Saban not pleased with second spring scrimmage

LSU head coach Nick Saban wasn't at all pleased with his team's focus – or lack thereof – in the Tigers' second scrimmage of the spring practice period Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.

The scrimmage consisted mainly of situational drills, including third-and-long situations, redzone offense, two-minute offense and goal-line offense.

 

"Overall, I wasn't really pleased with the overall effort, intensity, attitude, crispness and hitting — all those things were not what they need to be," Saban said following the scrimmage. "And I think it's probably (because) it's pretty warm out there today.

 

"I thought we were sloppy. Not paying attention to detail. We were (just) enduring the scrimmage, not competing to get better. That was disappointing to me. I think that contributed to poor tackling, poor technique, poor position and poor judgment and decision-making. When you're not focused and concentrating, you don't make good decisions."

 

Saban was, however, quick to point out the positive aspects of the practice, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

 

Matt Mauck, playing with the first-team offense, completed 19 of 30 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Marcus Randall, leading the second team, was 15-of-28 passing for 241 yards and one TD.

 

"We definitely played better on offense today," Saban said. "The quarterbacks played a little bit better. I think we executed a little bit better in the passing game, which was good to see.

 

"Matt was more in command and in control of what he was doing. I thought Marcus was, too. They made more plays today, and we did a few things today to help the quarterbacks to be able to execute, and it was good to see that they responded in a positive way to that."

 

The LSU ground attack was highlighted by redshirt freshman Joseph Addai and true freshman Chris Vincent. Addai rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, while Vincent carried the ball 10 times for 79 yards and a score.

 

Vincent's score was a 65-yard romp that saw him break a number of tackles and plow over another would-be defender. Elice Parker, who saw time on special teams last season, also had a productive day, rushing for 33 yards on 10 carries.

 

"I was impressed with a couple of runners today," said Saban. "Joseph and Chris Vincent both ran and ran through some people at times and broke some tackles, which I think is a good sign. I was pleased with that."

 

Neither LaBrandon Toefield nor Domanick Davis saw any action. Toefield is rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered last season, and Davis was attending a family wedding and wasn't at the scrimmage.

 

Sophomore Michael Clayton, wearing a red (no-contact) jersey due to an injured back, was the leading receiver for the afternoon with five catches for 84 yards. Jerel Myers caught five passes for 48 yards, and Parker was an active pass-catcher as well, catching four passes for 82 yards and one touchdown.

 

Whether the offense was performing that well or if the defense was playing that poorly is up for conjecture. Saban found obvious faults in the defense, mainly for reasons he touched on earlier — concentration and effort.

 

"There was a lot of poor tackling and a lot of missed tackles," he said. "I promise you there were five times more missed tackles today (than before). People not wrapping people up, people not tackling with leverage, not keeping leverage on the ball. It just didn't look like a good football team to me."

 

Linebacker Bradie James led the defense with nine tackles, including a sack and a tackle for a loss. Damien James added three tackles, one interception and a forced fumble, while Norman LeJeune had one sack, one fumble recovery, an interception and one pass deflection.

 

Punter Donnie Jones punted seven times and averaged 46 yards per kick, while placekicker John Corbello, who was perfect in the previous Wednesday's scrimmage, made only four of eight field-goal attempts.

 

"Last week (at scrimmage) we looked like a good football team on both sides of the ball in terms of the attitude and intensity regardless of what the execution was," Saban said.

 

"This week we had better execution at times, but not the intensity that I feel we need to maintain to be able to sustain good execution over time, especially when things get difficult."

 

Saban also expects the team to have a higher standard of what they expect from themselves in terms of the level that they want to accomplish regardless of what the circumstances are.

 

"When I don't see winning effort day in and day out and the standard that everybody expects to play to, I'm disappointed," he said. "So I guess we have to go back to square one, because if we didn't get it in scrimmage, we better start getting it in practice, because we only have a few left.

 

"Everybody got a little talking-to after the scrimmage to let them know I didn't feel that was the kind of character and attitude that we need to play with to have the team that we want to have."

 

The Tigers will cap the spring practice period with the annual Spring Game at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27 in Tiger Stadium.

 

OFFENSE

Rushing

Att

Yds

TD

Joseph Addai

13

90

2

Chris Vincent

10

79

1

Elice Parker

10

33

0

 

Passing

Att-Comp

Yds

TD

Matt Mauck

19-30

218

2

Marcus Randall

15-28

241

1

Rick Clausen

1-9

8

0

 

 

Receiving

Rec

Yds

TD

Michael Clayton

5

84

0

Jerel Myers

5

48

0

Elice Parker

4

82

1

Blain Bech

4

60

0

Joseph Addai

3

40

0

Shyrone Carey

3

39

0

Solomon Lee

2

12

1

 

DEFENSE

Tackles

No

Sack

For Loss

Bradie James

9

1

1

Corey Webster

6

 

 

Jack Hunt

6

 

 

Brandon Washington

5

 

 

Travis Daniels

5

 

 

 

Interceptions

No

Yds

Damien James

1

28

Norman LeJeune

1

0

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punting

No

Avg

Donnie Jones

7

46.0

 

Field Goals

John Corbello           4 of 8 (made 29, 27, 20, 22; missed 41, 50, 32, 58)

Chuy Guitierez          1 of 1 (made 19)


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