Offensive Playbook Continues to Develop for Louisiana Tech


 

 

Aug. 13, 2012

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RUSTON, La. - The coaching staff continued to develop an already diverse offensive playbook Monday as Louisiana Tech practiced for two hours at the Tech practice fields following Sunday's day off.

After having gone 11 straight days of practicing, the team looked refreshed and sharp on the field in practice.

"I thought it was a good day," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "We came back out and you could tell we were a little fresher. I thought our pace of practice was better and I thought we had a good day. We were a little bit more spirited than we have been which was good. I think we needed a day off and it looks like most of our guys took advantage of it."

That mental and physical break from the grind of fall camp allowed both sides to further expand the playbook. That included the offensive staff installing a few different types of packages, further enhancing an already explosive and dangerous offense.

"We are just trying to mix some stuff up and do some different things. [The WildDawg formation] is always something that is going to be in our package to a degree. Part of getting that in your package is figuring out who can do it, who is good at it and who is comfortable doing it. That is what that was today, more than anything else it was just an opportunity for us to get some guys back there, let them react and see how they reacted.

Part of the package added today was putting running backs Ray Holley and Hunter Lee at receiver with Kenneth Dixon and/or Tevin King back at running back.

"More than anything else, those guys [Ray Holley and Hunter Lee] can play a variety of positions," explained Dykes. "They can play running back and they both have gotten a lot of reps there. I am pretty confident with what they can do there. Those are positions [inside receiver] where we can get creative on how to get them the ball. It is more of an experiment right now and we will see if it grows into anything."

Despite the new packages and plays, the highlight of the team period was safety Quinn Giles getting an interception and running it back for what would have been a score. Giles matured last season into a quiet but effective playmaker that tied Jay Dudley with a team-leading four interceptions.

"I have been really pleased with Quinn [Giles]," Dykes said. "He made a big play today as he intercepted a pass and ran it back in the team period. I thought he played well in the scrimmage, I really did. He is a guy that we need to play well and to me he has really improved his play from the spring to right now. I thought he had a good, solid camp and I have been really pleased with what I have seen from him."

Also in the secondary with Giles is another greatly improved player in Craig Johnson. Thrown into action early in the season when Ryan Williams was injured, Johnson stepped in quickly and adjusted to the game. He capped off the regular season by returning a punt for a touchdown in Tech's 44-0 win over New Mexico State to clinch the Western Athletic Conference championship.

"Craig [Johnson] played well for us last year," commented Dykes. "He is more mature, has a better sense of what is going on and good anticipation. That is one thing he does is that he has good instincts and he can anticipate guys. He is a big play guy; he makes a lot of turnovers, strips the ball, intercepts the passes and runs punts back. He does a lot of things for us and he is an exciting and dynamic player. He is a guy that really showed up in the scrimmage and made a lot of plays. We are going to need him to make those plays."

Louisiana Tech returns to the practice fields on Tuesday at 6 p.m. In a change from the original schedule, all practices this week will be at 6 p.m. including Saturday's open practice session at Independence Stadium in Shreveport. Following that practice Saturday will be a fan day in the stadium's Club Level.

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 @LATechFB or @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

 

QUOTES

Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes

"I thought it was a good day. We came back out and you could tell we were a little fresher. I thought our pace of practice was better and I thought we had a good day. We were a little bit more spirited than we have been which was good. I think we needed a day off and it looks like most of our guys took advantage of it."

On different offensive looks:

"We are just trying to mix some stuff up and do some different things. [The WildDawg formation] is always something that is going to be in our package to a degree. Part of getting that in your package is figuring out who can do it, who is good at it and who is comfortable doing it. That is what that was today, more than anything else it was just an opportunity for us to get some guys back there, let them react and see how they reacted.

On Tevin King's touchdown pass to Quinton Patton:

"Tevin [King] threw a pass. I don't know how many passes we will ever see Tevin throw - this might have been the last one. But it was good, so you never know maybe we will let him do it again."

On lining up running backs at inside receiver in practice:

"More than anything else, those guys [Ray Holley and Hunter Lee] can play a variety of positions. They can play running back and they both have gotten a lot of reps there. I am pretty confident with what they can do there. Those are positions [inside receiver] where we can get creative on how to get them the ball. It is more of an experiment right now and we will see if it grows into anything."

On injuries:

"We haven't had any problems really, guys have been pretty healthy. We just have some bumps and bruises, maybe a pulled muscle here or there. We held some guys today to get them additional rest after taking yesterday off. Sometimes we will try to hold them a day after [an off day] just to let them heal up. So we held more guys today than we normally would but they will be out there tomorrow."

On when they will begin Texas A&M prep:

"Not for a while. We need to focus on getting ourselves better, executing better, playing faster and the details. We don't want to get into A&M too soon. What you have to do is get yourself ready to play before you start worrying about anything else. The good thing is we are not too far away from that. I think we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of starting to have a game week here before long but we still have a good bit before we start focusing on that."

On Quinn Giles and Craig Johnson:

"I have been really pleased with Quinn [Giles]. He made a big play today as he intercepted a pass and ran it back in the team period. I thought he played well in the scrimmage, I really did. He is a guy that we need to play well and to me he has really improved his play from the spring to right now. I thought he had a good, solid camp and I have been really pleased with what I have seen from him."

"Craig [Johnson] played well for us last year. He is more mature, has a better sense of what is going on and good anticipation. That is one thing he does is that he has good instincts and he can anticipate guys. He is a big play guy; he makes a lot of turnovers, strips the ball, intercepts the passes and runs punts back. He does a lot of things for us and he is an exciting and dynamic player. He is a guy that really showed up in the scrimmage and made a lot of plays. We are going to need him to make those plays."