Louisiana Tech Breaks Camp with Mid-Afternoon Practice


 

 

Aug. 22, 2012

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RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech broke camp Wednesday and ended the three-week grind with a mid-afternoon practice on the Tech Practice Fields.

The coaches elected to hold practice in the afternoon for a test in the heat and to provide an extended period of rest with players getting Thursday off.

"We moved it [practice] up from 6 o'clock to 1 o'clock because we wanted to work in the heat of the day a little bit," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "I also wanted to let these guys get away for the next 48 hours until we come back and practice on Friday night. I feel good about where we are and I think we are in a good spot. Obviously we need to come back and have some really good practices the first part of next week as we get into game week but I think we are in a good place."

The defense continued to gel and made some impressive stops in team period including a pick-six by Dave Clark during a two-minute offense drill. After a few minor injuries earlier in camp, the defensive unit was back at full force Wednesday.

"I think defensively our line was more active [today]," Dykes said. "The thing that has stood out for the last three or four days is that those guys are playing faster and seem to be making more plays. Javontay Crowe coming back, Rufus Porter coming back, Chad Boyd coming back - a lot of guys were kind of dinged and we never really had our first group out there a whole lot. It is good to get those guys back, get some continuity and you can start to see the defense playing with confidence."

With those few nagging injuries the exception, Tech has not faced many major injuries at all throughout this year's preseason camp.

"A lot of it, honestly, is the way we practice," explained Dykes. "We try to do a good job of teaching them to take care of each other. The better athletes you have on your team, the fewer injuries you have, fewer guys falling on each other and causing significant injuries. A big part of it is it just being our third year and [players] just knowing how to practice and how to take care of each other. Also we have designed our workouts to make sure we are practicing our good (healthy) players and we didn't lose five or six guys the first week with pulled this or pulled that. It was a conscious effort to get our guys healthy, keep them healthy and keep practicing so we can improve."

Beginning Friday Louisiana Tech will begin a full game week with the following Thursday being the season opener against Texas A&M.

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 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

"We moved it [practice] up from 6 o'clock to 1 o'clock because we wanted to work in the heat of the day a little bit. I also wanted to let these guys get away for the next 48 hours until we come back and practice on Friday night. I feel good about where we are and I think we are in a good spot. Obviously we need to come back and have some really good practices the first part of next week as we get into game week but I think we are in a good place."

On the bright spots of Wednesday's practice:

"I think defensively our line was more active. The thing that has stood out for the last three or four days is that those guys are playing faster and seem to be making more plays. Javontay Crowe coming back, Rufus Porter coming back, Chad Boyd coming back - a lot of guys were kind of dinged and we never really had our first group out there a whole lot. It is good to get those guys back, get some continuity and you can start to see the defense playing with confidence."

On lack of injuries:

"A lot of it, honestly, is the way we practice. We try to do a good job of teaching them to take care of each other. The better athletes you have on your team, the fewer injuries you have, fewer guys falling on each other and causing significant injuries. A big part of it is it just being our third year and [players] just knowing how to practice and how to take care of each other. Also we have designed our workouts to make sure we are practicing our good (healthy) players and we didn't lose five or six guys the first week with pulled this or pulled that. It was a conscious effort to get our guys healthy, keep them healthy and keep practicing so we can improve."

On freshmen that could have a role this fall:

"I think the two freshmen running backs, Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King. I think they both can play some for us and definitely contribute to some depth that we have there at that position. I think Ryan Higgins might have a chance to get some reps at some point. He has had a really good camp, is playing with confidence and is further along than any of us thought he would be at this point."

"Defensively, we have a bunch of guys. I think all five of the DBs potentially have a chance to get on the field this year, especially on special teams. Vontarrius Dora is a redshirt freshman and we anticipate him playing quite a bit for us. There are a lot of guys [that could play this year] and that is good because it means we had a good recruiting class. We are not counting on those guys right now but it is good that they are giving us depth but they don't have to go out and start against Texas A&M right now."

On the fall camp schedule:

"We had a couple of lighter morning workouts that were almost walk-throughs and we had three or four of those days where we got some work but we are going to come in at right around the maximum number of practices you are allowed to have. Again, that is part of the reason why we stayed healthy is that we didn't over tax them and we got a lot of stuff out of our walk-throughs. Again, we feel like we are in a pretty good place."