Saturday, March 22, 2014
Offense makes up ground in scrimmage
By David Ching
BATON ROUGE, La. – Les Miles has maintained for much of spring practice that LSU’s defense is ahead of its offense. And that’s still the case after Saturday’s first full scrimmage -- although it sounds as if the rebuilding offense is making up ground.
“I think the offense took a real nice stride today, but yeah, I would expect that the defense would be a little further ahead – and they are,” Miles said.
Miles didn’t offer many specifics, much less statistics, from the scrimmage at Tiger Stadium. Those are “top secret,” he joked, although he did say the quarterbacks connected on “two big passes [and we] probably threw it for, I don’t know, just under 300 yards passing today.”
Incoming freshman quarterback Brandon Harris was on target during LSU's scrimmage, coach Les Miles said.
With the quarterback competition between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris ranking as perhaps the team’s top spring storyline, Miles said he was pleased with the way both players threw the ball on Saturday.
Plus, they eliminated some of the sloppy ball handling that Jennings said was a problem in the Tigers’ partial scrimmage last Saturday.
“Both of them were sharp,” Miles said. “The passing was very sharp today. We dropped a couple balls, but the balls were right on the money and to be honest with you, we caught a lot of balls.”
Miles singled out receiver Travin Dural as having enjoyed an excellent scrimmage.
Miles said senior tailback Terrence Magee sprained an ankle in the scrimmage, but said there were no major injuries. Receiver John Diarse, whom Miles said underwent a minor medical procedure, should be back on the practice field next week, the Tigers' coach said.
Before spraining his ankle, Magee and fellow senior Kenny Hilliard both ran the ball well, Miles said.
“Both Magee and Kenny Hilliard had really nice running days today,” Miles said. “I think Magee is going to have a great fall and I think Kenny Hilliard’s going to have a great fall. It looks like to me Kenny Hilliard’s lost a little bit of weight and is just a little bit quicker than he’s been.”
In addition to the scrimmage downs, the Tigers also focused on special teams Saturday. Miles said Trent Domingue has been working as the team’s top punter over last season's starter, Jamie Keehn.
“Special teams made improvement at the punting game,” Miles said. “Jamie Keehn’s not getting a lot of snaps right now. Our punter Trent Domingue really has improved. I think we were perfect with 42 [yards] at field goals and really had a pretty good scrimmage. If you look at [it being scrimmage] No. 2, it’s really a pretty strong event.”