Contributed by: LA Tech Athletic Communications
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech football team held its first official fall scrimmage on Saturday morning out on the practice fields beside Joe Aillet Stadium, as the team prepares for its 2019 season opener on August 31 at Texas.
Head coach Skip Holtz said the day was dedicated to getting in-game reps for all players up and down the roster and was a good benchmark for evaluating position battles among some of the newcomers and younger players on the team.
“I thought today was very productive overall,” remarked Holtz. “We did most of the live work with our twos and threes today, but also got some reps in the red zone for the ones. We made some plays on both sides of the ball, but the key to today will be watching the film to correct our mistakes and improve on what we can. This is a game that has to be played live to really get a gauge of where we’re at as a team, and I thought today was a good first mark. This scrimmage was about personnel as much as anything to see where we are and who those 70 on the travel roster will be.”
The team began Saturday’s practice with some special teams work, primarily punt coverage and return situations before breaking off into some position drills. Then the two sides of the ball came together for a spirited full contact scrimmage, lasting just over an hour.
“I liked how the running backs competed today – they broke some tackles, ran really hard and made a difference on the offensive side of the ball,” added Holtz. “I thought they showed up and did some really good things. I thought the ones and twos were extremely physical across the board. It was definitely a physical day, but we’ve got the rest of it to recover and stretch to get ready to come back out here on Monday.”
The scrimmage consisted of offensive possessions, exclusively working on first and second downs, while rotating in the majority of freshman and newcomers to gauge the roster and depth chart in preparation for the 2019 season.
“I thought our receivers and running backs were both great today,” senior quarterback J’Mar Smith said. “They made plays in both our goal line situations and out in the open field and made some big plays for us overall. We (the quarterbacks) built a strong connection with our receivers throughout the spring and summer, and I think that’s showing here in camp.”
The Bulldogs will take the rest of today and Sunday to recover before hitting the practice fields again on Monday morning at 9 a.m. The team will through Friday next week, leading up to its second scrimmage on Saturday at 9 a.m.
The Bulldogs play six home games this year, including the home opener on Sept. 7 against Grambling State. Tech is coming off its fifth consecutive bowl victory and is one of just 25 FBS programs with 7+ wins in each of the past five seasons (2014-18).