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Spring football is perhaps best seen as a necessary evil, and McNeese State’s first spring scrimmage highlighted both the “necessary” and the “evil” on Friday afternoon. A young offensive line got more much-needed reps in the 100-play scrimmage, but it might have come at a cost as running back Javaris Murray left early with a knee injury. Murray blew out a knee during a spring scrimmage in 2010, and the severity of his current injury is not yet known. (Rick Hickman /American Press)<br>

Spring football is perhaps best seen as a necessary evil, and McNeese State’s first spring scrimmage highlighted both the “necessary” and the “evil” on Friday afternoon. A young offensive line got more much-needed reps in the 100-play scrimmage, but it might have come at a cost as running back Javaris Murray left early with a knee injury. Murray blew out a knee during a spring scrimmage in 2010, and the severity of his current injury is not yet known. (Rick Hickman /American Press)

Cowboys running back Murray injures knee in scrimmage

Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 11:09 PM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

Spring football is perhaps best seen as a necessary evil, and McNeese State’s first spring scrimmage highlighted both the “necessary” and the “evil” on Friday afternoon.

A young offensive line got more much-needed reps in the 100-play scrimmage, but it might have come at a cost as running back Javaris Murray left early with a knee injury. Murray blew out a knee during a spring scrimmage in 2010, and the severity of his current injury is not yet known.

“I’ll have to talk to the doctors,” said McNeese head coach Matt Viator, “but I’m hoping for the best.”

Outside of the loss of Murray, Friday’s results were a mixed bag on both sides of the ball. Defense dominated the start and finish of the scrimmage, while the offense reigned supreme in the middle third.

“At times we were really good; at times we were sloppy,” Viator said. “Both sides did some good things. The offense really started moving in the middle, Cody (Stroud) got hot. Then at the end the defense took over again. It looked like spring break was coming up at times, but at times it was real good.”

Stroud served as the prime example of the ups-and-downs of the day. After a slow start, the quarterback completed seven consecutive passes and finished 12 of 19 for 150 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

“A lot of good things happened and a lot of bad things happened,” Stroud said. “That’s why we’re practicing in the spring. Getting guys some experience and seeing who can play what positions. We came out a little slow. The defense made some plays, but then they missed some plays, just like the offense did.”

Backup quarterback Tyler Bolfing got a couple of series running the No. 1 offense, while third-stringer Leon Blouin played a pair with the No. 2s.

Blouin impressed with a 65-yard touchdown run against the third-string defense that was set up by a crushing block from wide receiver Ryne Ferguson. He also found Jereon McGilvery on a 7-yard touchdown pass with the second unit.

“We wanted to give everybody a chance, to get Tyler and Leon in there some, and played a lot of running backs,” Viator said. “That’s kind of what scrimmages are about, getting guys in position to make plays.”

The Cowboys will take a week off for spring break before resuming the second half of spring practice.

One of the goals coming back, Viator said, will continue to be growth along the offensive line. All 12 linemen in camp are getting snaps at each of the five positions.

“Coach (Rob) Sale is moving them all over the place,” Viator said. “Even the new guys, (Quentin) Marsh and (Nick) Gorman. Gorman is playing center. So right now it’s not real cohesive, but they are getting a lot of quality reps and I’m real pleased with their progress.”

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