Offense is catching up

The Tigers took to their second major scrimmage of the spring Thursday afternoon. Despite thunderstorms earlier in the day, head coach Les Miles and his team took to Tiger Stadium once more.

"We were fortunate to have a great afternoon, because this morning didn't look like it would give us much of a chance to be outside," Miles said. "The field was perfect, the weather passed and it was a pretty good go."

The offense, which Miles has described as a step behind the defense all spring, made their biggest appearance to date.

"It was like night and day," he said. "They had a shorter way to go, because we put the ball at the 50-yard line to start out, but it was a much more evenly matched day. We were much more efficient.

"I thought Richard Murphy had a nice game running the football," added Miles. "We are also really asking Keiland Williams to step up. He has spent a lot of time around here, and we need him to be the guy. I thought today he had a run that looked different than what I have seen from him, so it looks like he may have stepped it up a little."

Williams scored on an 18-yard run, while Murphy led the attack with 47 yards on six carries. Williams added 25 yards and seven carries while Charles Scott logged 20 yards on five attempts.

While Jordan Jefferson had a great showing last Saturday, today's effort saw no clear cut leader among the group.

"The quarterbacks were all pretty even," Miles said. "I think Jarrett Lee had a few more completed passes then Jordan, but [Lee] made some nice throws. He completed a touchdown pass to start the scrimmage to Deangelo Peterson."

Peterson's touchdown came from 25-yards out, while his touchdown toss to Brandon LaFell came from 23-yards out.

The units traded punches throughout the afternoon, with the snap count seeing a ten rep decrease from last Saturday's go.

"We had about 30 plays per team, and maybe 30 special teams plays," Miles said. "We had a lot of one's vs. one's and two's vs. two's, and there were some pretty good two minute drives where the offense made some plays and the defense made some plays, so it was good."

On special teams, Miles said that competition is brewing.

"Josh Jasper and Drew Alleman kicked pretty well today, and I think that the competition there will decide the starter," he said. "The special teams punted efficiently, but not well. The cover units played well and we kicked it off well."

Defensively, it was the play of a pair of Tigers that caught the headman's eye.

"Drake Nevis looked really good, and he made a couple of plays on the defensive side of the ball," Miles said. "Chad Jones, boy he is a big, roaming body back there. If you put a ball up in the air he will come down with it. He had a really nice day."

As for whether or not Jones will stick with the football team to learn the safety spot instead of returning to baseball after spring practice ends remains up in the air.

"I don't really know about what Chad will do yet," Miles said. "I think that is coach Mainieri's call."

Jones led the way on the afternoon with four tackles, one for a loss, and an interception.

Harry Coleman had five tackles and Karnell Hatcher added three stops. Pep Levingston led the way on the line, where he recorded three tackles, two of which went for losses.

With spring break starting this weekend, Miles said that the week off should be just the right medicine.

"It is a break that allows them to reflect on what they accomplished and what they need to do," he said. "If they get off their feet and relax and get some runs in, it will be a great place for them to come back and have a good finish.

"Once they return we will watch this film and have four practices," he added. "If we can get our speed back up at the Monday and Tuesday practices after the break we will be fine."

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