stadium with individual work making up the first half and a situational scrimmage wrapping things up over the latter half.
Friday’s session wrapped up a short week of work for the Bulldogs and turned the corner as the team is about to enter the final stretch of the spring with only six practices remaining.
Aggressive play dominating the scrimmage session on both sides of the ball as players were doing anything but going through the motions.
“It was almost like two practices in one,” Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. “We got some work in out here. I love the intensity and I love the hitting. We are getting some great evaluations of some guys in game-like situations and in scrimmage-like situations. [We are seeing] what people are going to do in the open field, the new coaches on the field, learning the offense and defense. I really like the attitude and the aggressiveness on both sides. There was a lot of intensity. We have to learn to be able to play in between the whistles a little bit more but that also spurs the emotion of practice.”
While the scrimmage was a scripted, schematic session with set down and distance settings preset by the coaching staff, the defense limited the offense to only one big play with Ryan Higgins finding Carlos Henderson in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Credit a high-flying defensive unit that seemed to be all over the field at certain points of the scrimmage.
“Right now they are doing some really good things,” Holtz said of the defense. “This became a little more of a scheme-oriented scrimmage than I wanted. You are trying to evaluate and it became a little bit of a blitz fest. I think they are flying around. They know what they are doing, they are flying around and they are doing some good things. One of the things that our defense does such a great job of is disguising things and trying to create confusion and disruption. It is great for us offensively because we have to learn to play against it in the fall. But I like the way they are flying around. I think we have a pretty good concept of what we are trying to do. We gave up one big play on defense but for the most part they did a pretty good job of flying around and knowing what they are doing.”
More importantly than just a successful day for the defense was big plays made by some of the younger players. Despite the defensive unit registering several pass break-ups and quarterback hurries, the big play of the scrimmage was Theron Williams’ interception return for a touchdown. He is just one of several younger players that saw game action and experience last season instead of redshirting their rookie campaign.
“I think Theron Williams is really growing up,” Holtz said.” I look at a guy like Jaqwis Dancy who didn’t get a chance last year to carry the ball a lot but played a lot on special teams. Some of the freshmen we played last year we played them because we knew they were going to have to play a major role for us this year and I didn’t want the first game they played in to be one where they play 60 plays. So I think they are doing a really nice job. The quarterback threw a high ball, which I hated it, but it was great to see Theron make that play, pull it down and take it to the house.”
Louisiana Tech returns to spring practice Monday afternoon.
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