Bulldogs Go Through Final Tune-Ups before Spring Game

April 13, 2016

RUSTON, La. - And then there was one. Louisiana Tech went through its second-to-last session of the spring with a 90-minute practice session at Joe Aillet Stadium Wednesday afternoon with only the annual LA Tech Spring Game presented by Dairy Queen left on the spring schedule.

Wednesday’s session allowed the coaches and players to make corrections seen on film from last weekend’s scrimmage and serve as the final tune-up before the Spring Game presented by Dairy Queen as part of Louisiana Tech’s Loyal Blue Weekend.

“To come out here I thought we had a lot of intensity for a short day,” We have some class conflicts at 5 o’clock so we have to get everybody off the field a little bit early on Wednesdays. I thought they came out here and had some intensity today. We got some good team work and I thought it was a really productive practice for 14 days of spring.”

Reflecting back on the past 14 practice sessions, Holtz noted that several individuals have made progress in getting ready to become starters for the team this fall. Louisiana Tech is having to replace 13 starters off of last year’s 9-4 squad.

“The biggest thing that I have been pleased with is the progression we are making individually,” Holtz said of this year’s spring practice. “That is what this spring has been all about, trying to develop a depth chart. We don’t have a lot of guys returning with playing experience so there’s a lot of positions that are up for grabs. I think those guys are competing really hard and I think we have gotten better. As you improve the individual – which is what this spring has been all about – then you improve that side of the ball. If we improve both sides of the ball, then we will improve as a team. We are starting this one brick at a time this spring.”

Most notably the need to fill holes is on defense as that unit looks to replace eight starters from last year’s team including three of the four starters in the secondary having graduated.

 

 

“On defense I think Ephraim Kitchen has done a great job at corner,” said Holtz. “I think he has really progressed along at corner. DaMarion King has been a really nice addition. I’m taking anything away from the others – Secdrick Cooper has gotten a lot better, Xavier Woods too – but [Ephraim and King] are guys we didn’t know about coming into spring.”

The final spring session on Saturday may be the coveted spring game for fans but for the players it will be more like a final exam with coaches watching what they have learned over the previous 14 practices.

“It will be a final exam,” Holtz said of the Spring Game presented by Dairy Queen. “We have had some guys come out here, run around and do some good things but again you go back to where you put people in the stands and coaches get off the field and it is no longer practice, we are going to see how they handle the bright lights. We will see how they handle a game-like situation and if they can stay focused on what is going on between the lines and not get side tracked by the distractions that are going on outside the lines. That is why it will be a great opportunity on Saturday with people in the stands because the next time we will be on the field with this team and people in the stands will be at Arkansas. So we are going to get a real good evaluation on where these guys are coming out of Saturday.”

Saturday’s LA Tech Spring Game presented by Dairy Queen is scheduled to start at Noon CT at Joe Aillet Stadium with an Alumni Association-LTAC joint member tailgate at Argent Pavilion starting at 10 a.m. Those two events highlight a packed Saturday for Loyal Blue Weekend that also includes The Big Event, a home softball Conference USA doubleheader and a home Conference USA baseball game.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow Louisiana Tech on social media at @LATechFB (Twitter), /LATechFootball (Facebook) and @LATechFB (Instagram) or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

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