RUSTON – There was one word to describe Louisiana Tech football’s first spring game under new coach Sonny Cumbie.
The up-tempo style the Bulldogs displayed led to the offense winning 41-26 Saturday over the defense, but both sides were able to make plays.
“I was really pleased with how they looked. You can gather with the rhythm they played with, ”Cumbie said. “I thought we played well early defensively, but overall, I thought our players handled themselves very well. This is one practice of 15, so it does not weigh more than any of the other ones, but you do like to see how your players react when there’s people in the crowd. ”
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The quarterback competition is expected to come down between TCU transfers Matthew Downing, a redshirt junior, and Parker McNeil, a redshirt senior, along with freshman Landry Lyddy. All three performed well – combining to go 22-for-32 with 222 yards and two touchdowns.
While Downing appeared to look the sharpest of the group by completing a pass to seven different receivers and going 9-for-12 with 110 yards and a touchdown, Cumbie won’t say who has the upper hand.
“They both have done a really good job (this spring),” Cumbie said. “It’s been back and forth, day-by-day and sometimes period-by-period. We have two older quarterbacks that can be a positive influence on Landry. ”
While the receiver group returned a lot of experience, it was redshirt freshman Bud Holloway who stole the show with two touchdown grabs – one from 30 yards out and another from 24. The Oak Grove product finished with a team-high 58 yards on three catches to make his case for more playing time.
“Bud’s very consistent and he answered the bell,” Cumbie said. “We’ve had some guys that have been down and that’s an opportunity for us to make our roster completely stronger. That’s just another example of one of our players being ready when their opportunity comes, so it’s always fun to see guys have success like that. ”
The defense adapted to the offense’s fast pace and turned up the pressure at times with four sacks and a game-ending interception by Jakobe Brock.
Brock tied defensive back Jaiden Cole with six tackles Cole said the new staff expects the defense to swarm to the ball.
“They created some negative plays,” Cumbie said. “Those pressures are very difficult. They did a great job with turnovers and getting stops early. I’m very pleased with where they’ve been after 15 practices. ”