Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - The Tigers closed out their 2022 spring football camp with their annual spring football game in Tiger Stadium. Head Coach Brian Kelly decided to go with a different game format than what LSU fans are accustomed to seeing. Instead of splitting the roster into two teams, purple vs. gold, it was the offense against the defense.
SPRING GAME FORMAT – OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE* (4) 15-minute quarters
* Second half will be running time
SCORING SYSTEM (DEFENSE)* 3 points for a turnover/sudden change or stop
* 3 points for 3-and-out
* 2 points for a Color Zone Field Goal
* 2 points for a 3rd or 4th down stop
* 1 point for a sack or TFL or rush of -2 yards or more
* Normal scoring for interception, fumble returned for TD or safety
* Offense will be scored as a normal game
OTHER RULES* QBs will be in red jerseys and won’t be live
* There will be kickoffs but no returns
* All punts and kickoffs will be fair caught
* No rush permitted on punts, PATs and FGs
* No fakes on punts, PATs and FGs
The game began with the offense going three and out on their first possession with Jayden Daniels taking the snaps. Daniels was unable to find anyone to throw to as he scrambled on first down for an eight yard gain but was then whistled down for back to back sacks by Mason Smith forcing a punt.
Next drive saw John Emery gained nine yards on first down as Garrett Nussmeier stepped in to lead the offense up the field. The drive would stall across midfield at the 30 yard line after Desmond Little would sack Nussmeier on 3rd and ten for an eight yard loss. Ezekeal Mata entered the game and hit a 48 yard field goal for the offensive's first points of the day. The Tigers drove 31 yards on nine plays eating 3:03 off the clock on the drive.
The Tiger defense would dominate the next two possessions as they forced back to back punts.
Garrett Nussmeier again took over at quarterback driving LSU to their first offensive touchdown of the day. The Tigers traveled 74 yards on 12 plays ending with a ten yard Armoni Goodwin touchdown run.
*Key plays on the drive came on a 21 yard pass from Nussmeier to Tre Bradford. Goodwin then added a nice, physical nine yard run to set up his ten yard scoring play.
The Tigers' next score came midway through the second quarter as Jayden Daniels took it into the end zone from one yard out for the score after driving the offense 45 yards in only three plays.
*Key play of the drive came on a Daneils to Brian Thomas Jr. 39 yard completion down to the one yard line.
With the next possession Myles Brennan led the offense on perhaps the most impressive drive of the day. The drive covered 75 yards and took 11 plays with Josh Williams taking it in for the score from seven yards out.
*Key plays on the drive came when Brennan hit Armoni Goodwin out of the backfield for a 24 yard gain on a 3rd and five. Brennan also connected with Noah Nash on back to back plays for a six yard completion and then for a 12 yard gain on a 3rd and four.
The final score of the first half came on a one yard touchdown plunge by Josh Williams. Garrett Nussmeier took his next turn in Coach Kelly's quarterback rotation on the drive and completed a 27 yard pass to Josh Williams to set up the one yard touchdown. Armoni Goodwin rushed for 19 yards on the drive. The score gave the offense their first lead of the day at 31-28.
Nussmeier began the 3rd quarter guiding the offense on a 75 yard touchdown drive in only four plays. On 2nd and ten from their own 30 yard line, Tre Bradford broke a 37 yard gain to the defenses' 38. On the next play Nussmeier connected with Malik Nabors on a nice 30 yard completion down to the eight yard line. Nussmeier would then roll right and hit Jack Bech in the back of the end zone for an eight yard touchdown.
Jayden Daniels would lead the offense to another score on the next possession. The drive covered 75 yards in seven plays, ending with Daniles connecting with Bech for a nice 20 yard touchdown.
*Key plays of the possession came when Daniels rushed for 14 yards on the first play of the drive. Josh Williams would then rush for two nice gains of 23 and 11 yards. The score extended the offenses' lead to 45-28 with 5:29 left in the 3rd quarter.
The offense continued to dominate the second half as Myles Brennan directed the offense on a nine play, 75 yard drive ending with Brennan completing a eight yard touchdown pass to Malik Nabors on the final play of the 3rd quarter. This drive belonged to Tre Bradford who rushed for 40 yards on three carries while also grabbing a swing pass out of the back field for a nine yard gain. Goodwin also added a nice 12 yard run on the drive.
The final score of the game came when Walker Howard hit Corren Norman out of the back field on a 4th and six. Norman turned on the jets outracing the Tiger defense down the sideline for a 55 yard touchdown.
"We accomplshed what we wanted and that was to try and create, as much as possible, game like situations," Kelly said. "I wanted to see how our guys reacted to a game like atmosphere."
Myles Brennan in my opinion showed that he's the leader in the quarterback battle. He finished 11-17 for 99 yards with one touchdown.
Nussmeier finished 9-16 with 136 passing yards and a touchdown.
Daniels ended his day going 3-9 for 68 yards passing and a touchdown while also rushing for 34 yards and a score.
Howard went 3-7 for 59 yards passing and a touchdown,
The Tigers are once again loaded at running back position. Tre Bradford led the team in rushing with 86 yards on nine carries.
Armoni Goodwin (71 yards rushing and a touchdown), Josh Williams (53 yards rushing and two touchdowns) and John Emery Jr. (24 yards rushing)
The recievers had a solid day. All four quarterbacks spread the ball around nicely as 14 different players caught passes. Jack Bech led the way as he had a great day grabbing six passes for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
The offensive line performed well showing improvement, especially in the second half after giving up a handful of sacks early in the contest. Center Charles Turner led the unit with a solid performance while true freshman Will Campbell continued his impressive play at left tackle. Even though there was no blitzing allowed and the defensive played basic formations, the O-line still showed improvement especially opening up nice holes and running lanes for the backs in the second half.
Defensively, the defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half. Mason Smith was a force finishing with three tackles and two sacks. Defensive end Savion Jones stood out finishing with five tackles. Mike Jones (4 tackles) and
Kolbe Fields (5 tackles) were solid at linebacker. Greg Penn played well finishing with six tackles on the day.
The secondary overall played well with nice coverage throughout most of the contest. Jay Ward was a standout leading the team with ten tackles. Mathew Langlois finished with seven tackles in a strong showing. Brian Kelly was very pleased with the physical run support and solid tackling by the safeties.
But the most important stat of the day was 'no injuries'. The Tigers ended the day healthy as it looks like the entire team should return healthy in the fall.
LSU has shown improvement over spring camp and Coach Kelly will continue to work on the team's depth problems and filling in the holes.
"We're going to be a competitive football team." Kelly said. "We have some holes and those holes need to be addressed. We need to continue to work on it."
Da Boot Sports Spring Game Video
Brian Kelly's Post Game Press Conference
Photos Below By David Chivatero
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes
Photo Below By: Terrill Weil / Joe Burrow in attendance at the spring game