RUSTON — There was one word to describe Louisiana Tech’s first spring game of football under new coach Sonny Cumbie.
The fast style displayed by the Bulldogs helped the offense win 41-26 on Saturday against the defense, but both teams managed to make plays.
“I was really happy with the way they looked. You can come together with the pace they played with,” Cumbie said. “I think we played well at the start defensively but overall I think our players performed really well, it’s a practice in 15, so it doesn’t weigh more than the others, but you like to see how your players react when there are people in the crowd.
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Quarterback competition is expected to be between transfers from TCU redshirt junior Matthew Downing and redshirt senior Parker McNeil, as well as rookie Landry Lyddy. All three performed well — combining to go 22 for 32 with 222 yards and two touchdowns.
While Downing appeared to be the sharpest of the bunch 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 did a really good job (this spring),” Cumbie said. “It was back and forth, day after day and sometimes period after period. We have two older quarterbacks who can be a positive influence on Landry.
While the group of receivers brought back plenty of experience, it was redshirted rookie Bud Holloway who stole the show with two touchdown catches – one at 30 yards and another at 24. The Oak Grove product finished with a team-best 58 yards on three catches. to plead his case for more playing time.
“Bud is very consistent and he answered the bell,” Cumbie said. “We’ve had guys that have been taken down and this is an opportunity for us to make our roster completely stronger. This is 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 fast pace of the attack and increased 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 expect the defense to rush the ball.
“They created negative plays,” Cumbie said. “These pressures are very difficult. They did a great job with turnovers and early stops. I am very satisfied with their position after 15 training sessions.