Bulldogs focus on building depth in Week 1
RUSTON, La. – One week after reporting to camp, Louisiana Tech Football is in full swing preparing for the 2016 campaign, which will see the Bulldogs travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, in less than three weeks to take on the Razorbacks in the season opener.
After spending the first two days of practice in shorts and the next two in just shells, the Bulldogs broke out the pads for the first time Friday afternoon, but the action was cut short late in practice after lightning in the area forced LA Tech inside for the night for team meetings.
The Bulldogs partook in their first of five scheduled two-a-days beginning Saturday morning with a team practice in pads before the first scrimmage of fall camp came later that evening as LA Tech fans got their first glimpse of head coach Skip Holtz’s team inside Joe Aillet Stadium.
“We got in about 60 plays and got some great live work,” Holtz said of the first scrimmage of camp. “We have a lot of guys battling right now for the depth chart and to see who is going to be on the travel squad. We did a lot of installation this week, but now we have to polish some things up. There were some good plays and bad plays. We have to make some evaluations off this scrimmage and make some decisions. We still have a long way to go, but I think we have definitely gotten better on both sides of the ball.”
The Bulldogs’ focus through the first week of practice has been the installation of the playbook and building depth on both sides of the football, especially when it comes to both the offensive and defensive lines and the running backs.
The addition of freshmen running backs Dee Fleming and Travis Gary has helped provide more options in the backfield, while Holtz spoke about the depth of the guys protecting them up front.
“We have 10 guys [on the offensive line] right now that I feel are good enough to play on this football team,” he said. “We have much more depth than we have had in the past, and I think that is going to give us the ability to keep those guys a little bit fresher. Hopefully, over the long haul of the season, that is going to make a difference.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs spent the first week mix and matching some returning pieces of the puzzle with new faces to provide more depth for a unit that lost eight starters from a season ago.
“I definitely feel good about where we are depth-wise,” defensive coordinator Blake Baker said following Saturday’s scrimmage. “The more chances those guys can get and get reps in, the better we can be. I feel good about the linebacker spot. We are keeping it simple for some of our young guys, but that is what you want. You want to see if they have the ability to contribute.”
With no practice scheduled Sunday, the Bulldogs began the day with a church service for the team before heading into more team and individual meetings and plans to recover physically throughout the day prior to beginning the second week of camp with a two-a-day scheduled for Monday.
The Bulldogs open the 2016 season Sept. 3 at Arkansas in Fayetteville, while LA Tech’s home opener is set for Sept. 10 against South Carolina State at Joe Aillet Stadium.
Season tickets are on sale now, while general admission tickets for the Arkansas game are also available for purchase through the LA Tech Ticket Office until Aug. 19. Call (318) 257-3631 or visit LATechSports.com/Tickets for more information.
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