Bulldogs focus on running back position

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RUSTON — Louisiana Tech football competed in its second fall scrimmage inside Joe Aillet Stadium on Saturday morning.

With Tech’s season opener at Mississippi State just two weeks away, the Bulldogs held their first full scrimmage of the fall camp where the team went through 100 plays. The scrimmage started with the ones competing against the twos in order to evaluate the depth chart on both sides. The team ended the scrimmage with the ones against the ones and the twos against the twos.

“We had Conference USA officials at this scrimmage,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “So, it was a good evaluation on where we are from a penalty standpoint, an offensive standpoint and a defensive standpoint. I don’t think either side really dominated the scrimmage. There were good plays on both sides, but there was certainly enough to be corrected on both sides that this could be a really productive day for us. I was proud of the energy they brought, the attitude and the effort they had out there on the field. They’re flying around. There were some good hits. It was a physical day, which it needed to be right now.

“We’re two-thirds through camp. We’ve gone through two weeks. We have a full week left to go before we get into game week, so this was a good evaluation of where we are right now. The biggest thing I would say if you ask, ‘Where are we?’ is we aren’t as consistent as we need to be on either side of the ball. That’s the thing we need to continue to work on and clean some things up. Today was productive. It helped us. We’ll be a better football team in the opening game because of what we did today.”

Senior wide receiver Isaiah Graham said it was a good experience having the refs at the scrimmage.

 “Some of the young guys haven’t been playing with refs at the college level,” Graham said. “For them to get that experience was great. As an offense, we moved the ball well. We had our ups and downs. The defense also played good defense. They had their ups and downs. If you have a day where the offense is winning and the defense is winning, you can tell you’re going to the right spot.”

Sophomore defensive back BeeJay Williamson said he feels like the defense is coming together as a whole unit.

“The ones are doing a phenomenal job,” Williamson said. “Offense-wise, they are doing a phenomenal job. They are giving us the best looks we need for the season.”

The emphasis of today’s scrimmage was on the running game due to the number of new running backs joining the program.

“I need to see them get tackled,” Holtz said. “I need to see them protect the football. We can simulate a lot of the passing game situations in practice work, but it’s very hard to simulate live tackling. So, today’s big emphasis was that.”

Louisiana Tech opens the 2021 season at Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 3 p.m. Tech will then open a three-game home stretch against Southeastern on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. inside Joe Aillet Stadium.

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