Football Adds Scrimmage to Thursday Workout

LSU head coach Les Miles at Thursday's media meeting.
LSU head coach Les Miles at Thursday's media meeting.
LSU Athletics Creative Services
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications

BATON ROUGE – LSU worked in about 30 plays of live action into Thursday’s practice as the Tigers went through their first scrimmage of the preseason here at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

The Tigers worked out just one time on Thursday, which will be followed by a morning practice on Friday. LSU will hold a 50-play scrimmage on Saturday evening in Tiger Stadium.

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“We are now nine practices in and we are making progress,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “We used part of today’s practice to have a nice scrimmage. It was short but we got a lot done. I really think the defense is off to a fast start but I also felt like the offense came to compete today and played well.

“It was a good practice and I like the improvement the team is making. We are coming along. We have work to do, but we are coming.”

Miles said that Thursday’s scrimmage focused mainly on 1st-and-10 situations.

“Both quarterbacks (Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings) had a couple nice throws,” Miles said. “The running backs, Leonard (Fournette) and those guys, had some nice runs.”

Miles said that Harris continues to get reps with the first offense and added, “we are developing there. It is a mastery of a pretty broad book right now. When he gets into a game plan, it will be much more synced and his mastery of it will be easy to do.”

Miles said that he’s not ready to name and starter and that the most important thing at this point in camp is for both Harris and Jennings to continue to improve.

“I’m going to wait until I get to the back end of this thing and make sure I make the right decision,” Miles said. “Both guys are getting a lot of reps during this camp. We’re giving both of them throwing reps, and both guys are getting better. That’s the way I want it.

“I think as long as both guys know what to do during the game and the decision is made early enough the players will be comfortable with what we will call. The team expects how those guys will be used. To me, I think that is the most important piece. The announcement is always secondary.

“This thing is going to happen. We are going to make a decision. The guy will be the guy who gives us the best opportunity at victory. Both guys continue to improve. I want to see it play out.”

Miles praised the play of the offensive and defensive lines on Thursday. Of the offensive line, Miles said “we are progressing as a group there. We are so much further ahead in pass protection than we have been in the past.”

On the defensive line, Miles complimented the progression of tackles Greg Gilmore and Frank Herron, both of which are slated to see playing time behind starters Christian LaCouture and Davon Godchaux. Gilmore and Herron played in just a handful of games a year ago, but will be counted on for bigger roles this season.

“Both look like starters to me,” Miles said of Gilmore and Herron and the improvement they have made under first-year defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. “We are going to be two-deep at that position.”

Two other players on the defensive line who continue to draw praise from Miles is that of true freshmen Isaiah Washington and Arden Key. Both players have made big plays during the first week of camp and have put themselves in a position to play immediately.

“Both of them (Washington and Key) look really good and they are really fast to the ball,” Miles said.
“They look like veterans. I have always run into those freshmen that go up for a while, then you put in a new protection, scheme or stunt and it kind of makes them dip. These guys have really maintained. They are buoyant and positive guys. I think they are doing a really good job of learning. They will be prepared to play. There’s no question about it.”

LSU didn’t work any special teams into Thursday’s scrimmage, but Miles has been pleased with the performance of his three kickers – Colby Delahoussaye, Trent Domingue and Cameron Gamble.

“I think Colby is having a very good fall camp,” Miles said. “The key piece is that competition has been great. Trent is doing a real good job. He’s kicking the ball extremely well and has nice tempo. He’s very accurate and can kick a long ball. He’s competing well, but it’s still Colby’s job. (Cameron) Gamble is probably the strongest leg, but he is working on consistency. I think he is better than what he was a year ago. I think Trent has the lead in the kickoff, but again that will be decided later.”

As for Saturday’s scrimmage, Miles said it will focus more on different situations. Miles noted that after Saturday, the Tigers will have two major scrimmages before LSU opens the season on Sept. 5 against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium.





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