Bulldogs Shine in Homecoming Victory
Oct. 17, 2009
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech quarterback Ross Jenkins tossed three touchdowns and Daniel Porter recorded a 100-yard rushing day as the Bulldogs defeated New Mexico State 45-7 before a homecoming crowd of 20,773 fans at Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday afternoon.
While the LA Tech offense was clicking on all cylinders, the Bulldogs defense was stifling holding New Mexico State (3-4, 1-2 WAC) to 142 total yards of offense and zero offensive touchdowns - the Aggies lone score came on a 38-yard fumble return late in the game.
One week after struggling in a lopsided loss at Nevada, head coach Derek Dooley's team got off to a fast start and never looked back in winning for the third time in three tries at home this season.
"It was obviously a dominant performance by the team," said Dooley. "I'm proud of how well we hit the field, especially in the third quarter. We played hard for four quarters. The only disappointment was giving up the touchdown at the end."
Jenkins, who was under heavy criticism during the week for the Bulldogs offensive struggles in the loss to Nevada, completed 11-of-19 passes for 204 yards and three scores before departing the game with just over three minutes to play in the third quarter.
"He played a good game," Dooley said. "Ross is good when we play good around Ross. When we can manage our offense and run the ball, we can put 45 points. I don't know how much better you can get."
His main target throughout the contest was senior tight end Dennis Morris, who finished with career-highs in receptions (6), yards (126) and touchdowns (2).
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead on a Matt Nelson 26-yard field goal on its opening possession of the game, the Bulldogs marched 62-yards on four plays to grab a 10-0 lead on a Myke Compton 10-yard run with 4:07 to play in the first stanza. The big play of the drive was a 38-yard run by Porter, moving the Bulldogs inside the red zone.
Jenkins then gave Tech a 17-0 lead with 9:00 to play in the second quarter on a one-yard run, the second rushing touchdown of his career. The play capped an eight-play, 64-yard drive that took 2:41 off the clock.
With the first half winding down, Jenkins put another nail in the coffin as he found Morris over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down-and-three play with only 57 seconds to play in the half, giving the Bulldogs a commanding 24-0 halftime advantage.
The Bulldog defense continued its dominance in the second half as it held NMSU to nine possessions of three plays or less with the longest drive by the Aggies totaling five plays for 46 yards - a drive that ended with an Olajawon Paige interception on the Tech goal line.
While the Tech defense was hounding the Aggies, the Bulldog offensive continue to shine as Jenkins found Adrian Linwood for a 32-yard touchdown pass and Morris with a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. It was Linwood's first career score and the first by a Bulldog wide receiver this season.
Freshman Lyle Fitte capped the Bulldogs scoring with an impressive 26-yard run with 9:15 to play in the fourth quarter, upping the advantage to 45-0. Fitte ended the game with 51-yards rushing on only three carries.
The lone score of the night for New Mexico State came with only 4:56 to play as Davon House scooped up a fumble by DJ Morrow and scampered 38-yards for a touchdown.
For the day, Tech totaled 540 yards of total offense - 315 yards on the ground and 225 through the air - and 30 first downs while holding the Aggies to only 142 yards and six first downs.
"From start to finish, it was just one of those days," said NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker. "I've been in games like this and it just wasn't our day. We have got to go back, evaluate the tape, get back to the drawing board and try to get our act together for next week."
Dominique Faust led Tech with six tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks, while Adrien Cole, Antonio Baker, Kwame Jordan and Tank Calais each added five tackles. Calais and Paige added interceptions while Deon Young recorded his first career fumble recovery.
Tech returns to action Oct. 24 at Utah State at 2 p.m.
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