Nov. 14, 2013
RUSTON, La. - For the first time this season, Louisiana Tech will face a team it played last year as the Bulldogs travel to Houston to face Rice (6-3, 4-1 C-USA) on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Rice Stadium.
|Louisiana Tech at Rice
Saturday, Nov. 16 - 6 p.m. CT
|Radio: LA Tech Sports Network | Listen|
|Buy Tickets Here|
|LA Tech Game Notes|
|Rice Game Notes|
Saturday's game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analysis) and Evan Washburn (sidelines) calling the action.
The Bulldogs (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA) began the year 1-4 but have bowl eligibility in sights needing to win two of its last three games. The challenge gets tougher this week as LA Tech will face a Rice (6-3, 4-1) team that is in the hunt for the C-USA West Division title. Success in Texas will not come easy for the Bulldogs as they go against an Owls team that has not lost a November home game since 2007.
The ground game has been the solid rock LA Tech has relied upon in its last two wins with Kenneth Dixon rushing for 326 yards in the last two games. Dixon's performance has been important as the Bulldogs await the return of Tevin King from an ankle injury suffered at UTEP on Oct. 5.
Tech's other big question centers at the quarterback position. Scotty Young started in place of a Ryan Higgins in Louisiana Tech's 36-13 Rivalry in Dixie win over Southern Miss last week after Higgins was scratched prior to kickoff. Both quarterbacks have practiced this week and the Bulldogs' signal caller looks to be another gametime decision this week.
"Scotty Young stepped into a difficult situation," Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said of the junior quarterback. "I talked after the game about just the resolve that he has had with a little bit of the adversity he has gone through, starting at quarterback, getting injured, losing that job to Ryan Higgins and then with the injury getting the opportunity to come back. He really made the most of it. I thought he did some really good things and most importantly he protected the football, which is huge for us especially going into this game this weekend."
Part of the improvement in offense and success on the football field over the last few weeks has been the result of changes on the offensive line with sixth-year senior Jeremy Graffree moving to left tackle.
"I thought the five offensive linemen really played well," said Holtz. "This is the second week in a row that we were trying to create a little bit of stability there with Jeremy Graffree moving over there to the left tackle, Mitchell Bell at the right tackle, Tre Carter and Matthew Shepperd at the guards, along with Cano at center. I thought they really played well on the offensive line."
The Bulldogs have also improved in the secondary particularly with the improvement in the play of Adairius Barnes at cornerback. Barnes recorded two interceptions against Southern Miss and almost had a third as Tech's defense recorded four interceptions in the game overall.
"You just see that his comfort level, his blood pressure, his poise getting better," Holtz said of Barnes. "He has figured out game situations and what an offense is trying to do to him. He is starting to get a really good feel at corner. He is getting more and more comfortable out there. Now I think you are starting to see some of his talent come to the top. He has great ball skills and great feet. He is as quick as can be and I think he has the chance to be a really special player."
KXKZ 107.5 FM will serve as the flagship station for the LA Tech Sports Network for the 15th straight year as the 100,000 watt station will carry all of the Bulldog football games in 2013.
Its sister station- KNBB 97.7 FM - will host Hill Oil's Inside Bulldog Football with Skip Holtz radio show each and every Monday throughout the season at The Dawg House Sports Grill with a new start time of 6 p.m.
The 12 affiliate network will continue to provide coverage across the region, bringing the Bulldogs to listeners in Arkansas, East Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. In addition to the affiliates in Ruston, the LA Tech Sports Network will also include KDBS 1410 AM (Alexandria), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KTKC 92.9 (Springhill), KBEF 104.5 FM (Minden), KASO 1240 AM (Minden), KPCH 99.3 (Ruston), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield), KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport/Bossier City), KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport/Bossier City) and WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge).
All Bulldog football games can also be accessed online by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access on LATechSports.com. Cost of a subscription to LA Tech All-Access is only $9.95 per month or $79.95 for the entire year (which includes all live broadcasts for all of Tech's athletic teams).
Starting this year, fans can also choose to purchase the C-USA Digital Network subscription for $14.95 per month or $119.95 per year which includes all of the above content as well as audio and video for all road C-USA games along with additional video content throughout the year.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.