String of success
First-team O improves, but not enough
The McNeese State football team put a cap on its fall camp Saturday morning with a scrimmage at Cowboy Stadium two weeks ahead of its season-opening bout with Northern Colorado.
The Cowboys ran through situational scenarios in which the offense looked better as a whole than it did in the first scrimmage.
“I think we did some better things offensively,” said head coach Lance Guidry. “We’re still not close to where we need to be. Defensively, I think we’re really close, especially with the (first and second strings).”
Most of the offense’s success came when the second- and third-string offenses run by sophomore quarterback Cody Orgeron and freshman quarterback Cam Smith.
Starting quarterback James Tabary and the first-string offense went against the second-team defense, much to Tabary’s frustration.
“We could have been a lot better all around,” Tabary said. “We came out and started slow and we didn’t execute well. But that’s my job. I have to get the drive started. It doesn’t matter if we’re running or passing the ball, I have to get these guys motivated.”
The starting offense was without two regular starting offensive linemen in right guard Tyrae Johnson and left tackle Kyle Zenon, as well as Johnson’s backup Collin Fountain.
Guidry said none of the injuries was serious enough to rule them out of the Sept. 1 season opener against Northern Colorado, but serious enough to keep them out of the scrimmage.
But even with the limited numbers up front, Tabary remained frustrated with the way his unit played.
“It’s a chance for those guys to step up and go take their spot,” Tabary said. “There is always competition out there and there are always spots available. I’m going to do whatever I can to stay on the field as long as possible. My neck better be broken if I’m coming off the field.”
While the first-team offense struggled to find answers, the second- and third-team offenses made large strides, especially with Smith under center.
Smith made a variety of good plays, with a 55-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tre Roberts early in practice followed by a quarterback sweep that got him into the end zone untouched during red-zone drills.
The third team, led by Smith, capped the scrimmage with a touchdown followed by a successful 2-point conversion.
“(Smith) is the future of McNeese State,” said senior running back David Hamm. “He uses his legs really well like Cody Orgeron.”
Guidry said Smith is still learning how the offense works, but he expects him to do big things.
The defense also made big plays throughout the scrimmage. Defensive end Marcus Foster foiled what would have been at least a 6-yard gain for Hamm when he knocked the ball lose and defensive back John Blunt recovered for a turnover.
Defensive ends Chris Livings and Cody Roscoe also stood out, collectively tallying three sacks.
The Cowboys will take today off and will not practice Monday as they attend the semester’s first day of classes.
They will get back to work Tuesday afternoon and begin their regular practice routine.