April 6, 2010
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's defense dominated in the Bulldogs first spring practice since Thursday, scoring three touchdowns in the team period, as Tech worked out in helmets and shoulder pads Tuesday evening.
The team's practice, which began at a late announced time of 6 p.m. Tuesday, showed the defense step up and perform well after four days off while the offense struggled. The defense scored three touchdowns during the team period with a fumble recovery in the end zone and a Terry Carter interception on the two-yard line as he tip-toed into the end zone.
"I thought the defense did a really good job today," said Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. "It was one of their better practices. They flew around, really played well and did a good job of creating a lot of turnovers. They really looked sharp and it was probably their best day. They are really starting to gel together as a unit. Those guys have been doing a good job of playing the football in the air and creating turnovers, gang tackling and stripping the ball out. They are doing a great job of making plays."
While the coaches took some comfort in the performance of the defense, they also had concerns over the way the offense performed during the team's 11th practice of the spring.
"It is like anything else in the spring, when the defense does a great job then you worry a lot about the offense," explained Dykes. "We have to do a better job of improving our ball security. We're losing the football and we have to do a better job of competing. I felt like the defense just handed it to the offense today and these guys need to answer the bell."
Part of the reason why the defense was able to be so successful was the strong play of the defensive line, causing disruptions to and constantly pressuring the quarterbacks.
"We did a good job of getting a pass rush today," Dykes said. "The offensive line, up until this practice, has really played pretty solid as a group. I think a lot of that has to do with the way our defensive line is improving and getting better and playing at a high level right now."
As the team enters the final week of spring practice and with the T-Day Spring Game set for Saturday at noon at Joe Aillet Stadium, Dykes and the coaching staff is looking for the team to renew their focus down the home stretch of the spring season.
"The thing is at this point, and it is this way with every team, you get about 11 or 12 practices into spring and you have to do a good job of focusing and concentrating and trying to grind through it," said Dykes. "We showed some signs today of being a little softer than I wanted us to be and not competing at the level that they need to compete at. That's the thing I was really disappointed with today."
And in a recurring theme from last season, the coaching staff is looking for leaders to emerge on the team, particularly during times of adversity like the offense faced Tuesday.
"We have seen some leaders emerge," Dykes said. "Leaders have to be able to come out when things are not going well and right now that is something we have to learn. That comes as you become more confident and believe in yourself and what you are doing more and more. That is still a work in progress and we have to try to develop the leadership. We also have to be able to be leaders when things aren't going well because that is going to happen from time-to-time in ball games."
In its final week of spring practice, Louisiana Tech is gearing up for its annual T-Day Spring Game set for Saturday, April 10 at 12 noon at Joe Aillet Stadium. Admission is free to fans and Tech's Kid Zone, complete with inflatables and face painting, will be set up and available to all kids on the south hill inside the stadium.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.