BATON ROUGE -- Junior running back Stevan Ridley rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown and redshirt freshman safety Craig Loston picked off a pass for a score as the White team defeated the Purple team, 24-9, in the National L Club Spring Game on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.
The game culminated a successful spring for the LSU football team, who opens the 2010 season against North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 4 in the Georgia Dome. The season-opener will be televised nationally by ABC and kickoff at 7 p.m. CT.
Ridley finished with 13 carries and set the tone for Purple team with seven carries for 70 yards on the game's first drive. He broke open a 25-yard run before scoring from four yards out to culminate a 10-play, 80-yard drive in the first five minutes. Ridley tallied 11 rushes for 94 yards in the first quarter alone.
"We put a premium on running the football," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "I felt like we improved there. I like the way we run the football. I think we are physical. I like the speed on the defensive side of the field, and I thought the day was good. I thought Stevan Ridley starts the day out with a nice drive in the early-going, and I felt like we executed extremely well there."
Redshirt freshman running back Michael Ford led all rushers with 139 yards on 19 carries for the Purple team. Sophomore wide receiver Russell Shepard tallied 58 yards on seven rushes while grabbing three passes for 29 yards. The Purple team finished with 207 yards on the ground and the White team ran for 133 yards.
"I thought Michael Ford had some nice runs, the kind of runs where you use your eyes and make cuts and make people miss," Miles said. "It's really kind of what we needed. We'll have a series of time where we'll get in the weight room, and we'll press to the end of the semester. We'll take a week off for finals.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson commanded the White team for most of the game, finishing with 94 yards on 8-of-23 attempts with one interception. Jarrett Lee completed 10-of-20 passes for 114 yards with one pick and one touchdown.
Following Ridley's run in the game's early minutes, the Purple team responded when Shepard scampered 29 yards down to the White 25. Lee found Shepard on the ensuing play and Josh Jasper booted the first of three successful field goals, this one a 21-yarder with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter to make it 7-3.
The Purple team pulled within a point in the second quarter. Ford touched the ball six times and accounted for 38 yards on a 43-yard drive that culminated with another Jasper field goal. His 47-yarder with 9:59 left in the half made it a 7-6 contest. The White team would go three-and-out before breaking the game open on the defensive end.
On the first play of the ensuing possession, Loston stepped in front of a Lee pass and took it back 22 yards for a touchdown. Jasper's PAT gave the White team a 14-6 advantage with 9:18 to go in the quarter.
Perhaps the game's most intriguing moment came in the waning seconds of the second quarter.
Jefferson engineered a 53-yard drive in the final 1:13 highlighted by a 23-yard run and catch by Ridley. White called a timeout with five seconds left and Jasper then drilled a 57-yard field goal as time expired to extend the lead to 17-6 into the locker room.
The longest field goal in Tiger Stadium history in a regular season game is 54 yards on two instances. Wade Richey booted a 54-yarder against Kentucky in 1996, while Ron Lewis kicked one 54 yards versus North Carolina in 1985.
Drew Alleman connected for a 42-yard field goal with 8:06 in the third quarter that cut the deficit for the Purple team to 17-9. The White team answered with another touchdown late in the third quarter when Chris Tolliver caught a 4-yard pass from Lee that put the game out of reach.
Tight end Deangelo Peterson set up the score with a 30-yard catch. Peterson led all receivers with two catches for 39 yards. Ford added three catches for 35 yards and finished with 174 all-purpose yards.
Defensively, linebacker Kevin Minter recorded a game-high 14 tackles for the White team. Defensive end Barkevious Mingo notched seven tackles and two sacks for a loss of 13 yards. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan added seven tackles and one sack for the White team.
The paid attendance was 22,710.
2010 LSU Football - Spring Awards
Eric Andolsek Leadership Award
(outstanding leadership in spring drills - offense)
Mike Miley Leadership Award
(outstanding leadership in spring drills - defense)
Jimmy Taylor Award
(the comprehensive Spring Award for outstanding leadership, effort and performance)
Jerry Stovall Special Teams Award
LSU 2010 Spring Football Game
March 27, 2010
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
"We put a premium on running the football. I felt like we improved there. We played a vanilla style of offense and a vanilla style of defense, so when you divide teams up, I don't know exactly how good or how bad (we played). The only thing I can tell you is that we are better than we've been. I like the way we run the football. I think we are physical. I like the speed on the defensive side of the field, and I thought the day was good. I thought Stevan Ridley starts the day out with a nice drive in the early-going, and I felt like we executed extremely well there. I thought Michael Ford had some nice runs, the kind of runs where you use your eyes and make cuts and make people miss. I think there is some improvement at the tight end spot, and the wide receivers got a lot of reps today. I thought we used Russell Shepard in a number of different ways. I like what's going on, on that side of the ball. The defense was a little hamstrung today in the fact that we were real vanilla, and half that defense was on the field at one time. We did not have Drake Nevis or Kelvin Sheppard, both of which had minor nicks, but really, we just chose not to use them. We think we came out of the spring game without injury, which ultimately that's maybe one of the key pieces of the day. I think Sam Montgomery got a bump, and I think he'll be fine. I think Josh Downs had an ankle sprain. I think we are good.
