Battle of the Bulldogs Set for Saturday at Fresno

Nov. 19, 2009

RUSTON, La. -

GAMEDAY CENTRAL

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► Louisiana Tech (3-7, 2-4 WAC) will face Fresno State in the WAC's annual Battle of the Bulldogs. This year's installment takes place in Fresno, Calif. with a depleted Tech team looking to record its first road win of the year and stop a four-game slide, all of which came by a 10-point margin or less.

Game Notes
► LA Tech is looking for its first road win of the season.
► LA Tech's last four games have been decided by 10 points or less.
► This week's game marks the first time in three weeks LA Tech has not faced a top-10 team.
► LA Tech is 1-5 in games played at Fresno, Calif.
► Louisiana Tech will face its fifth 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.

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 Becomes Third Player in School History to REach 3,000 Career Rushing Yards
With Daniel Porter's 64 rushing yards at No. 9 LSU, Porter became only the third player in Louisiana Tech history to accumulate 3,000 career 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.

Morris Reaches Highlights on ESPN for Second Consecutive Week
Louisiana Tech's Dennis Morris reached the ESPN highlight reel for the second consecutive week following Tech's game at No. 9. Morris' touchdown reception from Daniel Porter on a trick play gave Tech the 13-10 lead at halftime and was highlighted on ESPN's College Football Live on Nov. 14 as one of the top college football plays of the weekend.

A week earlier, 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.

With only one exception on either side, no home opponent has a Sagarin rating better than 97 (Boise State being the exceptoin) and no road opponent has a Sagarin rating worse than 71 (Utah State being the exception). Italics denote opponent Tech has yet to play.


 

 

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