Sept. 4, 2010
SHREVEPORT - Myke Compton scored two first half touchdowns and the Louisiana Tech defense held Grambling State to two field goals as the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 20-6 in the debut of first year head coach Sonny Dykes at Independence Stadium Saturday night.
"It feels good to get the first win," Dykes said. "Those are hard to come by in college football. If you look at the scores (from today) you can see some of the games and some of the teams that were probably favored to win and didn't. It feels great to get the win.
"I think we were a little disappointed in the way that we played. I think most of that had to do with Grambling. I think coach Broadway had his team extremely well prepared. Grambling played extremely hard, and they ought to be really proud of the way their student-athletes played. We have to get better and we will. I think it is good for our players to realize that we have to improve. I tip my hat to Grambling and coach Broadway because they played hard for 60 minutes. We were fortunate to get out of here with a win. "
Compton's 1-yard plunge in the first quarter gave Tech a 7-0 lead and his 2-yard scamper early in the second quarter increased the Bulldog's advantage to 14-3. Tech led 17-3 at the half before both teams traded field goals in an uneventful final 30 minutes of action.
In the much-anticipated debut of Dykes and the advertised high-octane style offense, LA Tech (1-0) showed growing pains during its 2010 opener as the Bulldogs totaled only 336 yards of offense while converting only 4-of-13 third downs in the game.
"I thought we did some good things," Dykes said. "We had three or four missed opportunities where we thought we had a call that could get us a touchdown and we didn't get the play off. In college football you are going to have only a few opportunities to catch them (your opponent) exactly when you want to catch them. We've got to take advantage of some of those plays. It was a sloppy first game. We'd hoped to be a lot sharper."
Early it appeared as Tech would easily pull away as the Bulldogs drove 69 yards on seven plays on its opening possession as Compton's 1-yard plunge on third down and goal with 12:49 to play gave it the lead.
Tennessee transfer Lennon Creer set up the score with a 37-yard burst up the middle before being hauled down on the Tigers 2-yard line by J. Powell. Three plays later Compton used a second and third effort to finally cross the goal line for the first score of the season for the Bulldogs. Matt Nelson's extra point gave Tech the 7-0 lead.
Grambling answered immediately, driving 58 yards on eight plays before Bulldog linebacker Jonathan Zeno sacked Tigers quarterback Anthony Carrothers on a third down play inside the red zone to stall the drive. Zoltan Riazzo nailed a 39-yard field goal with 8:48 to play to make the score 7-3.
"(Anthony) Carrothers is a great guy and he is an athlete for sure," said defensive lineman Matt Broha. "When we came into the game our number one concern was him scrambling out of the pocket and getting loose. We tried to put pressure on him all night. That's what we were doing all night up front - putting pressure on him and trying to keep him in the pocket. He is definitely a tough guy to stop, and I think we did a good job."
After empty possessions by both teams, Tech marched 80 yards on 12 plays to grab a 14-3 lead on Compton's second score of the game. The final 25 yards came on the ground as Creer and Compton pounded the Tigers defense. Nelson converted on the extra point to make it 14-3.
A three-and-out by GSU on its next possession led to a punt. However, the deep snap sailed over the F Carter's head before the Grambling punter retrieved it on his goal line, dodged a Tech tackler and got off an off-balanced punt that officially traveled six yards.
Despite the great field position, Tech managed only 17 yards on six plays before Nelson drilled a 39-yard field goal, making it 17-3 Tech.
On the first play from scrimmage following the field goal, Bulldog defensive back Josh Victorian intercepted Carrothers on the Tigers 27 yard line and returned it to the 18. Tech drove down to the GSU five before a seven-yard sack of Ross Jenkins stalled the drive. Nelson then misfired on a 27-yard field goal attempt with 6:08 to play in the second quarter.
Neither team threatened the rest of the half as Tech took its 14-point lead into the locker room.
Grambling State took the second half kickoff and methodically marched down the field, covering 57 yards on 14 plays setting up Riazzo's 34-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-6. The drive took 7:29 off the clock as half of the quarter was gone before Tech got its first offensive possession.
Following an empty possession by the Bulldogs, Jenkins was pulled in favor of sophomore Colby Cameron. Jenkins finished the night completing 15-of-19 passes for 101 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Cameron performed admirably during the final quarter and a half, hitting on 8-of-12 passes for 95 yards. He spearheaded a 69 yard drive midway through the fourth quarter that brought Tech inside the GSU 10-yard line before his fourth and one pass fell incomplete behind his Bulldog target and Grambling State took over the football.
"It's frustrating," Cameron said. "I know that when I was hit a few times that we had opportunities to score. If you have a chance to score you want to do so because it helps the defense out. It is frustrating but at least it is our first game, and we will have opportunities to keep going."
Danny Reyes took over at quarterback for Carrothers early in the fourth quarter after Carrothers was sacked by Matt Broha, injuring the true freshman signal caller.
Reyes took the Tigers on one final drive late in the game before his first down passes was batted up into the air and intercepted by Chad Boyd, who ran it back to the GSU side of the field with less than a minute to play.
Creer led the Tech ground game with 69 yards on 17 carries while Ray Holley added 30 yards on five carries. In addition to his two touchdowns, Compton had 10 yards and four carries.
Ten different Tech players caught a pass in the game led by red-shirt freshman Jacarri Jackson's four catches for 27 yards.
Tech returns to action next Saturday when it faces Texas A&M at Kyle Field at 6 p.m.