Bicknell, Bulldogs Glad to be Home
Posted Oct 22, 2002 14:15:10
RUSTON - Forty-two days separate this weekend's homecoming game against Nevada from the last contest played at Joe Aillet Stadium, and no one is happier than Louisiana Tech head coach Jack Bicknell about returning to his home turf.
Following the Bulldogs 53-9 win over Tulsa at home Sept. 14, Tech has played road games against Penn State, Texas A&M, Rice and SMU. The 42-day span is the second longest in the country this year behind only Brigham Young's string of 43 days.
"It will be a great thing to be back home," Bicknell said. "It has been a long time on the road. It is very difficult to play on the road that many weeks in a row. We are excited to get back home and play in front of our fans in our stadium."
Despite Tech's current four-game losing skid, the Bulldogs have won six straight home games dating back to a 20-16 loss to Central Florida in the final home game in 2000. Overall, the Bulldogs own a 105-37-2 mark at Joe Aillet Stadium since its opening in 1968, including a 5-0 mark in Western Athletic Conference play.
"Being on the road for as long as we have takes a toll on you," said junior signal caller Luke McCown. "It is always a good feeling knowing you don't have to travel anywhere to play anybody. I think this is just what we need and it is coming at the right time."
Nevada enters the contest on the heels of a 52-24 win over San Jose State last weekend and boasts one of the top offenses in the country led by the nation's leading receiver in Nate Burleson. However, the Wolfpack have lost three straight road games.
The game looms as a must win for Tech if the Bulldogs harbor hopes of participating in a postseason bowl game.
"Hopefully, we will be angry enough having lost four straight," McCown said. "We are tired of losing and I think practice will be a little more intense this week. We need to stay focused."
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.