Thomas admonishes Demons after lackluster scrimmage, productive mock game
NATCHITOCHES – At the end of the longest preseason in college football history, the Northwestern State Demons wobbled a bit Saturday morning.
Following a mock game and a lackluster controlled scrimmage, fifth-year head coach Jay Thomas firmly admonished his players as they head toward game-week preparations for next Saturday night’s visit to Louisiana Tech.
“On the positive side, we got all the substitutions covered, every possible scenario reviewed, and we were pleased with that part of our day,” said Thomas. “In the scrimmage portion, we were not very pleased. The effort we’ve been getting for the last four weeks was not there, for whatever reason. There was a little misunderstanding today. Toward the end it got better. The first half wasn’t so good.”
In the 2:15-long session under cloudy skies, the Demons had limited contact and no tackling. The practice blended scenarios and competitive periods.
Senior offensive lineman Korliss Johnson, a three-year starter, thought it was a teachable moment.
“Of course, you’ll have ups and downs, but you have to fight through adversity and come together as a team,” he said. “We’ll have everybody on the same page to get ready to play the Bulldogs.”
The Demons are beginning their regular in-season routine this weekend. They will have a Sunday evening special teams session, then get Monday away from football to focus on academics before reporting for position meetings at 2 and practice afterward on Tuesday afternoon.
“The guys tune in a little bit more knowing it’s game week,” said Thomas. “You’ll notice the coaches do, too. When the players get here Tuesday, it will be a little more energetic, I’m sure.”
The difference won’t be dramatic, however, said senior linebacker Peyton Guidry.
“It won’t change a whole lot. We’ve been waiting for this moment, and it’s finally here,” he said. “We have to keep up our intensity and work ethic because they’re doing the same thing in Ruston. They’re working every day to get better to beat us and we know we have to do the same thing to beat them.”
In the last matchup between the ancient rivals, NSU scored 20 fourth-quarter points in 2014 and surprised Louisiana Tech 30-27 in Ruston. It was the first meeting in the series in 20 years. The Demons and Bulldogs played nearly every season for 80 years beginning in 1907.
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