Lightning Forces Spring Game Indoors; White Wins, 26-7

Lightning Forces Spring Game Indoors; White Wins, 26-7

BATON ROUGE — With four minutes left in the first half, the 2017 National L Club Spring Game was moved indoors due to lightning near in Tiger Stadium with the Purple leading White, 7-3.

Prior to the lightning, placekicker Connor Culp made a 21-yard field goal to cap a 7-minute, 17-second opening drive for the White team. The 14-play drive spanned 66 yards, including a 35-yard pass from quarterback Danny Etling to wide receiver D.J. Chark.

Following an interception by Kevin Toliver II, Purple used a face-mask penalty and 36 rushing yards by Lanard Fournette to score early in the second quarter. Fournette’s 1-yard plunge and Cameron Gamble‘s PAT gave Purple a 7-3 lead with 10:40 remaining in the second quarter.

Just after 8 p.m. CT, lightning was detected within eight miles of Tiger Stadium, and the duration of game was moved to the LSU Football Indoor Practice Facility. 

In the Indoor facility, the White team finished off a 26-7 victory.



Opening Statement…
“We had a tremendous day. We started off with a lot of former players coming back and bringing them back together. They were fired up, and it was a great day to see all of the ex-players coming back and all the championships those guys won and all of the accomplishments that they had. I think we have a very strong Tiger family, and that was one of the most impressive things of the day.”

“On to the scrimmage, it was the defense’s night. The offense did a tremendous job all spring, but tonight was the defense’s night. I don’t think that we played very well on offense. I know Coach (Matt) Canada is a little disappointed in the performance, but I have confidence that we are going to get better. The quarterback competition is open, and it is going to stay open until somebody proves they are our No. 1 quarterback.”

“I thought (running back) Lanard Fournette ran the ball well tonight. I thought he showed some flashes, and he is getting very well coached under (running backs coach) Tommie Robinson.”

“I thought the defense under (defensive coordinator) Dave Aranda did a tremendous job. Guys were tackling and running around, and they were very physical. We didn’t show anything on the kicking game. We have a new kicking scheme, and I didn’t want to show anything that (other teams) don’t know about. That’s the reason we didn’t line up with a kickoff team, a kickoff return team or a punt formation. Other than that, I was really pleased with the 15 days (of practice). Our guys have great energy and a great mindset. We need to get better. We are not ready to play a football game yet, and we consider this preseason game number one. As we all know, there are a lot of things to correct after preseason game number one.”

“We’re going to grade the film as a staff on Monday. We are going to watch the spring game on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, everyone will have an exit meeting with their coach that will be either good, bad or indifferent. We will also talk about what we need to do to get better over the summer. They are going to work out with (strength and conditioning coach) Tommy Moffitt. Finals are coming up, and we will give them a little break before we start hard in June. Overall, I was pleased with the performance of our team all spring.”

On how different he feels the team will look in the fall when all players are healthy…
“Especially at middle linebacker, we feel that we recruited three outstanding middle linebackers. Those guys will have to play next year. I saw a couple of them today, and they looked great. Jacob Phillips looked great. Those guys are going to have a chance to play, and play soon.”

On how he feels about the offensive line play today…
“We need to get healthy. We didn’t protect very well tonight, and they were getting overpowered. Again, we have Toby (Weathersby) and Will Clapp coming back, and we’ll have a good unit.”

His thoughts on Grant Delpit’s performance…
“He had a great night. Grant may start for us. Grant proved tonight that he could make plays. We treated this like a preseason game because we wanted to see what guys could do under the lights. He did a tremendous job. He’s a guy that we may consider to start, and also JaCoby Stevens. He may have a shot there. We’ll be playing a lot of young guys on defense.”

His thoughts on Ray Thornton’s performance tonight…
“Physical, fast, hard-paying outside linebacker. He’s a great young man. He wants to get better, and he will play a lot for us. He’ll also play a lot on special teams. I believe Ray is going to be an outstanding, outstanding player for us.”

On how much of the offense they showed in the spring game…
“We talked about that extensively. There is a lot of stuff that Matt (Canada) did not do. We wanted to be 50-50 tonight. 50 percent run, 50 percent pass I asked him to do that and he did it. We knew we had to work on our passing game. There are a lot of things he did not show, but most of the stuff he did show people have his film from Pittsburgh.”

On Kevin Toliver and Andraez (Greedy) Williams…
“I thought they played good tonight. Kevin Toliver has had a good spring. Greedy is doing an excellent job at cornerback. Donte (Jackson) is going to be an excellent cornerback. One of those guys is going to have to play nickel for us. One of those freshmen may play nickel for us, like a guy like Kary Vincent. We have a great class coming in. I cannot wait to put this team together.”

On the quarterback competition…
“Here is the deal. Nobody has earned the starting spot and you saw that tonight. If we had to name a starter tonight it is not a clear-cut winner. Most of the spring Danny (Etling) has been better. Underneath the pressure, the guys did not perform the way we wanted them to, so they are going to have to show me who is able to perform under pressure to be the LSU quarterback.”

On going to Philadelphia for the draft…
“What an honor. To be honest Les Miles coached them for three years, he recruited them. Frank Wilson and Corey (Raymond) recruited those guys and you have to give them the credit. I am going there and I cannot take the credit for recruiting those guys. I will say this, every one of those guys when I took over supported me 100 percent. I am appreciative of that. I am going to be there as the head coach of LSU but I cannot take any credit of recruiting those guys.”