Louisiana Tech Hosts Idaho as Last Year of WAC Play Begins
Oct. 18, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Last year, Louisiana Tech began a seven-game winning streak with a win over Idaho. Fast forward one year later and the Bulldogs are looking to do the same. Louisiana Tech (5-1, 0-0 Western Athletic) returns to Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday evening as the Bulldogs host Idaho (1-6, 1-1 WAC) at 6 p.m.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on ESPN Regional (ERT), ESPN Game Plan and ESPN3 with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jay Taylor (analyst) calling the action.
Louisiana Tech concludes a three-game home stand with not only a focus on the future of starting a new winning streak but also a blast from the past as former Bulldog QB Luke McCown will be in attendance. A few lucky fans will have the chance to win a Luke McCown replica jersey.
Saturday's contest likely marks the last against the Vandals - against whom the Bulldogs own a 5-2 series advantage - as Louisiana Tech enters its final year in WAC play before moving to Conference USA next year.
A win could also mean the start of a new winning streak for the Bulldogs, something the team is looking for after a 59-57 heartbreaking loss to No. 22 Texas A&M last week. Tech's 24-11 win at Idaho last year began the team's seven-game overall and 12-game winning streak; the latter of which led the nation before the loss to the Aggies.
"They are a team that physically they just whipped us last year," Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes said of the Vandals. "I mean we won the game. We were very fortunate to win it. Their defense just manhandled our offense really. They are big up front, big on the back end. They are always physical. That is kind of their deal. They are going to hit you."
"Our players will be able to turn the tape on and watch them beat us up last year," Dykes continued. "The reason we won the game last year was we did not turn the ball over and they did. I thought we played exceptionally good defense in that game last year and really punted the ball well. Ryan Allen was a big part of our success in the game last year."
Tech's defense, much maligned in the media for yards and points allowed but forcing more turnovers than any other team in the nation, has a chance to focus and build confidence this week. The Vandals enter Saturday's game ranked 108th in the nation in total offense (out of 120 teams) and 115th in turnover margin.
Idaho coach Robb Akey was full of compliments of Louisiana Tech's program at his weekly press conference earlier this week.
"You watch that game Saturday (Texas A&M at LA Tech), that was a hell of a football game. 250 plays in this ball game, it was unreal. Obviously you have a great deal of respect for Louisiana Tech. In regards to the scoreboard they were well out of the picture early in the ball game. They found ways to make plays and fought themselves back in to it. They really battled and made some things happen. They were that close to have the chance to win that ball game. I respect that. This is a damn good football team we're going to face," Akey said.
The Vandals will be making their second trip to Louisiana this season and their fifth of five road trips to the Central or Eastern Time Zones. The long distance travel that Idaho faces this year is similar to the challenges Louisiana Tech is used to in its 11-year affiliation in the Western Athletic Conference. Idaho has played games at Bowling Green (L, 21-13), LSU (L, 63-14), North Carolina (L, 66-0) and Texas State (L, 38-7) already this season.
Despite the statistical mist-match, Tech quarterback Colby Cameron says the team is preparing for a challenge Saturday.
"They are always a tough team, real physical," Cameron said of Idaho. "I think that they will bring it. I think they are really hungry at this point in their season. We just have to focus on having great practices this week, and focus on the details. I need to get more in-depth with film, but I feel like I kind of know their personality just by playing them in the past three years. It will be real tough and physical and we are excited to play them."
The LA Tech Ticket Office opens at 1 p.m. while the Ruston Brick Kids Zone, the LA Tech Alumni Association Tailgate at Argent Pavilion and the Tailgate Show on KXKZ 107.5 FM all get underway at 3 p.m. The gates of Joe Aillet Stadium will open at 4 p.m. with kickoff set for 6 p.m.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.