Under construction: Scrimmage first chance to evaluate rebuild

Published 9:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023

McNeese State’s rebuild will take its first big step of the spring today when it plays the first scrimmage at Cowboy Stadium.

With a 10 a.m. start time, second-year head coach Gary Goff said he hopes to get in two sets of about 30-35 plays. The scrimmage comes at the end of the second week of spring workouts which have impressed the coach.

“We have seen a lot of energy so far,” Goff said. “I’m looking forward to us putting some things together and seeing how they look Saturday.”

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What he said he’s looking for is a big step from last year’s first scrimmage, when the Cowboys didn’t have enough healthy bodies to run through a full workout without stops in play.

Calling it a much different camp, the coaching staff hopes to find big plays and clean action.

“We want to eliminate the mistakes and make some explosive plays down the field,” Goff said.

McNeese lacked big plays last season while going 4-7, though it did see the offense open up a little in the final three games, all wins.

Big plays would mean improved play at both quarterback and wide receiver. McNeese signed seven new receivers and, Goff said, could add two more before fall camp begins.

Not all are on are campus yet so the offense remains a work in progress.

“I have liked some of what we have seen but we are looking for two more transfers that can help us there,” Goff said. “We want to find some big-play guys down the field.”

That would be a plus for Nate Glantz and Tre Simmons, two transfers who are fighting for the starting quarterback position. They are expected to get equal time through the early portion of camp running with the first team.

“I’m excited about both of them,” Goff said. “Both got a gunslinger mentality. The most important position in the program is quarterback. Hope it is a difficult decision who to start.”

One group that has stood out is the defensive backs. Goff praised the work of transfers Jamari Evans, Jayden Matthews, Boogie Silver and Levi Wyatt.

“They have come together back there and have shown us leadership despite being new to the program,” Goff said.

McNeese will play its second scrimmage a week from today and finish off workouts with its spring game on April 1.