Orgeron: Offense, defense have strong moments in second LSU preseason scrimmage

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BATON ROUGE – LSU’s offense and defense battled back on forth as the Tigers held their second scrimmage of preseason camp here Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.

The workout was the final full-scale scrimmage for the Tigers before facing UCLA in the season-opener on Saturday, September 4 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. LSU now goes into game-week mode with “Tell The Truth Monday” next up for the Tigers.

LSU will use the next two weeks to prepare for the Bruins, which includes a mock game in Tiger Stadium next Saturday.

“I thought our coaches and players did an excellent job of getting the intensity up,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “There was a lot of enthusiasm on both sides of the ball.

“The defense started fast on the first series, stopping the first and second offense. Then both the first and second offense responded by moving the ball down the field on the next couple of series. I thought it was an outstanding day for both (offense and defense).”

Offensive leaders on Saturday included starting quarterback Max Johnson, who completed 11-of-19 passes for 125 yards and touchdown, while true freshman Garrett Nussmeier connected on 18-of-32 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns.

Josh Williams led all running backs with 66 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, while true freshman Armani Goodwin had 25 yards on six carries and Corey Kiner 15 yards on five attempts. Orgeron said Ty Davis-Price and John Emery did not scrimmage.

Devonta Lee paced the receivers with 85 yards on five receptions, including a spectacular catch along the sidelines to extend a drive. Malik Nabers caught four passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Deion Smith had three catches for 67 yards and a score.

Safety Jay Ward led the defense with eight tackles, while Maason Smith had three sacks and Zavier Carter added a pair sacks.

The scrimmage featured the 1s against the 1s and the 2s against the 2s in game-like situations for most of the day. The Tigers wrapped up the workout with the two-minute drill. LSU also worked on special teams which was highlighted by a 54-yard field goal by junior All-America Cade York.

“We ended the day with the two-minute drill and I saw a lot of great things,” Orgeron said. “We still had some protections problems, but we improved as the day went on. I thought the offense had the better day today, they scored points and made some big plays.”

“We had a great scrimmage today and we got what we wanted to out of it. We wanted to have a final great scrimmage, which we did. Now we go into next week focused on game-planning for UCLA.”

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