Football Holds Second Full Scrimmage
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – LSU held its final scrimmage focusing on ‘LSU vs. LSU’ Saturday as the Tigers went through a 120-play workout that started in Tiger Stadium before rain and lightning chased the team indoors for the conclusion.
The Tigers were scheduled to watch the scrimmage of the film on Saturday afternoon and will then turn its attention to the season-opening contest against McNeese State on Sept. 5 in Tiger Stadium.
“We got a good majority of our work done in Tiger Stadium before we were interrupted by lighting,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Not a bad day. I think we are a good football team. There needs to be some things that we have to get tightened up (such as) pre-snap penalties on offense.
“Defensively, we are a fast and physical defense. We had a difficult time running against that first team defense and a difficult time throwing it against them as well.”
Full statistics from the scrimmage were not released, however, Miles said sophomore Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries, followed by sophomore Darrel Williams with 31 yards on eight carries, and quarterback Brandon Harris 16 yards on five carries.
Miles said the Tiger offense accounted for 270 yards on the ground with another 250 yards coming through the air. Miles added that the Tiger quarterbacks combined to throw for seven touchdowns with just one interception.
The scrimmage was primarily a situational scrimmage with focus ranging from redzone, tight zone, four-minute and two-minute offense. The workout opened with the offense backed up inside its 1-yard line with the goal of getting at least two first downs. Conversely, the challenge for the defense was to force a 3-and-out or create a turnover.
“It was really a lot of snaps and some quality films for us to study and learn from,” Miles said. “It was LSU vs. LSU (scheme). None of the stuff that we were doing today was specific to any opponent. All in all, nobody got hurt and we played tackle football for majority of the day.”
Miles said that Harris and Anthony Jennings took snaps with the No. 1 offense and that both continue to show improvement.
“I think there’s real competition there,” Miles said of the quarterback position. “We are encouraging it. Both are improving and they need to continue to improve as we go through the season. We are going to play the best quarterback. I think both guys are improving, and of all the things, that’s what has to take place.”
Miles said the Tigers aren’t ready to play just yet, but that they will take advantage of two more weeks of practice to get ready for the season-opener against McNeese State.
“We are a team that’s going to need those two weeks to prepare,” Miles said. “I’ve never had a team at any place or any year here that was ready to play (at this point), just line them up and here we go. We need special teams work and we need work on offense and defense. We are going to work hard to get it cleaned up, get it tight, and then I’ll be ready to play another team.”
Miles complimented the play of the defensive line, in particular that of the defensive ends, who have shown tremendous improvement under first-year coach Ed Orgeron.
“Coach O has made a significant difference in pass rush,” Miles said. “We are a faster group. They recognize how to rush a pass.”
Miles said that freshmen Derrius Guice and Donte’ Jackson both returned punts and kickoffs during the scrimmage. Guice and Jackson are expected to contribute to the return game along with Fournette and Tre’Davious White.
“I think both of those guys are going to be carrying the ball for us in kick and punt return scenarios for us,” Miles said. “Both are very dangerous, very quality guys. Jackson is really, really fast and he’ll make you miss.”
LSU starts school on Monday so the Tigers will begin its afternoon in-season practice schedule this week. The Tigers will practice on Monday afternoon with an eye towards the season-opener.
“I think we are a better football team (at this point compared to last year),” Miles said. “That’s today. If we take these two weeks and if we continue to make the improvement that we are capable of making the next two weeks, I think we will really like this team.”