Oct. 25, 2008
WEST POINT, N.Y.-- Despite a valiant defensive effort by the Louisiana Tech defense, the Bulldogs (3-4, 1-2 WAC) were unable to pull off their first road victory of the season falling to Army (3-5) 14-7 in the rain at Michie Stadium.
"It was one of those old fashion rain, wind, field-position games," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "The type where the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins. We made an inordinate amount of mistakes on offense from penalties to dropped balls to mental errors. And we had a turnover that led to a touchdown. When you make those types of mistakes, you won't win."
The Louisiana Tech defense forced four turnovers and only allowed 203 yards rushing on 56 attempts to an Army team coming into the game averaging 253 yards rushing per game.
"We played well defensively," Dooley said. "But in these kind of games, it wasn't good enough to win though. We gave up a touchdown drive after we had tied it. Army answered the bell."
Army put points on the board first after taking advantage of a Ross Jenkins fumble. The Black Knights would take over at the Tech 18 yard line and seven plays later Army would punch it in with a one yard touchdown run by Ian Smith at the 2:30 mark in the first quarter. Mathew Campbell would add the extra point to make it 7-0 Army.
Army registered five sacks in the game against Tech which had allowed only six all season coming into the game.
"I thought they out-quicked us up front," Dooley said. "They were beating us off the ball. We just didn't do a good job of protecting. Ross also has to get rid of the football sometimes.
Louisiana Tech would later force a fumble of their own early in the second quarter when Brannon Jackson forced Army running back Wesley McMahand to fumble on the Army 41 yard line and Tech's Antonio Baker would recover the fumble. However, Tech would suffer from a 15 yard block in the back penalty and 10 yard holding penalty on the drive forcing the offense to need 35 yards for a first down. A 20 yard completion from Ross Jenkins to Shane Womack would set up a 42 yard Brad Oestriecher field goal attempt. However, the attempt would go wide left allowing the Black Knights to take over on their own 25 yard line.
The Tech defense would hold strong yet again forcing Army to punt after five plays. Army's punter Andrew Rinehart would bobble the snap forcing him to rush his punt. The punt would go 10 yards allowing Tech to take advantage of a short field starting at the Army 36 yard line, but the Army defense would hold forcing a Tech punt. Keagle's punt would be downed on the Army two yard line.
The Black Knights were unable to earn a first down from their two yard line giving Tech the ball at the Army 47 yard line with 1:03 remaining in the first half, but the Bulldog's offense would be unable to gather any points before the end of the half.
After a Louisiana Tech punt on their first drive of the second half, Tech's Tarence Calias would force Army's Justin Turner to fumble and Jared Barron would recover at the Army 34. Tech would face a fourth and one on the Army 26 yard line and Dooley would elect to go for it. Ross Jenkins would convert the fourth down conversion by completing a pass to receiver R.P. Stuart for 14 yards moving Tech down to the Army 12 yard line. Tech would eventually put the ball in the end zone on a two yard run by Stuart around the left end, Stuart's second career rushing touchdown and second straight game with a rushing touchdown. Oestriecher added the point after knotting the score at seven with 7:11 remaining in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter Army's Jameson Carter would muff a Keagle punt allowing Louisiana Tech's Anthony Harrison to recover the fumble at the Army 40 yard line and giving the Tech offense another golden opportunity to put points on the board inside Army territory. The Bulldog offense would again struggle to put a drive together though, forcing a 51 yard field goal attempt by Oetriecher that would sail wide right.
The Army offense would then take over and march 66 yards on 10 plays as Bowden connected on a two yard touchdown pass to Smith to give the Black Knights a 14-7 lead with 10:00 left in the fourth quarter.
On Tech's last attempt to tie the game the offense would be unable to get anything going suffering from an illegal substitution penalty and a sack on second down for a loss of five yards. The Bulldogs would be forced to go for a fourth and 20 from their own 35 and would not convert as Ross Jenkins' pass would go incomplete with the ball slipping through receiver Phillip Livas' hands in front of the first down markers.
Army would run out the final seconds of the game making the final score 14-7 and preserving the Army win.
The Bulldogs return to action next week when they face conference foe Fresno State at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston for homecoming at 1:30 p.m.