Nov. 28, 2008
RUSTON--The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will try to end the 2008 season with a perfect 6-0 record at home when they take on Western Athletic Conference foe Nevada Saturday at Joe Aillet Stadium with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.
Tech is coming off a thrilling 35-31 victory over New Mexico State last weekend while Nevada is recovering from a 41-34 defeat by the hands of Boise State.
It was another great win, another conference win," Tech head coach Derek Dooley said. "It really put us into the bowl picture now and it's just a great accomplishment by the team."
A win by Louisiana Tech this weekend over Nevada would put the Bulldogs at 8-4 and guarantee a second place finish in the conference finishing at 6-2 in the WAC behind only Boise State and would strengthen all bowl opportunities for the Bulldogs.
The Wolf Pack are also battling with bowl implications on the line as a win would put Nevada at 7-5 on the season and would almost guarantee a bowl spot.
Led by an explosive rushing attack that ranks number one in the nation and a hard hitting defense that ranks number two in the nation against the run, Nevada looks to be tough matchup for the Bulldogs.
"When you look at Nevada, where do you begin," Dooley said. "They're number one in the country in rushing, thirteenth in the country in scoring, sixth in total offense and they have the top two rushers in the WAC."
Although Tech matches up well against the run as they are surrendering only 99.5 yards per game on the ground ranking them 11th in the country in run defense, the Bulldogs have been a different story against the pass as they are conceding 269.3 yards per game through the air.
The Wolf Pack can get it done through the air as well as on the ground as shown by their quarterback Colin Kaepernick who has thrown for 2,082 yardsand15 touchdowns on the year, averaging 203 yards passing per game.
"The key to their offense is their quarterback," Dooley said. "He's just a phenomenal athlete. He reminds me of when I was at LSU how Matt Jones was at Arkansas. He's got that long stride. He (Jones) didn't look that fast on film, but our fast guys couldn't catch him. That's how this guy is and he can throw it. He's got a very talented arm. It's not like all they do is run it, they throw it for over 200 yards a game too, so what are you going to do to stop them?"
To add more meaning to this already important conference matchup, twenty one Bulldog seniors will take the field for their final home game this weekend against the Wolf Pack.
"I'm proud of this year's senior class because they were here when things got a little tough," Dooley said. "They remained here through the change and embraced the change and fortunately they have seen some results from it."
Regardless of the results of this weekend's games, Dooley believes the amount of effort each player puts forth while on the field is what really matters.
"If you don't go out there and play with every ounce of your gut and spray it all out on the field then you're going to get embarrasses and that's it," Dooley said. "Our team has really laid it all on the line this year, we have to play from the gut and we didn't do that at all last year at Nevada. It's not about winning and losing it's about how you compete and we have to go out and compete this weekend."
2008 Senior Class David Accardo, Alex Anderson, Philip Beck, Taylor Bennett, Keith Brown, Weldon Brown, Nolan Darby, Earl Griffin, Quin Harris, Anthony Harrison, Al Hawkins, Stevon Howze, Brannon Jackson, Breon Jackson, Patrick Jackson, Tavaures James, Chris Keagle, Brad Oestriecher, Jared Parten, Josh Wheeler, Shane Womack
Game Info Who: Louisiana Tech vs. Nevada
When: Saturday Nov. 29 1:30 p.m. CT
Where: Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, La.
Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Dave Nitz, Steve Davison, Benny Thornell)
T.V.: Cox Sports Television
Internet Streaming: www.latechtv.com