Tech Faces 17th ranked Boise State Wednesday
Sept. 30, 2008
BOISE, Idaho -- Louisiana Tech (2-1, 0-0 WAC) and 17th ranked Boise State (3-0, 0-0 WAC) will begin Western Athletic Conference play Wednesday at 7 p.m. as they battle on the blue turf of Bronco Stadium in a nationally-televised game on ESPN.
Louisiana Tech will look to snap Boise State's 28-game home conference winning streak, while the Broncos will look to continue that streak as well as add another win to their 46-2 conference record since 2002.
"It's going to be a great challenge for our team," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "It's not going to be a challenge just because it is Boise, but because it is on the road and we haven't played well on the road. We need to do a better job of that this week."
The last time Tech was on the road it suffered a 29-0 loss at the hands of 13th ranked Kansas back on Sept. 6. However, after a bye week, the Bulldogs bounced back beating the Southeastern Louisiana Lions 41-26 Sept. 20 in Ruston.
The Broncos topped a tough Oregon Duck's team 37-32 in Eugene their last time out and look to continue their dominance over Tech at home, where they are 3-0 since both teams joined the WAC in 2001.
Neither team has played since Sept. 20 as both teams have had 10 days to prepare for this game.
"The bye week gives you an extra practice or two," Dooley said. "We took advantage of the extra time and worked the guys pretty hard, but Boise has had the same amount of time off so there is really no advantage. For our team we look at it as a Saturday, it's still game day for us."
Both the Broncos and the Bulldogs will benefit by the game being on a Wednesday night rather than on a Saturday because the game will be able to be seen on ESPN. This will be the third time in four games this season that Louisiana Tech will be playing on national television.
"These are the games you should want to play in," Dooley said. "How well will we handle it? I don't know. We handled the exposure well against Mississippi State in week one, but didn't handle it real well at Kansas the next week."
If Louisiana Tech hopes to snap the Bronco's 28-game home conference winning streak then it will have to slow down a powerful Boise State offense led by running back Ian Johnson and quarterback Kellen Moore.
Johnson is leading the Bronco offense on the ground averaging nearly 75 yards rushing per game which ranks second in the WAC.
The Bulldog's defensive strength this season has been against the run surrendering only 93.3 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 25th in the country.
The Louisiana Tech pass defense this season has been a different story. The Bulldogs are allowing an average of 348.7 yards per game, ranking them in the bottom of the WAC. They will try to contain Kellen Moore who ranks first in the WAC in passing yards per game averaging 280 yards.
Moore was named National Offensive Player of the Week as well as WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Oregon. He completed 25-of-37 passes for 386 yards and thee touchdowns as Boise State won its first ever game on the road against a member of a Bowl Championship Series conference.
Louisiana Tech's offense hopes to continue to have success on the ground as the Bulldogs are averaging almost 164 yards per game this season while the Broncos are allowing 148.3 yards per game through three games.
"It's going to be tough," Dooley said. "There's going to be times when we will be holding on out there because we got some tough matchups. We have to pressure the quarterback as usual and have to have good scheme discipline to compete Wednesday night."
What: Louisiana Tech vs. Boise State
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho
Stations: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KLKL 95.7 FM (Shreveport)
Talent: Dave Nitz, Steve Davison, Benny Thornell
Talent: Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore