LSU’s Chavis, Arkansas’ Mallett make good first impressions

By David Moorman  |   Tuesday, March 31, 2009  |  Comments( 0 )

College Football
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Newcomers at LSU and Arkansas used the first college football scrimmages of the spring to indicate that they might be able to provide their Southeastern Conference Western Division teams with much-needed shots in the arms in 2009.

Former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis showed he has made an immediate impact in the same capacity at LSU, while Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett provided the Razorbacks with some quick-strike offense.

LSU’s defense slumped last season after its 2007 BCS national championship, and Chavis lost his Tennessee job after Phillip Fulmer’s exit. If what happened last weekend is any indication, apparently things have worked out for both of them.

The Tiger defense scored three touchdowns while holding the offense scoreless in the first of LSU’s three scrimmages. Another will be held this weekend with the spring game scheduled for April 18.
Meanwhile at Arkansas, Mallett threw two touchdown passes in his first extended action since redshirting last season after transferring from Michigan.

<b>DEFENSE BACK AT LSU:<b> The defensive backfield made its presence felt in impressive fashion with safety Harry Coleman and cornerback/safety Ron Brooks returning interceptions for touchdowns and safety Chad Jones recovering a fumble. Linebacker Perry Riley returned a fumble for a touchdown.

The LSU sports information department provided all information from the scrimmage that was closed to the public.

Coleman was the most consistently energetic player on last year’s subpar defense. Brooks saw limited action as a freshman but appears ready to serve as more than just a complementary kickoff returner to senior speedster Trindon Holliday.

The results didn’t bode well for an offense under the direction of quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee and early enrollee Ryan Shepard, but the 100-play situational scrimmage was scripted and put the offense at a disadvantage.

<b>ARKANSAS UNLEASHES AIR RAID:<b> It appears a writer had good reason to list as Mallett as one of 10 players who will make his name known this coming season.

Mallett surely provided Arkansas fans with what they wanted to see when he threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jarius Wright, who led the receiving corps with four receptions for 59 yards. Mallet’s scoring tosses covered 24 and 27 yards. He finished 11 of 25 for 165 yards with an interception but got the most out of his production.

Wright already proved his worth at Michigan, where as a freshman starter he won all three games in beating Notre Dame, Penn State and Northwestern. In 11 appearances, he completed 61 of 141 passes for 892 yards and seven touchdowns.

Arkansas also got additional scrimmage scoring from running backs Broderick Green and De’Anthony Curtis. Green had a 1-yard touchdown run, with Curtis reaching the end zone from 30 yards out.
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About David Moorman

Dave Moormann is an award-winning journalist, who has covered LSU athletics since 1980. He began his coverage with the Baton Rouge Advocate, where he was a writer and editor from 1980-98. In 1996, he authored a book on the history of LSU football entitled, "Fighting Tigers Handbook: Stories, Stats...
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