Louisiana Tech Projected to Finish Third in C-USA West

July 17, 2013

IRVING, Texas - Conference USA announced the 2013 preseason all-conference awards and the projected order of finish Wednesday with two Bulldogs honored.

The team is projected to finish third in the West Division of Conference USA receiving 72 points, just four points shy of projected second place finisher Rice. Tulsa and East Carolina were selected to finish first win the West and East Divisions, respectively.

Junior offensive lineman Matt Shepperd and senior defensive tackle Justin Ellis both earned places on the Preseason All-Conference USA Team. The preseason teams were selected by the league’s 14 head coaches.

Tulsa had the most overall preseason selections with five, while East Carolina and Marshall had four.  Rice and Tulane each placed three players on the team.  Twelve C-USA schools had at least one player named to the team.

Among the preseason superlative winners, Marshall QB Rakeem Cato was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year, Rice DB Phillip Gaines was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Tulane K Cairo Santos – winner of the 2012 Lou Groza Award – was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.

Defending Conference USA Champion Tulsa was chosen unanimously as the preseason favorite to win the West Division.  2012 division co-champion East Carolina was chosen as the team favored to take the East Division crown.  Marshall and Middle Tennessee were the other schools to receive first place votes.

The league’s ninth annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West divisions, will be held Saturday, December 7. 

The 2013 C-USA Football season kicks off Thursday, August 29, with three non-conference games. All but one of the league’s 14 teams are in action during opening weekend, with seven games scheduled to air on television.



The 2013 season will mark the first under new head coach Skip Holtz as the Bulldogs enter the school's inaugural season as a member of Conference USA. The season begins on Aug. 31 when LA Tech plays at NC State in Raleigh. LA Tech's home schedule begins on Sept. 7 when the Bulldogs host Lamar at 6 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Tech football fans can take advantage of the "C-USA SALE-ebration Special" by purchasing one ticket (east side general admission only) and receiving a second one for free to any of the Bulldogs four home league games this year against Tulane (Sept. 12), North Texas (Oct. 19), Southern Miss (Nov. 9) and Tulsa (Nov. 23).

To take advantage of this single game ticket special, fans can call the Tech Ticket Office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Season tickets and tickets to the Heart of Dallas Classic against Army at the Cotton Bowl Sept. 28 are also on sale and can be purchased by contacting the Tech Ticket Office.

To purchase tickets, call the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631. Go to www.LATechSports.com and access the football tickets link to view the seating map of the Cotton Bowl and Joe Aillet Stadium.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.







1. East Carolina (11)


1. Tulsa (14)


2. Marshall (2)


2. Rice


3. Middle Tennessee (1)


3. Louisiana Tech


4. UAB




5. Southern Miss


5. North Texas


6. Florida Atlantic


6. Tulane


7. FIU








 (first place votes in parantheses)




Offensive Player of the Year

Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall

Defensive Player of the Year

Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice

Special Teams Player of the Year

Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane

First Team Offense

QB          Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall
RB           Vintavious Cooper, Sr., East Carolina
RB           Darrin Reaves, Jr., UAB
OL           Jake Alexander, Jr., Tulsa
OL           Stetson Burnett, Sr., Tulsa
OL           Scott Inskeep, Jr., UTSA
OL           Nate Richards, Sr., Rice
OL           Matt Shepperd, Jr., Louisiana Tech
OL           Will Simmons, Sr., East Carolina
WR         Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina
WR         Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane
WR         Tommy Shuler, Jr., Marshall
TE           Gator Hoskins, Sr., Marshall

First Team Defense

DL           Christian Covington, So., Rice
DL           Justin Ellis, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL           Greg Hickman, Sr., FIU
DL           Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL, Southern Miss
LB           Shawn Jackson, Sr., Tulsa
LB           Derrell Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
LB           Andre Kirk, Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB          Kevin Byard, So., Middle Tennessee
DB          Lorenzo Doss, So., Tulane
DB          Phillip Gaines, Sr., Rice
DB          Marco Nelson, Sr., Tulsa

First Team Special Teams

K             Cairo Santos, K, Tulane
P             Tyler Williams, P, Marshall
KR           Reggie Whatley, Jr., Middle Tennessee
PR           Trey Watts, Sr., Tulsa


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