LSU's Ron Brooks
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
Defense Holds Upper Hand in First Spring Scrimmage
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Published: March 28, 2009, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:37 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- Defense was the name of the game on Saturday as LSU’s defensive unit was dominating during a 100-play scrimmage here in a cold and windy Tiger Stadium.

The scrimmage was the first of three full-scale scrimmages scheduled for LSU during spring training. The Tigers are slated to scrimmage again next week and then they will wrap up the spring with the Spring Game at 5 p.m. on April 18 in Tiger Stadium. 

Saturday’s scrimmage was scripted and had the Tigers working on various situations with both the offense and defense. The scrimmage also featured several periods when the first offensive unit faced off against the first defensive unit.

LSU also spent time working on both the punting and kicking game. The scrimmage concluded with a period dedicated to field goal kicking.

“We had a good go,” LSU coach Les Miles said following the workout. “We had approximately 40 snaps for each team and probably about 100 snaps total with special teams and got a lot done.

“We’re splitting time with four quarterbacks, and it was one windy day. I don’t know that we were very efficient passing. We made a couple of big plays and did a couple of good things, but I think today was the defense’s. They played extremely well. Not that they were perfect by assignment, but they had great enthusiasm and really hustled to the ball.”

Defensive back Ron Brooks had perhaps the best day for any defender as he intercepted a pair of passes, returning the second 48-yards for a touchdown. Brooks, who is also expected to return kickoffs along with Trindon Holliday next year, added three tackles.

Other defensive highlights included safety Harry Coleman with an interception return for a touchdown, linebacker Perry Riley returning a fumble for a score, safety Chad Jones recovering a fumble and defensive tackle Drake Nevis forcing a fumble.

Nevis and linebacker Ryan Baker both registered sacks during the scrimmage. 

“That defense was very difficult to move the ball against, and again, I think they were aided a little bit by a windy day and the idea that we’re playing four quarterbacks, but give them great credit,” Miles said. “Some guys had some spectacular days on the defensive side. There were really a number of guys on the defensive side that had big days.”

Miles also acknowledged the defensive play of defensive back Daniel Graff (5 tackles), tackle Al Woods, lineman LaVar Edwards (3 tackles) and Nevis.

Offensively, all four quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee, Russell Shepard, and Chris Garrett took snaps, which contributed to the lack of consistency on that side of the ball, according to Miles.

“We were rotating centers and quarterbacks,” Miles said “Any time you do that you lose a little continuity, but I think we got a lot accomplished.

“I think Jordan Jefferson certainly is in the lead at quarterback and looks to be making his case for being the starter. Jarrett Lee certainly had good day and I like Russell Shepard. Any time (Shepard) has the ball in his hands; he has the chance to make a big play. The key is that he makes a great decision with the ball, and he’s really been good with where to throw it. He made a couple of real quality throws but missed on a couple, but when he pulls it down and runs, he really eats up some ground.”

Miles complimented the play of wide receivers Brandon LaFell, R.J. Jackson and Tim Molton.

“Offensively, we got some first downs and moved the football,” Miles said. “I don’t know if we put a couple of hundred yards on them or not, but like I said, it was a defensive day.”

LSU returns to practice on Tuesday with the first of two workouts next week. After next week, the Tigers will then take a week off for spring break.
 

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