Football's 2016 Spring Game Preview

Football's 2016 Spring Game Preview

BATON ROUGE – LSU will close out spring drills on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium when the Tigers hold the National L Club Spring Game (complete details) presented by Tony Chachere’s.

Kickoff for the game is set for 3 p.m. in Tiger Stadium and admission is free of charge. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and can be heard in the Baton Rouge area on 104.5 and 104.9 FM as well as in the Geaux Zone on Gordy Rush (play-by-play), Doug Moreau (analyst) and Derek Ponamsky (sideline reporter) will be on the call for the LSU broadcast.

The SEC Network will also televise the game with Chris Cotter (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst), Marcus Spears (analyst) and Kayley Hartung (sideline reporter) calling the action.

The Format

The spring game will feature the 1s vs. 1s (first offense and first defense) going through approximately 20 to 25 plays in the first half. The first half will see the No. 2 offense and No. 2 defense also getting 20 to 25 reps followed eight to 10 reps for the 3s. In the first half, the offense will wear purple jerseys and the defense will wear white.

At halftime, the No. 1 offense and defense will change into white uniforms and the No. 2 offense and defense will wear purple jerseys for the second half. The second half will have the No. 1 offense and defense facing the No. 2 offense and defense.

Coach Miles’ Take

“We’ve had a very productive spring up to this point. We have improved every area of our football team this spring. I like the direction that we are heading and what we’ve been able to accomplish through the first 14 practices.

“We are going to use the first half as an opportunity to go good-on-good (1s vs. 1s and 2s vs. 2s) for a set number of plays. In the second half, we will use a running clock and let the 1s take snaps against the 2s.”

“I want to see our guys compete. This will be the first time for some of them in Tiger Stadium in game-like conditions. It’s going to be a great afternoon of football.”

The Offense

The LSU offense will be led by junior running back Leonard Fournette along with quarterback Brandon Harris and wide receiver Malachi Dupre. Fournette, an expected Heisman Trophy front-runner heading into 2016, will split reps with the No. 1 offense with sophomore Derrius Guice. Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who sat out the 2015 season, will also get snaps with the No. 1 offense during the spring game. The Tiger offense will be without linemen and returning starters Ethan Pocic and Will Clapp, who are both recovering from injuries.

Keep an eye on returning starter Maea Teuhema, who has shifted from left guard to the left tackle spot this spring. Other linemen expected to see action with the No. 1 offense include left guard Garrett Brumfield, center Andy Dodd, right guard Josh Boutte, and right tackle K.J. Malone.

Newcomers to watch in the passing game are a pair of early-enrollee freshmen in Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan along with returning letterwinners D.J. Chark and Tyron Johnson, both of which have made tremendous strides this spring.

The Defense

LSU’s first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and the new 3-4 defensive scheme will be on display in Tiger Stadium for the first time. LSU’s new scheme has junior Devon Godchaux lining up a noseguard and Lewis Neal and Christian LaCouture playing defensive end positions. The new alignment also allows for last year’s defensive ends Arden Key and Tashawn Bower to play standing up at what’s technically an outside linebacker spot. Seniors Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley will serve as inside linebackers for the No. 1 defense, while rookie Savion Smith and Tre’Davious White will play the corners and Jamal Adams and Rickey Jefferson will handle the safety positions.

Other keys players to keep an eye on during the spring game include a pair of rookie linebackers and early-enrollees in Devin White and Michael Divinity Jr.

The Special Teams

LSU will go through all phases of special teams play on Saturday, however it will not be “live” action. LSU will open the game with a kickoff and will punt and kick field goals during the spring game. LSU returns starting placekicker Trent Domingue as well as kickoff specialist Cameron Gamble from a year ago. Josh Growden will be looking to step in for the departed Jamie Keehn at punter. The Tigers will also have a new long snapper in Blake Ferguson, younger brother of four-year starter at that position Reid Ferguson.

What’s Next

After Saturday, the Tigers will turn their attention to their offseason workout program in preparation for the 2016 season-opener against Wisconsin in historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay.