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Cowboy Night time to pull it all together


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Hey Doc, we expect an update...  


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Cowboy Night time to pull it all together (8/23)      

By GARY LANEY

AMERICAN PRESS

The official word is that tonight's Cowboy Night at Cowboy Stadium is the final dress rehearsal for McNeese State's football team before the Sept. 2 season opener at South Florida.

Unlike previous scrimmages, this one is played as a game simulation. Special teams are run on the field, plays are called from the press box where the coaches watch with headsets on, just like on a game night. The clock will run for 20-minute halves.

"We work on communications and we get a feel for what a game night will be like," head coach Tommy Tate said.

This year's version will have a bit more to it than that.

There is competition for starting positions all over the field, and though Tate won't get into specifics — "I won't talk about it," he said, "but we'll have a two-deep come game week." — it's easy to figure out where the battles will be fought.

Quarterback and tailback are the most prominent positions where there is a question of who the starter will be.

Mark Fontenot entered August as the odds-on-favorite at quarterback and Chris Thomas is the returning starter at tailback. But both have been pushed by promising young prospects.

Fontenot, a sophomore who started two games last season, has been pushed by redshirt freshmen Derrick Fourroux and Bart Crader and sophomores Steven Mistretta and Beau Lasseigne.

Fontenot, who has been bothered by a pulled abdominal muscle in August camp, will likely get snaps tonight.

"They are going to have to beat Mark," said offensive coordinator Matt Viator of the challengers. "But some of these guys have had very good camps."

Thomas and Kris Bush are the returning guys at tailback, but they've been pushed by no fewer than four challengers, including Jamie Leonard and a trio of rookies — sophomore Terez Jackson, redshirt freshman Elrick Jones and true freshman Toddrick Pendland.

"Chris knows he's in a battle," said running backs coach Carlos McGee, who said Thomas might see more playing time than a veteran returning starter normally sees in the last scrimmage.

If there's any doubt as to where the competitions are, that will be the tell-tale sign. Tate said at positions where a starter's job is secure, that player will likely play "enough to get good and lathered up," then possibly take the rest of the night off.

Tate said the first-team offense will match up with the second-team defense and the second-team offense will play the first-team defense. He said there will be the occasional matchup of the third teams as well as the night goes on.

The game will be played under lights that have recently been repaired after the damage caused Hurricane Rita. But facilities director Richard Rhoden said there are still issues with positioning some of the lights that won't be resolved until the Sept. 9 home opener against West Virginia Tech.

The players will be introduced shortly before 6 p.m. and the scrimmage will start following the player introductions after a warm-up period.

Athletic trainer Jim Murphy said linebacker Matt Kreamer and tailback Elrick Jones will miss the scrimmage with injuries while wide receiver Carlese Franklin and defensive end Kenton Alleyne are questionable.

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Boy, EVERYBODY has QB questions huh?

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Boy, EVERYBODY has QB questions huh?

Tell me about it!   It's starting to get debated on our messageboard.    Fontenot, who has game experience, is more of a pocket passer and not as fast running.   Fourroux can run and pass.   Crader is a speedster (sprint track star in high school) who can run very well and also throw some.  Then there are two more.   All of them are young guys, so we are going to be dealing with this for awhile.

But I guess this is better than in the spring of 2004, when our punter back then had to QB both teams in the Spring Game when both of our only available Qb's were hurt and couldn't play in it.   :)

Doc

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Hey Doc, we expect an update...  

I'l be there camera in hand to take pictures.  I'm taking the afternoon off to get there early.

Of course, with the Cowgirl kickers and cheerleaders atttending, there will other pictures taken besides just football scimmage pictures.   ;)

Doc

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Boy, EVERYBODY has QB questions huh?

not many top 1a programs

1aa programs

and bottom half 1a programs

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Quick note before I hit the sack tonight.

I'd sure hate to be a McNeese coach trying to put together a depth chart for the Qb, RB, and WR positions for McNeese.   From the three scrimmages I saw, everybody looked good.   We are definitely ahead of where we were in 2004 & 2005 but probably not as good as the NC finalist team of 2002 or the 2003 team.  

Qb starter depends on how Mark Fontenot abdominal muscle strain responds to treatment.   He didn't play tonight.   If he is healthy, he will get the start and Fourroux should be second team.   If Fontenot can't go, I'd think Fourroux gets the start and Crader, the speedster, is the backup.   Both run a lot better than Fontenot.

At tailback, Paddy Thomas gets the start by default because he was the starter last season.   The backup is a tossup between Kris Bush, Jamie Leonard, Elrick Jones, and Terez Jackson.  All of had their moments.

Wide receivers.   Quinten Lawrence and Carlese Franklin definte starters, followed closely by Steven Whitehead.   You can pretty much plug in most any of the other wide receivers.   The is the best depth of talent we've had a WR in years.

I'm more worried about our DL especially our DT's.

Doc

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