LSU shows progress in scrimmage, opener 2 weeks away

LSU held its first full-scale scrimmage of training camp here Saturday as the 13th-ranked Tigers touched on nearly every phase of the game with a 125-play workout in Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers open their 10th season under Les Miles in two weeks when LSU faces 14th-ranked Wisconsin in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at NRG Stadium in Houston. Kickoff for the season-opener is scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Saturday's scrimmage marked the end of camp for the Tigers as LSU now turns its attention to Wisconsin. LSU will have a walk through on Sunday before returning to the practice field on Monday. LSU is scheduled to scrimmage again on Tuesday.

"It was a long, physical go," Miles said of the scrimmage. "It was very productive in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. It was hot, but our players did a nice job of responding to that and they performed well.

"A lot was accomplished today, but we aren't ready to play a game. Right now we are improved. It was a very good outing."

Miles said that both quarterbacks continue to improve and that sophomore Anthony Jennings and true freshman Brandon Harris played well on Saturday.

"We threw it 40-45 times and completed about 20 balls," Miles said of the passing game. "Both quarterbacks played well today. They are improving and doing what needs to be done in order to be ready for the season opener."

Miles said that nine receivers caught passes and that there was just one interception, which came during the two-minute drill portion of the scrimmage. Miles said that true freshman Trey Quinn caught five passes.

In the running game, Miles said that four players carried the ball about 14 times each with the leading rusher going for approximately 60 yards. Miles said that true freshman Leonard Fournette had a long run against the scout team.

"We spread the ball around with our running backs," Miles said. "The young backs (Fournette and Darrell Williams) ran hard and were physical. I think Kenny Hilliard is in positon to have a big year and Darrell Williams is right there learning behind him.

"It was slow sledding at times because that defense was fast to the football. I thought our offensive line did a nice job of competing against a tough defensive front."

Miles said that a portion of the scrimmage had the No. 1 offense going against the No. 1 defense. Both quarterbacks split time with the No. 1 offense.

"When we had the 1s out there, it was very competitive,' Miles said. "The defense made it difficult on us to move the ball. They made us earn it. That's a physical group."

Defensively, defensive end Danielle Hunter led the Tigers with nine tackles with four of those going for losses. Miles also singled out the play of mike linebackers D.J. Welter and Kendall Beckwith along with cornerback Rashard Robinson.

"There was a lot of contact initiated by the defense," Miles said. "There was a lot of speed to the football. I thought the defense was dominant.  The defensive front was very physical and tough to move on. Those linebackers are really good too."

LSU closed the scrimmage with a series of field goal from various lengths. LSU also spent time during the scrimmage working on kickoff return and kickoff coverage along with punt return and punt coverage.