Defense Gets Upper Hand in Football Scrimmage
Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID
BATON ROUGE - The defense held the upper hand in LSU's second full-scale scrimmage of the spring here on Saturday as the Tigers went through a 130-play workout in Tiger Stadium to conclude their third week of spring practice.
The Tigers will wrap up spring practice next week with four workouts, including the National L Club Spring Football Game on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. Free tickets to next week's National L Club Spring Football Game are currently available at www.LSUtix.net.
"We had a good, long work day," LSU coach Les Miles said. "The day was won by the defense; they were crisp and they tackled well. There were only a few missed tackles, if any. We had a couple of strips and turnovers, and the defense looked really good today. The thing that appears to me is the defense is just faster."
The Tiger defense forced a pair of turnovers during the workout, one coming on an interception by Patrick Peterson and the other coming on a fumble recovery by Kevin Minter. Sam Montgomery paced the Tiger defense with eight tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss, while Kelvin Sheppard added five tackles and Drake Nevis four tackles and a pair of sacks. Nevis also forced a fumble.
"I think Sam Montgomery and Ken Adams and those guys on the perimeter are just getting to the ball," Miles said. "Michael Brockers is becoming a bear to handle inside. He's becoming a very powerful man inside and Craig Loston, from the backside at safety, stepped in and made four key tackles. If he doesn't make those tackles, they are big plays. He brought them to the ground, and it's really kind of what the defense needed. (Kelvin) Sheppard had a big day, and Kevin Minter had really a productive day, but the defense overall appears to me to be a little bit more advanced than the offense at this time."
The offense did manage to score three touchdowns through the air and a pair of rushing touchdowns, one of which came on a 5-yard run by Stevan Ridley during the goal line portion of the scrimmage.
Individually, quarterback Jordan Jefferson connected on 6-of-13 passes for 94 yards and one touchdown, a 77-yard strike to Deangelo Peterson early in the scrimmage. Jefferson also added 26 yards rushing on three attempts.
"We are doing a nice job of throwing the ball," Miles said. "We made some big plays in the passing game. Our receivers made some really nice catches, but the consistency of that group must improve. We are very talented and we have ability. We have people that can make you miss, but they must improve. They are not at this point in time where they are going to be when fall comes around, and that improvement needs to take place."
Rueben Randle led all receivers in receptions with six for 41 yards, while Peterson had 116 yards on three catches. Chris Tolliver had two catches for 36 yards, Sheppard two receptions for 41 yards, and Terrence Toliver added a pair of receptions for 13 yards.
On the ground, Michael Ford led all rushers with 76 yards on 16 carries, while Ridley added 39 yards and one touchdown on 13 attempts. Shepard rushed five times for a total of 11 yards.
"I still think we are running the ball better than we have and I still think we are a very physical offense," Miles said. "We were inconsistent (on offense). We had guys who had penalties that just should not have been there, just motion penalties and offensive linemen who moved prematurely to the snap for no reason.
"The offense made plays. We scored four times, and some of them were as well executed plays as there was, but the offense has always been about consistency and the negative play cannot undermine that very, very strong, positive play that you're about to make. That's what happened today. There were some penalties that backed them up and some turnovers. It made the day not look as productive as it could have looked."
The Tigers also spent time on special teams during the scrimmage and kicker Josh Jasper connected on all five of his field goal attempts. Punter Derek Helton averaged 40.6 yards on six punts, while Jasper averaged 37.0 on six punts.
The Tigers did suffer one injury during the scrimmage as center T-Bob Hebert broke a bone in his lower leg and will miss the remainder of spring. Hebert is expected to undergo surgery this week and will be out of action for two months. Hebert will be back for training camp in August.
Josh Jasper 5-of-5 made: 29, 33, 35, 36, 39