‘Good go’ for Miles and LSU
By CARL DUBOIS
Published: Aug 19, 2007
Matt Flynn looked sharp and threw two touchdown passes. LSU’s backup quarterbacks saw a lot of defensive end Tyson Jackson, whose pressure helped force two interceptions.
Guard Will Arnold was on the field longer than at any other time since last year, when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the fifth game.
Those were among the highlights in a report by LSU football coach Les Miles about his team’s work Saturday in Tiger Stadium in the major tackling scrimmage of a preseason training camp that ended with the scrimmage.
The game-type practice, which received the “good go” seal of approval from Miles, was closed to everyone except selected LSU boosters. Miles said the Tigers will take today off, continue fine-tuning problem areas and soon start on the game plan for the Aug. 30 season opener at Mississippi State.
“It really was a good go,” Miles said of the scrimmage. “This kind of marks the end of camp. The team moves out of their temporary housing and moves into their permanent housing (today), and so you always look back on your entire camp and see how things have gone.”
Miles made no significant personnel announcements, including identifying the No. 2 quarterback. Ryan Perrilloux began camp at No. 3, behind Flynn and freshman Jarrett Lee.
“I don’t know that announcements have ever been really big with me,” Miles said, “especially announcing a second-team quarterback.”
He said there’s “great competition” and complimented Perrilloux, Lee and Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch.
“I like the position we’re in there,” Miles said.
LSU’s report credited Flynn with 7-for-14 passing for 90 yards and touchdown passes of 18 yards to Brandon LaFell and, in a red-zone drill, 20 yards to Early Doucet.
The pass to LaFell ended an eight-play, 70-yard drive for Flynn, who worked exclusively with the first-team offense, according to LSU’s report.
“Matt looked very sharp today,” Miles said. “He made good decisions and had command of the offense.”
Listed as the top rusher was sophomore Charles Scott, with eight carries for 45 yards. Jackson was credited with two sacks and pressure that helped Chris Hawkins intercept two passes from backup quarterbacks.
Miles said the scrimmage featured 37 plays for first-team vs. first-team work and 37 more for first-team vs. second-team work. He said there were “probably 25 special-teams situations and snaps.”
LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said the scrimmage had live and “thud” tackling, the latter prohibiting defenders from putting the player with the ball to the ground.
Backup linebacker Jacob Cutrera, who has an elbow injury he suffered in the first scrimmage of camp a week earlier, didn’t participate Saturday but is “close” to being back on the field, Miles said.
All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey played the first quarter and “came off very healthy,” Miles said. He said wide receiver Demetrius Byrd didn’t participate in the scrimmage.
Miles said LSU suffered no injuries that should keep anyone from practicing Monday. He said a brief rain, with wind, cooled the players down during an otherwise hot scrimmage.
“It was just what the doctor ordered,” Miles said.
He seemed pleased with the team’s 10 40-yard sprints after the scrimmage.
“Guys just motored through it,” Miles said. “I like the way this team works. I like the way they play.
“We’ve got to fix some things, but we think we’ll be ready.”
Some of the issues Miles said LSU needs to address are about personnel, but he said some are scheme-based. He also said some relate to his curiosity to see Saturday’s scrimmage on videotape for closer inspection.
Kick coverage is one of those areas Miles wants to scrutinize more closely, and he said he and the rest of his staff will finalize those teams today.
LSU played crowd noise over the Tiger Stadium loudspeakers but didn’t crank it up, Miles said. He said the plan was to provide some distraction for certain drills with certain players on the field.
He said the Tigers accomplished a lot thanks to a good-weather day.
“Good work today,” Miles said. “Hot day. Enjoyable work. I needed this day. Our football team needed this day, and I was happy coming off the field.”
Miles, who brushed aside the release of the preseason AP poll and its No. 2 ranking for the Tigers, said he’s pleased with his team’s progress.
“Yeah, I kind of like where we’re at,” he said. “We’re not ready to play, and we’re not ready to say we’re the second-ranked team in the nation in any way. There’s a lot of work to be accomplished to be as quality a football team as we’re capable, and that’s where we’re headed.”
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