Defense Dominates in Tuesday's Louisiana Tech Practice


 

 

Aug. 14, 2012

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RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's defense showed off its "GATA" attitude Tuesday evening as Tommy Spangler's unit dominated throughout most of Tuesday's practice on the Tech Practice Fields.

The secondary recorded several pass break-ups while the offense seemed to have more dropped balls than normal in Tuesday's practice. However, that may have been more of a factor with different personnel taking the field for the offense than anything.

"I thought defensively our effort was really good," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "We flew around, made a lot of plays and it looked like we were playing faster, which is a good thing. We weren't as sharp as we have been on offense. We repped some different guys and rested some of our key players. We have to have younger guys that can step up and get good quality reps when we are trying to give someone some rest occasionally. I thought it was okay, it was a good day and we improved but execution-wise we have to be better on offense."

With the defense in the driver's seat Tuesday, the linebackers continue to get better as defensive coordinator Tommy Spangler and linebackers coach Jeff Koonz are working to replace Jay Dudley and Adrien Cole, the latter of whom was last year's Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

"It has been good," Dykes said of the linebackers advancing in camp. "Rufus Porter has been a good player around here for a while and he is kind of the leader of that group. He has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and I think he is primed to have a good year. Antonio Mitchum is improving daily. Solomon Randle is a guy that has been around for a long time and has a lot of experience. Chip Hester has been a good player for us as well and some young guys are starting to step up and play pretty well for us."

With every Louisiana Tech fall camp practice open, more than just fans continue to come out to campus to watch practice. Former NFL running back Ryan Moats and Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Dean have made appearances at camp along with several other former Louisiana Tech letterwinners.

"We have to do a good job of educating our players on how good the tradition of Louisiana Tech football is. Tremendous players have come through here through the years and have had great seasons. We have to celebrate that tradition and it is great when those guys want to come back and be a part of our program. It is incredibly important for us as a program, as a coaching staff and as players to welcome them back. They always have great wisdom to share with us, they always have stories to tell and they are inspiration for a lot of our players."

Dean will be one of three Louisiana Tech legends and Pro Football Hall of Famers that will be in Shreveport on Aug. 30 when Louisiana Tech opens the season against Texas A&M in a nationally televised game.

"It is really pretty remarkable that all three of those guys [Terry Bradshaw, Fred Dean, Willie Roaf] can be here and it is a testament to the way they love Louisiana Tech and the way they feel about our program. I am excited to see them all, I think it is going to be fun and I really hope we go out and play well and make them proud."

Louisiana Tech returns to practice on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the Tech Practice Fields.

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 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 defensively our effort was really good. We flew around, made a lot of plays and it looked like we were playing faster, which is a good thing. We weren't as sharp as we have been on offense. We repped some different guys and rested some of our key players. We have to have younger guys that can step up and get good quality reps when we are trying to give someone some rest occasionally. I thought it was okay, it was a good day and we improved but execution-wise we have to be better on offense."

On the linebackers:

"It has been good. Rufus Porter has been a good player around here for a while and he is kind of the leader of that group. He has worked tremendously hard in the offseason and I think he is primed to have a good year. Antonio Mitchum is improving daily. Solomon Randle is a guy that has been around for a long time and has a lot of experience. Chip Hester has been a good player for us as well and some young guys are starting to step up and play pretty well for us."

"That is a good solid group with those four guys at the top. They just need to keep improving as they have some big shoes to fill with Jay Dudley and Adrien Cole leaving. The good thing is I think it is going to be a good group. Solly [Solomon Randle] has experience and tremendous instincts and, as I said, Rufus is really primed to have a great year."

On the continuous appearance of former Tech and NFL greats at fall camp:

"We have to do a good job of educating our players on how good the tradition of Louisiana Tech football is. Tremendous players have come through here through the years and have had great seasons. We have to celebrate that tradition and it is great when those guys want to come back and be a part of our program. It is incredibly important for us as a program, as a coaching staff and as players to welcome them back. They always have great wisdom to share with us, they always have stories to tell and they are inspiration for a lot of our players."

On the uniqueness of having three former Pro Football Hall of Famers come back for the Texas A&M game:

"It is really pretty remarkable that all three of those guys [Terry Bradshaw, Fred Dean, Willie Roaf] can be here and it is a testament to the way they love Louisiana Tech and the way they feel about our program. I am excited to see them all, I think it is going to be fun and I really hope we go out and play well and make them proud."