"It's really kind of what we needed. We'll have a series of time where we'll get in the weight room, and we'll press to the end of the semester. We'll take a week off for finals. What generally happens is when you have a number of guys like Chancey Aghayere, T-Bob Hebert and maybe some other guys that will get post-spring operations, small things that will kind of clean up key issues. It will give them plenty of time to heal and return to the field for the fall. It was a good spring. As we go into the off-season, it's the time to get strong and improve."
On the conscious effort to get the ball in WR Russell Shepard's hands...
"We want to get the playmakers the ball, and I think he averaged nine yards a touch on two teams running the football. He made a couple of nice catches, and there might have been another one had he put his hands on it. I think he is going to make some people miss in every game we play, and I think he'll get better. As we define his role for him, he can anticipate making those plays, and that will make him better. With his anticipation of the things he's going to need to do to make those plays will make him better and better because he's a bright guy and will apply his abilities."
On redshirt freshman defensive lineman Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo...
"There were some plays made by Barkevious that I don't know that many guys make. He's awfully fast off the edge. Sam had a great spring. I don't know how well he played today. I know that he played well in spurts. I can tell you that those guys are going to be very talented and play very well for us in the fall."
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On what still needs to improve before the season begins...
"I think we did pretty good rushing and passing the ball. We still have a little bit of work to do before the season starts. We're going to take advantage of this time we have to look at film of some other teams and correct some of the things that we need to do."
On being shuffled through several positions...
"I like it. It's an opportunity to get the ball in my hands in open spaces, as well as an opportunity for me to learn different positions. Receiver is my main position, but then I'll play some quarterback and running back. I'm liking it, and who doesn't want the ball?"
On if regrets choosing to switch from quaterback...
"I love it. I feel like I made the best decision probably of my whole life. Receiver position and running back position fit my skill set a little more than the quarterback position. I don't regret it one bit. Actually, I love it and thank God every day that I made this choice."
On compiling 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on the game's first drive...
"You can't ask any more from the offensive line. The first drive they came out and made some gaping holes and all I had to do was what came naturally to me, which is run the ball. I can't ask for anything more from my offensive line and fullback Dominique Allen. They're working hard for us up front with the blocking."
OG/OT Josh Dworaczyk
On the offensive line's blocking performance today...
"Things that we did today that a lot of people got to see are things we've been doing all spring. We're just making holes for our running back, really trying to push for that vertical field momentum. You don't see offensive linemen running with the ball and you don't see them catching passes, so the fact of the matter is we've got to do our job and that's block, period.
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On how well the redshirt freshman played ...
"At first it was a little bit of nervousness from all of us, but on the first series I just jumped out there and went for it and then I calmed down. That was the biggest thing for all of us. We were a little bit nervous at first, but then we calmed down, got our assignments and just played football."
On how sitting out a year made him better ...
"Learning from Ciron Black and Joseph Barksdale on both sides of the end got me so much experience. I got used to the game speed of things, learning my assignments and football terminology. It was a good educational experience for me, and on the other hand it made me more humble and hungrier to come out and do a lot more this year."
On which young defensive player has impressed him ...
"Sam Montgomery is probably the most improved player I have seen since I have been here. He has been playing great, and now he is in the starting lineup. He is going to make a huge impact on the secondary because he is going to get the quarterback to throw the football a little bit faster."
On the improvement of quarterback Jordan Jefferson ...
"I think Jordan Jefferson has been putting emphasis on putting the ball on the spot with the receivers. I believe he is going to be a great quarterback. I believe he is going to work on connecting with his deep balls, but Jordan is a great competitor and Lee is also back there competing with him for the starting position. It is going to be great."
DT Drake Nevis
On being in the second year with defensive coordinator John Chavis ...
"I like working with him in the second year because I am more comfortable and familiar with the defense. He is also more comfortable with the defense. A lot of people have returned and he is comfortable with us and pressures us to be great after practice."