Bulldogs Complete Second Scrimmage of Spring Football
April 4, 2009
RUSTON--The Louisiana Tech football team conducted a fairly even 101 play intra-squad scrimmage Saturday at Joe Aillet Stadium that saw big plays on both offense and defense.
"I was a great example of an ebb and flow of a football game," Tech head coach Derek Dooley said. "The first five drives we were about as dominating a defense as you can ask for and from a defensive standpoint that's encouraging, but from an offensive standpoint that s equally as disappointing. They were just getting out hit, out effort, out toughed and frustration set in. After halftime to the offenses credit they rallied and went eight plays, touchdown then six plays for a touchdown. So it's a great lesson for both the offense and the defense. For the defense they learned they can never complacent and the offense learned you never quit believing."
The Bulldog defense was a force to begin the scrimmage, not allowing the Tech offense to move the ball by any means. The first team offense was held to zero touchdowns on its first five drives before scoring touchdowns on the next two consecutive drives.
On the fifth drive of the scrimmage by the first team offense, it was sophomore cornerback Darrius Terry who came up with the big play on the defensive side of the football. Terry intercepted a Ross Jenkins pass and returned it 55 yards, untouched, for a touchdown.
The offense, however, would not get discouraged and would answer with a touchdown of their own on the very next drive. On a second and ten play from the 35 yard-line, running back Daniel Porter took a handoff around the right end for a typical highlight reel, pinball like thirty yard run down to the five to set up an eventual one yard TD run by Myke Compton.
Porter led all Tech running backs with seven rushes for 62 yards and a touchdown while also hauling in four catches for 45 yards. Compton was second to Porter with 13 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, followed closely by Allen Gilbert (12-35) and Zach Booker (10-37).
"Daniel Porter is the obvious spark plug for our offense," Dooley said. "If he's not doing it who else do we have is the concern I have. Livas wasn't out there, Richie Casey wasn't out there and Dennis Morris wasn't out there. So we had three potential playmakers on offense that didn't scrimmage because they are a little banged up and I think that affected us, but we need to find ways to get the ball to Houston Tuminello and Dustin Mitchell and some other guys as well."
On the seventh drive by the first team offense the passing game would come out of its shell. Jenkins would go 3-for-4 passing on the drive for 62 yards and a touchdown. Jenkins began the drive with a thirty yard completion to Porter and a twelve yard completion to Mitchell. On a third and twelve from the twenty yard -line, the junior quarterback would complete a pass t o receiver R.P. Stuart around the fifteen yard-line where Stuart, who recorded three catches for 31 yards, juked one defender before fighting his way to the end zone for a touchdown. Jenkins ended the scrimmage 13-of-25 for 167 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
"I think Ross has a lot of improving to do," Dooley said. "I think we have a tendency to put too much on him because he's a smart guy. One thing that'll help Ross is when other guys play better too."
"The two guys I've really been pleased with on offense have been Cudahy Harmon and Jared Miles up front, relative to how they were last fall to now. I've seen tremendous growth and when I say growth, part of that is a reduction in weight. They are growing the right way which is losing weight and they're getting better technique wise. Those two guys to me are encouraging and Houston Tuminello has had a great spring at receiver. Richie Casey, when he's healthy has done some good things at receiver also. Those two guys have really looked good at receiver."
The second team offense wasted little time putting points on the board as quarterback Randy Hardin led the second team to a seven play drive which resulted in redshirt freshman place kicker John Hinton connecting on a 46-yard field goal.
The second team defense would settle down a little after the field goal, not allowing the second team offense to score again until their sixth drive. On the drive Hardin would complete two passes for big plays. On the second play of the drive, the sophomore transfer from Southern Miss connected with redshirt freshman tight end Chandler Spence for a 38 yard gain. Hardin's next big play would come on third and twelve from the twelve yard line when he placed a ball just over the defenders shoulder for Tuminello to make a great grab in the back of the end-zone. Hardin went 7-of-14 for 85 yards and a touchdown on the day.
Spence had three catches on the day for 45 yards while Tuminello pulled in three catches for 25 yards and the touchdown.
"I thought Randy Hardin did some good things out there as he continues to progress," Dooley said. "He hasn't played in a long time. His last game was two or three years ago as a senior in high school. He redshirted at Southern Miss. then he transferred and had to sit out while also being hampered with a toe injury. So I'm pleased with how he's developing and Colby Cameron too. They are just so young and have a ways to go, but he did some nice things as well as making some young mistakes."
"At the end of the scrimmage we had three situations," Dooley said. One where we were up eight, one where we were down eight and one where we were tied with about three and a half minutes left to play and we played till zero and there's a lot we can learn from those situations. So we kind of had a first half, second half and end of the game situations today."
The first situation began with the first team offense up eight. The defense would force the offense to a three and out to give the second team offense a chance to tie the game, but the offense would falter as the defense forced a turnover on downs to allow the first team offense to kneel the ball a secure the win.
The second situation began with the first team offense down eight points and needing a score to tie the game. Again, the defense would hold strong forcing a turnover on downs which allowed the second team offense to run out the clock for the win this time around.
The third situation was a tie ballgame with the first team offense starting out with the ball on their own 35 yard-line. On the first play of the drive Jenkins hit Adrian Linwood, who had two catches for 48 yards, on a fly pattern for a forty yard gain down to the defense's 25 yard-line. However, the defense would stay strong holding the offense to a 29-yard field goal by Hinton.
The second team offense would then come on, down three with 1:22 to go in the game. Hardin and the second team offense would not be able to muster any sort of a drive turning the ball over on downs and ending the scrimmage.
Defensively the Bulldogs recorded four sacks and one interception by Terry on the day.
Linebacker Dominique Faust (11 tackles), safety Tarence Calais (8 tackles), safety Antonio Baker (8 tackles) and junior college transfer corner back Olajuwon Paige (7 tackles) led the Bulldogs in stops.
"On defense we have Tarence Calias stepping up and I think Terry Carter is playing better," Dooley said. "Baker and D'Anthony (Smith) are who they are, after that you just kind of shake it up to see who is going to step up that day."
Punters Cade Glasgow and Steven Ensminger combined for six points and a 24.5 yard per punt average today. Hinton went 2-for-4 on field goals for the day, connecting from 46 and 29 while missing from 42 and 32. Senior place kicker Joel Hall was 0-for-1 on the day on field goals missing just wide on a 42 yard attempt.
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.
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