Louisiana Tech to Defend Home Turf Against Rebels Saturday Evening
Oct. 4, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Home for only the second time in five weeks but starting a three-game homestand, Louisiana Tech (4-0) returns to Joe Aillet Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m. to face the UNLV Rebels (1-4).
The game will be televised by ESPN Regional Television (ERT) and will be simulcast on Cox Sports TV in Louisiana, MASN and on Altitude 2 (ALT2) as well as on ESPN Game Plan with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jay Taylor (analyst) calling the action.
The Bulldogs are looking to move to 5-0 and match the program's best start since starting 5-0 in 1975 and to extend its regular season winning streak to 12 games.
A win could also help the Bulldogs break the glass ceiling that is the Top 25 rankings, a mark that has eluded the program since the 1999 season.
Tech is coming off two consecutive wins over BCS opponents in two consecutive weeks, a feat that even Boise State has not achieved during their recent run to multiple BCS bowls.
The Bulldogs' high powered offense - ranking 21st in the nation overall and fifth in the nation in points per game - hopes to overwhelm a Rebel defense that rates 92nd out of 120 FBS teams. Despite those rankings, head coach Sonny Dykes says the Bulldogs won't overlook UNLV.
"They are very well coached," Dykes said of the Rebels. "I think Bobby [Hauck] does a really good job with his football team. He won a lot of games at Montana. He has a good coaching staff and I really have a lot of respect for him. You can see them getting better. That is the thing that you have to judge coaches on is how much they improve. His team has improved dramatically from last year to this year and really from week one to where they are right now, they are better."
The homestand - with bookend games at Joe Aillet Stadium against UNLV and Idaho with Tech's game against Texas A&M in Shreveport sandwiched in between - is a welcome break from spending three of the first four weeks of the season on the road.
"For us to go out there and catch Virginia's best effort and figure out a way to win when it did not look very good early, that is a very good effort from our players and their toughness. The good thing is we are at home now for really three weeks and that is going to pay some dividends for us," Dykes said.
While the 2012 team is off to a hot start and has the chance to make a national splash, Tech will honor a past team that made the ultimate national splash as it honors the 1972 football team that won the national championship with an unblemished record of 12-0, including a 5-0 mark in Southland Conference play. That team defeated Tennessee Tech, 35-0, in the Grantland Rice Bowl in Baton Rouge to claim the National Football Foundation national championship.
Saturday's game will be Tech's annual "Bulldogs Tackling Breast Cancer" game, raising money and awareness to fight breast cancer. Short sleeve and long sleeve "BTBC" shirts will be on sale (while available) at the game on both concourses with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure.
This weekend's game is also billed as "Faith & Family Day" with noted Christian band Michael Reid Band will play a concert at J.C. Love Field at 3:45 p.m. Tickets for the concert are available at the LA Tech Ticket Office and will also grant admission to the football game.
As always, LA Tech will have free student tailgating at Garland Gregory Hide-Away Park and the Ruston Brick Kids Zone next to the Thomas Assembly Center.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.