Football Goes Through Final Preseason Scrimmage
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications
BATON ROUGE – LSU held what was essentially its final scrimmage before opening the season next week against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium with a workout totaling over 100 plays here under the lights in Death Valley.
LSU begins its 11th season under Les Miles on Saturday, Sept. 5 when the Tigers welcome McNeese State to Tiger Stadium for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. It will be the second meeting between the programs.
LSU used its final scrimmage opportunity to focus on schemes from upcoming opponents, Miles said. The Tigers worked all three phases of the game and spent a lengthy portion of time going against the scout squad on both offense and defense.
“It was a very productive scrimmage,” Miles said. “We probably had 80 to 110 plays with 1s (first offense and defense) going against 2s and the scout team. We got a chance to look at a couple different opponents (schemes) and then put ourselves in position to play our offense, defense and special teams against those schematics.”
Full statistics from the scrimmage were not released, however Miles noted the Tigers threw the ball for 250 yard and rushed it for 347 yards, most of which came against the scout squad. Miles added that sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris threw three touchdown passes and junior Anthony Jennings tossed one TD pass.
“We busted a couple big runs,” Miles said. “I think this is a talented football. We still have a lot of things to clean up. I hate pre-snap penalties. We are going to work on that during segments of our practice as we move forward.”
Tuesday’s scrimmage was the second for LSU under the lights in Tiger Stadium this fall, something that Miles said was done by design.
“We have a young group of guys and we wanted to put them in the element that they will be in a game,” Miles said. “We punted, kicked and had some other special team situations. It allowed those guys to receive balls during the night under the lights in Tiger Stadium. You could not duplicate that. I wanted to see the time frame (at night), and I wanted to make sure our guys saw the time frame. There is no better film than Tiger Stadium. We took advantage of it.”
Miles said that freshmen Donte’ Jackson and Derrius Guice fielded punts and kickoffs during the scrimmage and that both players are in line to join Leonard Fournette and Tre’Davious White in the return game for the Tigers.
While no starting quarterback has been named for the season-opener, Miles complimented the continued development and improvement of both Harris and Jennings. Miles said that Harris, “has the lead” in the quarterback competition.
“He’s not lost his position,” Miles said of Harris. “He put himself in that position based on a summer’s body of work and he’s continued on that path.”
Miles said that Harris has shown improvement and is learning to become a better all-around quarterback, one who makes the other players on the field better.
“His deportment; the things the he does before he hands the ball off or throws the ball,” Miles said when asked about an area that Harris has improved. “Understanding exactly what is going on and doing the things that quarterbacks must do to facilitate the other 10 players on the field.
“We like both of our guys. The development of our quarterbacks is important in every game. It’s never going to be measured by mop-up duty. It’s going to be measured on how you start the game and what you do to help the team secure victory. That will be the key piece as to who our quarterback is.
“Both guys are competing and they are both pulling for the other quarterback to play best and play well. It’s important for that room that the quarterback position lifts the team. They are improving and facilitating and doing the things that make the team best. If they continue to do that, they will get better and we’ll all be happy.
LSU will take Wednesday off and return to practice on Thursday.