Tigers ready to bring intensity to scrimmage

LSU center P.J. Lonergan (64) blocks for quarterback Jordan Jefferson against Vanderbilt on Sept. 11, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. Show caption
LSU center P.J. Lonergan (64) blocks for quarterback Jordan Jefferson against Vanderbilt on Sept. 11, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn.

LSU is scheduled to hold its second scrimmage of preseason camp Thursday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.

It’s the de facto end of preseason camp as players are free to move into their permanent housing during their off day Friday. Classes begin Monday.

Center P.J. Lonergan said this scrimmage will be welcomed.

“Everybody gets done, then you break camp,” Longergan said. “You get to go back home, and then you just come to practice. You don’t come up here all day.”

With depth chart decisions and the Sept. 3 season opener against Oregon drawing near, it’s one of the more important days in August for the Tigers. There’s also pride at stake on both sides of the ball.

“It’s always competitive,” safety Eric Reid said. “We look at each other like it’s Oregon. I look across the line and I see green helmets. We get after it.”

This scrimmage, like the first one Saturday, will be closed to the media and the public.

“It was pretty even,” Reid said of the first scrimmage, “but the offense scored a couple of times on the defense, which we obviously didn’t want to happen.

“We plan on playing better (Thursday).”

So, of course, does the offense.

“I think we want to be consistent,” Lonergan said. “We also want to take some shots. We want to have some big plays. Hopefully we’ll be able to have some big plays and be able to run the ball effectively.”

Running back Spencer Ware said coach Les Miles told the players to expect “a little more hitting” than in the first scrimmage.

“We’ll tackle appreciably,” Miles said. “We’ll set up all the situations: offense, defense, special teams. We’ll have a look at it and see where we’re at. It’s a good point with really about two weeks left to go for our opponent to see where we’re at.”

That’s especially true on offense, Ware said.

“We’re trying to figure out our identity,” he said. “We had some struggles on offense last year, and we had to depend on defense sometimes. We don’t want to have to depend on defense all the time this year. We want to be able to put our own weight and have the defense put their own weight. At the end, it’s still one team.”

Defensive end Sam Montgomery said the scrimmage can reveal a lot about players.

“You find out who can grind in the later part of games, and you also find out who you can depend on,” he said. “Those are other things that help you out. It lets you know this is a guy I can go to war with. This guy is accountable.”

Montgomery said he plans to be one of those guys.

“I hope everybody comes to play,” he said. “I hope everybody comes ready to work. I’m coming out here to work.

“We hope to show that we can run this (defense) full force and not get tired. We want to go all the way from the beginning of practice to the end of practice.

“I’m going to take this scrimmage so seriously, like I’m playing Oregon. This is our last scrimmage of camp so I have to go all out. I have to play every play like it’s my last.”