In last Saturday’s scrimmage, heavy winds forced the LSU offense to focus on the rushing attack – which put together a 230-yard afternoon in the process.
With just a week of workouts left for the Tigers this spring, Saturday’s scrimmage in Tiger Stadium saw the offense move the ball by both air and ground.
“There was more balance today by design,” said head coach Les Miles. “I think the design was fine, I just didn’t like how we executed.”
The offense, slowed by both strong play from the defense and penalties, saw just one passer reach 100 yards and only Michael Ford, who rushed for 76 yards on 16 attempts, go for over 40 yards on the ground.
Jordan Jefferson went 6-of-13 for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Jarrett Lee was 11-of-19 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Patrick Peterson recorded the day’s lone interception, while Drake Nevis forced the only fumble.
“The day was won by the defense,” Miles said. “They were crisp and tackled well. We had strips and turnovers, and boy they looked good.”
Once again, redshirt freshman Sam Montgomery was the top man on the defensive line. After a five-tackle, two-sack performance last week, Montgomery recorded a team-high eight tackles, with one for a loss, on Saturday.
“The Sam Montgomery’s and Ken Adams’ are getting to the ball,” Miles said. “The defense is just faster. They just flew to the ball. Their presence was felt and they didn’t miss tackles. It was the way a defense is supposed to look.
“The defense seems a little more advanced than the offense at this time.”
The first hindrance was penalties, which Miles said kept the unit from putting together the long drives that he had hoped to see.
“We were inconsistent, and then guys had penalties that should not have been there,” he said.
The dropped passes also contributed, especially on a day where Miles had hoped that his quarterbacks could get into a settled rhythm with their receivers. Instead, the performance left the headman wanting more from coach Billy Gonzales’ group.
“Our routes are pretty disciplined, there were just a couple of balls that should have been caught that stopped drives,” Miles said. “You have to make those catches.
“We are talented and have ability, but [the receivers] must improve,” he added. “They aren’t where they are going to be when fall comes around. That improvement needs to take place.”
On the ground, Ford – though he went without a score – rushed for nearly 80 yards for the second consecutive week. With senior Richard Murphy still being held back from contact, the performance from the team’s third back gives promise that the redshirt freshman can contribute on Saturdays next fall.
“Michael makes a nice natural cut and gets into space,” Miles said. “He is a good runner, and he will give us carries this fall.”
The bad news from the scrimmage involved injury. T-Bob Hebert, who served as a starting center for LSU in 2009, suffered a broken leg that will require surgery.
“It will be fixed and he will have no long-term issue,” Miles said. “It will stop his opportunity to compete from this point forward. He will be back in the fall.”
Michael Ford 16 att., 76 yards
Stevan Ridley 13 att., 39 yards, 1 TD
Russell Shepard 5 att., 11 yards
Dominique Allen 3 att., 9 yards
Jordan Jefferson 3 att., 26 yards
Jordan Jefferson 6-of-13, 94 yards, 1 TD
Jarrett Lee 11-of-19, 140 yards, 2 TDs
Rueban Randle 6 rec., 41 yards
Terrence Toliver 2 rec., 13 yards
Russell Shepard 2 rec., 41 yards, 1 TD
Chris Tolliver 2 rec., 36 yards, 1 TD
Deangelo Peterson 3 rec., 116 yards, 1 TD
Sam Montgomery 8 tackles, 1 TFL
Drake Nevis 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF
Kelvin Sheppard 5 tackles
Michael Brockers 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Craig Loston 4 tackles
Patrick Peterson 1 int., 2 tackles
Josh Jasper 5-of-5 made: 29, 33, 35, 36, 39
Derek Helton 6 for 40.6
Josh Jasper 6 for 37.0
D. Peterson 77 yard pass from Jordan Jefferson
Russell Shepard 33 yard pass from Jarrett Lee
Chris Toliver 12 yard pass from Jarrett Lee
Stevan Ridley 5-yard run