Football Preps For Saturday Scrimmage
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – LSU spent Friday getting ready for its first scrimmage of the preseason with a pair of workouts here at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. LSU practiced in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) on Friday morning followed by a late afternoon walk-through.
LSU will scrimmage under the lights on Saturday in Tiger Stadium as the Tigers are expected to go 100 plays, 50 for both the first and second teams. Saturday’s scrimmage is the first of what will be three for before opening the season on Sept. 5 against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium.
“Today was a scheduled two-a-day practice,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “We practiced this morning and will do what we call an ‘elaborate walk’ this afternoon. The walk-through entails a lot of installation and allows us to address different situations. It’s beneficial because we are not pounding with contact or out in the heat. It’s more of a thinking man’s workout.”
Miles complimented the character, work ethic and talent of this year’s team, which is now 10 practices in to preseason training.
“I think we are just as talented as some of our best years,” Miles said. “The character of the team is very good. These guys are going to fight you and claw you. They understand what that is going to take. There is some youth to this team, but the character, preparation and understanding how the culture here operates will work to our benefit.
“I like our team. I just want to get to the point where it is fixed, finished and operating at a very high level.”
Miles said that he’s anxious to see how the first scrimmage in Tiger Stadium unfolds and he compared it to a thoroughbred race.
“It’s the first scrimmage and we are going in Tiger Stadium,” Miles said. “(It’s like) I am guiding a thoroughbred, and I want it to be focused until the finish line. I don’t want it to go over there and eat over the fence.”
Miles noted that while performance in a scrimmage goes a long way in determining playing time, it’s not the only factor. He said that consistent performance in practice plays into the decision-making as well. Miles said that the staff will use the three scrimmages to evaluate his players in every facet of the game.
“In the scrimmage you may find that we’ll rough up the quarterbacks a little early,” Miles said. “Blocking and tackling will be key. Ball security is a huge piece during scrimmage format. Certainly handling situations is key. Third down is always a situation that we promote and look at very strongly.
“When you can rush the passer live and are cranked up in Tiger Stadium, you get to see how good you are at protecting, throwing and running. It (a scrimmage) is an elevated position and certainly important when it comes down to the positions.”
Miles said part of the reason for moving the scrimmage from earlier in the day to the late evening was to allow the Tigers to sleep in on Saturday. Miles frequently consults the advice of a sleep doctor, who says sleep and performance are directly related. There won’t be practice on Sunday either so the Tigers will have a second straight day to get some additional rest.
“We want to let them sleep in on Saturday morning so that they can get some nutrition and rest,” Miles said. “Then we will crank it up in Tiger Stadium. I like the improvement this team is making. It’s constant. There is a great group of kids here with good attitudes. I like the effort on the practice field. We are taking great strides.”