Nov. 12, 2009
RUSTON, La. -
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Louisiana Tech (3-6, 2-4 WAC) hits the road for the final non-conference game of the year as the Bulldogs head to Baton Rouge for an in-state showdown with No. 9 LSU. Saturday's game in the Bayou will kickoff at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPNU.
► Louisiana Tech will face its second Southeastern Conference opponent this season.
► LA Tech is looking for its first road win of the season.
► LA Tech will face a top-10 ranked team for the second consecutive week.
► Louisiana Tech will face its fourth opponent ranked in the top 65 in the Sagarin ratings on the road this season.
► With a 16-8 record at home since 2005, LA Tech has the third-best winning percentage at home among WAC members (see p. 5).
► LA Tech has won nine of its last 11 games in the friendly confines of Joe Aillet Stadium, but has not won on the road yet.
► Louisiana Tech is in its third season under the direction of head coach Derek Dooley. The Bulldogs have improved dramatically under Dooley, going from a 3-8 record prior to his arrival to an 8-5 season and an Independence Bowl win last year.
► LA Tech's 2008 Independence Bowl victory over Northern Illinois marked the Bulldogs as the only WAC team to record a bowl win in 2008.
► Louisiana Tech will be hosting two games that will air live on ESPN2, the first time that Joe Aillet Stadium will be the stage for multiple live national television audiences.
► With the addition of the LSU game to ESPNU, Louisiana Tech will have eight of its games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks this season.
Bulldogs Face Ranked Opponents in Back-to-Back Weeks
Louisiana Tech enters this week's game at LSU facing top-10 opponents in back-to-back weeks. Just off the heels of a 45-35 loss to No. 5 Boise State, Louisiana Tech must now turn around to face No. 9 LSU in Baton Rouge. Since 1989, Louisiana Tech is 3-26 against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Hoping to Break a Streak of 23 Straight
Entering this week's game, LSU has won 23 consecutive games against in-state opponents. That streak of wins against in-state opponents is second only to Ohio State. The Buckeyes haven't lost a football game to another team from Ohio since dropping a 7-6 decision to Oberlin in 1921. With one game ending in a tie, it's 41 straight games without a loss and it's 35 straight wins after a tie, if you're scoring at home.
Running Up the Body Count
Louisiana Tech has been bitten hard by the injury bug, moreso than any other team in the nation. Taking the team's depth chart from entering the season, Tech has had 18 players miss at least one-half of football due to injury or other related circumstances (this includes two players who have left the team due to personal reasons). Entering this week's game, Tech has eight starters out injured. Highlighting the list of the injured includes free safety Antonio Baker, whose Tech career came to an end against No. 5 Boise State when a broken tibia cut short his senior season. In an e-mail sent out to Division I-FBS SIDs across the nation, no other team has reported as many injuries to key personnel as Louisiana Tech has had this season.
The interesting note regarding the injuries is that most of the injuries are not happening on the offensive or defensive lines, as would normally happen throughout a physical season, but it is a list of all sorts of injuries happening at the skill positions: running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, etc.
Porter Nearing 3,000 Career Rushing Yards
Daniel Porter enters this week's game at No. 9 LSU with an opportunity to become only the third player in Louisiana Tech history to record 3,000 rushing yards. Only Jason Cooper (3,342 yds, 1991-94) and Ryan Moats (3,112 yds, 2002-04) have achieved such a feat while wearing a Tech jersey. Porter enters the game with 2,952 career rushing yards, only 48 rushing yards shy of the 3,000 mark.
Hitt vs. Hitt: It's a Family Thing
When Louisiana Tech lines up for the first play from scrimmage on defense, it will be a battle of two brothers. Tech will be starting #90 Mason Hitt at left defensive tackle this week at LSU so that he lines up opposite his brother, #65 Lyle Hitt, a right guard for the Tigers.
No. 1 Play
Dennis Morris' touchdown catch against No. 5 Boise State turned heads across the nation as the tight end reached over his defender to pull in the football. Even the powers-that-be in Bristol, Conn. were impressed by Morris' catch as ESPN ranked it the No. 1 play on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays on Friday, Nov. 6.
LA Tech-Boise State Game Marked 140th Anniversary of College Football's Beginning
When Louisiana Tech hosts Boise State on Friday evening at Joe Aillet Stadium, it will mark the 140 years to the day that the first college football game was played. On Nov. 6, 1869, nearly 100 spectators gathered to witness the first-ever college football game between Rutgers and Princeton. That game was reportedly "replete with surprise, strategy, prodigies of determination and physical prowess." Rutgers defeated Princeton, 6-4.
Could It Be the Opponent?
Louisiana Tech seems to be a tale of two teams this season with three dominating wins at home and four losses on the road. But that could not just be the Bulldogs not playing on the road when you take a look at the competition level Louisiana Tech is facing. Using the Sagarin ratings, Tech's home opponents have an average rating of 163 while Tech's road opponents have an average Sagarin rating of 66.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.