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Monday, March 22, 2010
La. Tech's Jenkins misses practice, back this week

By Graham Watson

With three practices in the books after this weekend, Louisiana Tech was able to install the final third of its new spread offense.

However, it did so without its starting quarterback.

Ross Jenkins missed Friday and Saturday’s practices after learning that his father suffered a stroke and passed away Thursday evening. Jenkins, a native of Houston and whose brother Max plays quarterback at Army, should be back this week.

“[The thoughts of everyone in our program] are with Ross and his family right now,” coach Sonny Dykes said. “I know it is very difficult for him but I know his teammates and the coaches are certainly here for Ross and his family. It is really sad about what happened.”

Colby Cameron, Steven Ensminger and Doak Raulston were the only quarterbacks available for Friday's and Saturday’s practices. Reserve Randy Hardin suffered a shoulder injury and opted to be a student coach in lieu of surgery.

With the third and final part of the offense in, the goal is now adjusting to the offensive tempo, which is a little quicker than what Louisiana Tech ran in the past.

Last season, Louisiana Tech offensive coordinator Tony Franklin ran an average of 73 plays per game while at Middle Tennessee. Louisiana Tech managed 68 plays per game.

While it might not seem like that big of a difference, those plays could mean more opportunities to score.

Louisiana Tech is even practicing faster to train its players to get into the quick tempo mindset.

“I think the players are just starting to get more comfortable with the way we practice and the speed of the practice. That is something we are continually getting used to, coming out here and understanding how quickly we move. That is something we really made progress on today. We are still learning the whole practice process –- and it is a process.”