RUSTON, La. (Aug. 19, 2017) – It was a day worth capturing for the 2017 Louisiana Tech Football team as the Bulldogs began Saturday with team photos on the field at Joe Aillet Stadium before spending the rest of the morning mingling with the Tech faithful at the annual Fan Fest in the Thomas Assembly Center.
But with exactly two weeks to go before the season kicks off, the Bulldogs quickly got back to work Saturday afternoon for the team’s second scrimmage of fall camp. LA Tech endured the heat for a little over two hours Saturday on what was a steamy day on the turf.
“I wasn’t expecting 108 degree heat index when we came out here, so we had to be really careful,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “We have had some injuries on our offensive line, so we tried to slow the scrimmage down a little bit so we could get what we wanted. I wanted to get about 35 plays with our one’s and 35-40 plays with our two’s out here with some live work. I don’t think we tackled very well, which we need to continue to work on that. We just have to keep getting better, especially defensively. We gave up way too many big plays today, which has really been the emphasis and we have done a pretty good job of that this fall camp.
“I give the offense credit on the other side because they made the plays. We threw some really accurate balls way down the field, which we have been missing those the last couple practices. I thought the running backs ran hard. We did a pretty decent job of protecting the football today. This was a good assessment of kind of where we are with this live work. Now we have a better idea of what we need to polish up getting ready for that opening game here in two weeks.”
With Saturday’s scrimmage open to the public, LA Tech fans had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of what the 2017 team will look like in two weeks for the Sept. 2 season opener versus Northwestern State. One new face that made a good impression on Saturday was receiver and Tulane transfer Teddy Veal, who hauled in one of the longer passes of the day for a touchdown.
“It was nice for us to come out, fly around and execute,” Veal said. “We just have to keep pushing each other. We have a lot of talent and athleticism in the room, so it is just a matter of us continuing to get better. Going into next week, we will need to clean up some things so we can move forward. The biggest thing is focus on playing mistake-free football.”
Quarterback J’Mar Smith made plays with both his arm and his feet on Saturday by pounding it in the end zone on one end of the field before connecting with his receivers for the long ball at the opposite end toward the tail end of the scrimmage.
“I thought we came out here and executed at a high level by moving the ball around and scoring a lot of touchdowns,” the redshirt sophomore said. “But we know we just have to continue to get better every day and focus on the little details as we get ready for September 2.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Jaylon Ferguson continued to get pressure on the defensive line, while Aaron Roberson also recorded an interception on the day.
The Bulldogs will enjoy a day off on Sunday before hitting the field once again Monday morning for the 19th practice of fall camp.