Defense 'Wins the Day' in Football Scrimmage

LSU wide receiver James Wright
LSU wide receiver James Wright
Hilary Scheinuk
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications

BATON ROUGE - Sophomore James Wright caught three touchdown passes - each one coming from a different quarterback - but it was the defense that "won the day" as LSU held its first full-scale scrimmage here Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

Saturday's scrimmage saw the Tigers run approximately 110 plays and had the offense focusing mainly on redzone and tight field positions. LSU did move the field early in the scrimmage; however, most of the work saw the Tiger offensive operating inside the 40-yard line.

"We had a pretty good go," LSU coach Les Miles said following the workout. "For the most part, we were at the short end of the field. I felt like the defense won the day. I think we moved the football on offense at times and rushed the ball with regularity.

"I think the defense came up with bigger plays throughout the day. That's the way spring goes. One day the defense stands out and in the next scrimmage the offense does. I think a week ago, the offense won the day. Today, the defense returned the volley."

Defensive standouts for the Tigers included cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who had a couple tackles for loss as well as an interception; defensive back Sam Gibson with an interception; defensive tackle Anthony Johnson with two solo tackles; linebacker Ryan Baker with a sack; cornerback Ron Brooks with a tackle for a loss; and safety Craig Loston with several tackles.

Offensively, Wright had his best day in an LSU uniform, hauling in three touchdown receptions. Senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson continued to have a productive spring, rushing for a touchdown on the first possession of the scrimmage as well as throwing a TD pass to Wright.

Senior Jarrett Lee tossed a TD pass to Wright, while sophomore Zach Mettenberger threw a pair of TD passes, one to Wright and the other to Jarrett Fobbs.

"I think Jarrett Lee is having a very good spring," Miles said. "I think Jordan Jefferson is playing his best football and Zach Mettenberger is getting the offense and making some really nice throws. He's a very talented guy. I think the two veterans still have an advantage with the understanding of the offense. I think after time Zach will compete with his advantages, but right now the experience of the veterans is showing."

The Tigers had four running backs - Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Jakhari Gore - get carries. Gore had his best scrimmage to date as he scampered for a 35-yard run to setup a touchdown.

"We definitely made progress and it was very competitive on both sides of the ball," Miles said. "That's what gets me excited. We have players on both offense and defense competing down after down trying to make an impression. It was a beautiful day in Tiger Stadium. I don't think it could be any better."

LSU will practice on Tuesday and Thursday next week and then wrap up their third full week of spring practice with another scrimmage in Tiger Stadium next Saturday.




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