Louisiana Tech Opens New Era at NC State Saturday
Aug 29, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's football program will start a plethora of new eras Saturday as the Bulldogs open the 2013 season at North Carolina State in Raleigh Saturday.
Saturday's game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern (11:30 a.m. Central) and will be televised on the ACC Network and simulcast on ESPN3. The broadcast will also be shown as part of ESPN's Game Plan subscription package. Steve Martin (play-by-play), Dave Archer (analysis) and Rachel Baribeau (sidelines) will call the action.
LA Tech and NC State - two teams that made coaching changes during the offseason but for different reasons - both open the season with many unknowns on the field. The game will be one of three in the country this weekend where both teams introduce new head coaches (Purdue at Cincinnati, Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky). Such a match-up will place an emphasis on halftime adjustments for both teams this weekend.
"I think they will be really important and not only important for the adjustments being made, but how your players are going to handle them with two first-year head coaches," Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said of the importance of halftime adjustments. "We do not have players that have been in our systems for three or four years that can go back and remember when we did that last year and turned that and did this and that. You are not going to have a lot of that, so I think it will be adjustments and how simple you can make them so your players can go out and execute them in the second half."
Holtz enters the game as the program's 33rd head coach on Dec. 14, 2012 and has worked since then building the team up for the start of the 2013 season.
The coaching change came after Sonny Dykes left for California but then incoming-University President Dr. Les Guice responded quickly and effectively, hiring Skip Holtz. NC State made a coaching change despite going 7-6 and making a bowl appearance last season.
The new President tabbed a new head coach who hired an almost entirely new coaching staff and works with a new athletics director is guiding the program into a new conference as Tech joined the ranks of Conference USA on July 1.
Not everything is new, however, for the Bulldogs as the offensive staff has embraced many of the same attributes of last year's offense, keeping with a hurry-up style of play with talented skill players across the field.
Starting quarterback Scotty Young is new to an actual collegiate gave having not taken a snap yet but is not new to this style of offense nor the rigors of a collegiate system. A transfer from Texas Tech, Young had to sit out the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules but was able to watch and learn from the effectiveness of Colby Cameron. Cameron guided Tech to a No. 1 national ranking in total offense and scoring offense and set an NCAA record with 444 career consecutive pass attempts without an interception on his way to winning the Sammy Baugh Award.
"I think the calmness of everything that he did, and really just decision-making is what I learned," Young said of studying Cameron last season. "He made great decisions last year which obviously is why we had a good year. He did not turn the ball over very often. That is the biggest thing that I have learned from him. If you are not turning the ball over, even if you are punting, that is better than turning the ball over. I think that is probably the biggest thing that I learned from him. It was really awesome to watch him play last year and learn everything that I got to learn from him last year."
While the personnel has changed greatly on the offensive side of the ball as Tech lost nine starters, the Bulldogs return one of the most prolific freshman running backs in NCAA history in Kenneth Dixon. The Strong, Ark. native ran for close to 1,200 yards and an NCAA Freshman record 27 touchdowns last year.
Only five starters are back on the defensive side of the ball (four linemen and Le'Vander Liggins at cornerback) but that allows for a crop of young athletic players in the secondary to improve upon a group that was ranked 120th in total defense and 116th in scoring defense last season.
KXKZ 107.5 FM will serve as the flagship station for the LA Tech Sports Network for the 15th straight year as the 100,000 watt station will carry all of the Bulldog football games in 2013.
Its sister station- KNBB 97.7 FM - will host Hill Oil's Inside Bulldog Football with Skip Holtz radio show each and every Monday throughout the season at The Dawg House Sports Grill with a new start time of 6 p.m. The first edition of Hill Oil's Inside Bulldog Football is scheduled for Aug. 26.
The 11 affiliate network will continue to provide coverage across the region, bringing the Bulldogs to listeners in Arkansas, East Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. In addition to the affiliates in Ruston, the LA Tech Sports Network will also include KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KTKC 92.9 (Springhill), KBEF 104.5 FM (Minden), KASO 1240 AM (Minden), KPCH 99.3 (Ruston), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield), KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport/Bossier City), KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport/Bossier City) and WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge).
All Bulldog football games can also be accessed online by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access on LATechSports.com. Cost of a subscription to LA Tech All-Access is only $9.95 per month or $79.95 for the entire year (which includes all live broadcasts for all of Tech's athletic teams).
Starting this year, fans can also choose to purchase the C-USA Digital Network subscription for $14.95 per month or $119.95 per year which includes all of the above content as well as audio and video for all road C-USA games along with additional video content throughout the year.
This fall all of the Tech football broadcasts can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network as Dave Nitz, Teddy Allen, Malcolm Butler, Bennie Thornell, Ryan Kavanaugh and Mason Ellenberger comprise the broadcast team.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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