March 28, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech practiced for two hours at Joe Aillet Stadium as the team held its eighth practice of the spring in a session Friday night that was highlighted by the offense building some rhythm and moving the ball.
Friday's practice session focused mainly on team drills and game-like situations with the practice capping off with the two-minute drill. At the end, the first team offense was able to move the ball down the field and kick a field goal in under two minutes while the second team offense moved 60 yards downfield to the red zone but gave up an interception.
"We had a lot of team today;" head coach Skip Holtz said of Friday's practice. "This is day number eight. We were healthy today, got a lot of team work in and we worked the two-minute drill at the end. I think this is invaluable for us. Of course, I don't think we can get enough game-like reps. We are going good-against-good in everything we are doing but we need all this experience. It is hard right now because you can't put everything together as you don't have all the pieces. There are a lot of injuries right now with guys that had surgeries in the fall. It is just hard to put the team together but every guy out here is putting in a lot of work and I think we are getting better and better. I see a lot of positive things happening out here on the field on both sides of the ball."
The offense continued to show improvement ever since Monday's practice five days ago when little went right for that side of the ball from bad snaps to missed blocks to incomplete passes. The offensive unit continues to build on what was put in place last fall while also trying to add to its repertoire.
"They did," Holtz said of the offense beginning to find some rhythm in moving the ball. "I think we can line up and do what we did a year ago. That's really where our comfort level is but there are some things we have talked about like being able to secure some edges, run the ball and do some different things that right now we will get better and better at. I saw some of those things today but there is no doubt that where this team is most comfortable is still in the spread, being able to throw it around and do some different things and that is still a big part of what we do. We just have to have the ability to go to something else when we are not able to throw it with success or protect our quarterback."
The key issue that was raised during Monday's practice was the offensive line's protection of the quarterback and the centers being able to successfully snap the ball in a shotgun formation.
"I am more and more understanding as far as protection is concerned and the way they are picking up protections," Holtz said. "I think the snaps, ever since that day [Monday] the emphasis has been on what we need to do to get where we want to be. We can't be a shotgun football team if we can't run a shotgun snap. We haven't had a bad snap since then - knock on wood - but I think those guys are really making a concentrated effort to get better and better at it."
Louisiana Tech will take the weekend off before returning to spring practice on Monday.
Spring practice wraps up on Saturday, April 12 with the T-Day Spring Game which is set to begin at 1 p.m.
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