Running Backs Shine as Louisiana Tech Practices in Full Pads


 

 

Aug. 11, 2012

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RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech practiced for almost two-and-a-half hours Saturday evening as the Bulldogs donned full pads for the first time this fall.

The coaching staff had an extended team period built into the practice script for a closer look at game situations.

"Today's practice was good," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "I think it [the extended team period] was really pretty clean. Colby had a running back knocked into him and that is why he threw an interception on the first drive but that is only the second or third interception he has thrown all of fall camp. He has done a good job of taking care of the ball. It was a little bit slow [to start] but we picked it up. We mixed and matched and I bet we played 10 different line combinations, rotating guys in and out. We tried to rest some guys that needed some rest. Quinton Patton didn't play much."

The running backs were the highlight of the extended team period and their day was highlighted after practice as former Louisiana Tech and NFL running back Ryan Moats talked to the position group for almost 15 minutes.

While the veteran backs Ray Holley and Hunter Lee didn't get much action in the extended team period, the rookies Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King both took advantage of their time on the field.

"We knew Kenneth [Dixon] was a pretty physical runner but didn't know how that would translate because we haven't been tackling," said Dykes. "I thought he ran extremely hard, he was hard to tackle, he showed a little bit more elusiveness in the open field than he has up to this point and he caught the ball well. What he has to do and a lot of young running backs have to do is learn to pick up the blitz in pass protection. But he caught the ball well, ran routes well, has good ball security, ran tough and was productive."

Meanwhile Tevin King showed how dangerous he can be in the open field.

"Tevin was what we expected; hard to tackle in the open field, quick and he is going to be an exciting back. I think it is going to be a really good combination and obviously with Ray and Hunter I think it is going to be a really good group," said Dykes.

Louisiana Tech will get a day off from practice on Sunday but not from football as the team will host an Autograph and Meet-and-Greet session for fans on the West concourse of Joe Aillet Stadium beginning at 2:30 p.m. Coaches and student-athletes will be on hand to sign autographs and Aramark will be providing fans with free popcorn and drinks.

Louisiana Tech opens its season Aug. 30 in a historic matchup against SEC foe Texas A&M at Shreveport's Independence Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Season tickets as well as individual game tickets can be purchased by calling 318-257-3631, emailing techtickets@latech.edu or by logging onto www.LATechsports.com.

Fans are also encouraged to sign up their young Bulldog and Techster fans with a membership to the LA Tech Kids Club (only $40 per year gets free admittance to all LA Tech regular season, on-campus home events as well as numerous other benefits).

Tech will host a pair of team autograph sessions in the coming weeks as Bulldog fans can meet this year's players and coaches on Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium and Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Independence Stadium. For more information, log onto www.LATechsports.com.

Tech fans are also encouraged to financially support the University's dedicated and talented student-athletes, coaches and staff by joining the Louisiana Tech Athletic Club (LTAC). As the University approaches a new era of Conference USA membership starting July 1, 2013, these types of financial gifts are vital to the continued success. Anyone interesting in becoming a member of LTAC can do so by calling Adam McGuirt at 318-255-7950. More information can be found online at www.LATechsports.com or at www.LATechAlumni.org.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

 

QUOTES

Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes

"Today's practice was good. I think it [the extended team period] was really pretty clean. Colby had a running back knocked into him and that is why he threw an interception on the first drive but that is only the second or third interception he has thrown all of fall camp. He has done a good job of taking care of the ball. It was a little bit slow [to start] but we picked it up. We mixed and matched and I bet we played 10 different line combinations, rotating guys in and out. We tried to rest some guys that needed some rest. Quinton Patton didn't play much."

"It was good to see Kenneth Dixon play as well as he played. Tevin King really did some good things as well. We know what we have with Ray [Holley] and we know what we have with Hunter [Lee] so we wanted to see what we have with those young guys and they held up. I was really pleased with what they did."

"We knew Kenneth [Dixon] was a pretty physical runner but didn't know how that would translate because we haven't been tackling. I thought he ran extremely hard, he was hard to tackle, he showed a little bit more elusiveness in the open field than he has up to this point and he caught the ball well. What he has to do and a lot of young running backs have to do is learn to pick up the blitz in pass protection. But he caught the ball well, ran routes well, has good ball security, ran tough and was productive."

"Tevin was what we expected; hard to tackle in the open field, quick and he is going to be an exciting back. I think it is going to be a really good combination and obviously with Ray and Hunter I think it is going to be a really good group."

On if the offense was bad or if the defense was good:

"Being an offensive coach you are always going to say it was the offense but I think our defense played well. Consistently, our defensive line got pretty good push and pass rush up front. Certainly when we had our second and third offensive lines in we had tremendous pass rush. Those guys got a really good push and pushed the guys back into the quarterback. I thought that part of it was good. Rufus Porter continued to make a lot of plays like he has to this point and I was really happy with his performance today. Jamel Johnson did some good things and I thought our corners played pretty well. They made some competitive plays and knocked some balls out when they needed to. Overall, I was really pleased with a lot of different things. Obviously we will look at the film and we will find a million things we have to get corrected but my first impression was really favorable."