LSU coach Les Miles: Anthony Jennings performed 'better on more days,' offense looks sharp in third scrimmage _lowres

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU football coach Les Miles says, 'The offense definitely improved' in Saturday scrimmage.

One week after the defense held the upper hand, the offense got even Saturday in the LSU football team’s third scrimmage of the spring.

In reaching the two-thirds mark of 15 spring practices allowed, LSU coach Les Miles put his team through a 100-play situational scrimmage — consisting mostly of third-down, red-zone, tight red-zone and two-minute work.

As usual, Saturday’s scrimmage was closed to media, but Miles said the offense had the best of it, with junior quarterback Anthony Jennings leading a pack of players turning in solid performances.

“The offense definitely improved,” Miles said. “This was probably the best offensive scrimmage we’ve had (this spring), and certainly you can say they may have bested the defense today. It was very competitive.”

Miles said Jennings, who continues to duel sophomore Brandon Harris for the starting job, completed nine of 14 passes for 200 yards with a pair of red-zone touchdowns. Harris also played well, Miles pointed out, even though he hit on only “10 or 12” of his 22 pass attempts.

Miles said neither quarterback has a leg up on the other, even though he acknowledged that Jennings “looked very sharp today.” He said both are already better than last season after 10 of 15 spring practices.

“(We’re looking) to find a real quality quarterback and they have separation from one to the other, that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “Not necessarily seeing that.

“I think it’s the turn of the day,” he added. “Anthony Jennings probably has performed better on more days; and on other days, it’s been Brandon Harris.”

Scrimmage stars

Miles lauded the play of Jennings and Harris’ targets — particularly wide receivers D.J. Chark and Trey Quinn, and tight end Jacory Washington — after Saturday’s scrimmage.

Chark had three receptions for 99 yards with two touchdowns, one going for 70 yards on the first series. Quinn had two catches, both for touchdowns, and 35 yards. Washington added two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

“There were some really talented receptions,” Miles noted.

Tailback Leonard Fournette had 100 yards-plus rushing, while Darrel Williams ran hard and well and finished with 55 yards, Miles said.

Defense has moments

Even though offense won the day, the defense wasn’t exactly shut out.

Miles said sophomore defensive lineman Sione Teuhema scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown, while the Tigers were able to apply some pressure to the two quarterbacks.

“I can tell you, they were all around the quarterback today,” Miles said. “I enjoyed that.”

He said defensive end Deondre Clark had a sack that was whistled dead because of the no-contact rule on the quarterbacks, and linebacker Deion Jones was “on the quarterback several times” and recorded two sacks.

Linebacker Duke Riley had a team-high seven tackles; while Teuhema, Jones and safety Jamal Adams collected six tackles each. Adams also had a sack.

Smith sits out

Washington took advantage of the situation at tight end with DeSean Smith sidelined by an injury Saturday.

Miles said Smith, who had a breakout game with four catches for 66 yards in the Tigers’ Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame, was nicked up.

Miles also said Saturday he doesn’t expect defensive tackle Quentin Thomas to participate at all this spring after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery as well as a procedure to repair a torn biceps he played with last season.

Coming up

With its 10th practice Saturday, LSU wrapped up its third week of spring drills.

The Tigers will return to the practice field Tuesday and Thursday before getting a week off for spring break. Spring ball will conclude the week of April 13 with the National L-Club Spring Game on Saturday, April 18, in Tiger Stadium.

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter: @MicklesAdvocate.