Bright spots on both sides of the ball shone through Sunday while the Northwestern State coaching staff reviewed tape of Saturday night's 125-play scrimmage, the first of the Demons' preseason camp, with some depth chart adjustments resulting, head coach Bradley Dale Peveto said Monday between practice sessions.
Monday, the Demons had the first of three two-a-day sessions in full gear this week. There were some shuffles on the personnel charts stemming from performances last week and Saturday night, although Peveto wasn't ready to raise the curtain on them yet.
"We've made a few depth chart changes that we'll evaluate this week and see how they work, and if they do, we'll share those. One of the concepts we have is ‘next man in' because the next man has to be prepared to play the next play, and right now we have some good depth chart battles," said Peveto.
Saturday night, NSU's Purple Swarm defense produced five turnovers, including a 21-yard fumble return touchdown by senior safety Cortez Paige, while the offense rang up eight touchdowns, including three long pass plays, two by starting quarterback Brad Henderson.
"Through 89 plays, the defense gave up one touchdown and I thought played extremely well. Then from plays 90 to 115, the offense dominated. I saw a lot good on both sides," said Peveto.
"Offensively we did a great job, aside from turnovers, of playing consistently. We had some dropped balls that killed some drives, but we ran it well and took shots down the field with more success," he said.
Through 12 preseason workouts, Peveto cited the best features and biggest area of improvement needed on both sides of the ball.
"Offensively, we're doing a great of running the ball, and being multiple in their schemes. It's a great mixture of schematics, so to speak, making us defend a lot of different sets. The number one area for improvement is turnovers. We gave up the ball far too many times Saturday night.
"We're playing extremely hard defensively, running to the ball and attacking very well. We have to clean up our run fits. We did not fit some sets well, against the two-back run game, on Saturday and that was a glaring problem. We've played so much spread, we weren't as good against two-back as we should have been," he said.
While the team did not practice Sunday, newcomer players and coaches showcased other skills in the Demons' annual Talent Show Sunday night.
"The talent show was absolutely incredible. We had a group of newcomers do a skit that was set in one of our coaching staff meetings, and I'll just say I'm not sure how they had it pegged dead on, but it was hilarious. We all had some big laughs and some great bonding," said Peveto.
Newcomers sang the Demon Fight Song for the first time in what Peveto called "enthusiastic and entertaining" renditions.
"We gave no style points. We are all about effort and execution when it comes to singing the fight song," he said. "This isn't The Voice or American Idol."
The Demons will practice in full gear Tuesday morning at 9:40 and go through another two-a-day practice Wednesday.