Dec. 5, 2011
Louisiana Tech recorded a school record 11 players named to the 2011 all-WAC teams announced by the league office Monday. The Bulldogs registered a league-best seven first team honorees while claiming coach of the year and defensive player of the year honors.
Head coach Sonny Dykes was named the coach of the year in only his second season at Tech and becomes the first coach to garner Coach of the Year honors since Jack Bicknell in 2001.
Linebacker Adrien Cole was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, the first Bulldog to achieve such an honor since Walter Johnson in 1986 when Louisiana Tech was a member of the Southland Conference.
Tech had a league-best seven players named first team all-WAC with wide receiver Quinton Patton, offensive linemen Stephen Warner and Kris Cavitt, defensive lineman Matt Broha, linebacker Cole, defensive back Terry Carter and punter Ryan Allen claiming the top honors. Defensive lineman Justin Ellis, linebacker Jay Dudley, defensive back Chad Boyd and kicker Matt Nelson were named second team all-WAC.
The all-conference teams are selected by a vote of the league's coaches with no coach allowed to vote for any of his own players.
Offensive lineman Warner and Cavitt earned first team honors for the first time in their careers.
Broha garnered first team all-WAC honors after finishing the year tied for seventh in Tech history with 7.5 sacks and his 22 career sacks ranks second in school history. The senior played in all 12 games and was sixth on the team with 42 tackles while also forcing two fumbles. He was named to the second team all-WAC in 2010.
Cole led the Bulldogs with 121 tackles. The conference defensive player of the year also recorded one interception for a touchdown (46 yards), two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The senior led all Tech players with 12 tackles for losses. This is Cole’s third all-WAC honor as he was named to the first team all-WAC in 2009 and second team all-WAC in 2010.
Carter recorded his own interception for a touchdown while forcing a fumble. Carter ended the season with 60 tackles and led Tech with 10 pass break-ups.
Allen earned first team all-WAC after averaging 46.3 yards/punt. The Ray Guy finalist finished the 2011 season with 37 punts downed inside the 20, 20 punts downed inside the 10 and 25 50+ yard punts.
Ellis garnered second team all-WAC honors after recording one sack, one fumble recovery and 26 tackles. The defensive lineman started all 12 games for the Bulldogs.
Dudley led all Bulldogs with four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. The senior ranked second among all Tech players with 92 tackles.
Boyd recorded three interceptions, and ended the season with 71 tackles. He broke up six passes and registered a fumble recovery.
Nelson ended the 2011 season after making 14 field goals and 43 PAT’s. Nelson is tied for sixth in Tech history with 40 field goals made throughout his career and fourth in extra points made with 122.
Dykes led the Bulldogs to an 8-4 record after beginning the season 1-4. Tech ended the regular season with a seven-game win streak and their defense ranked third in the nation with 20 interceptions. Of those 20, five were returned for touchdowns. In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Dykes compiled a 13-11 (10-5 WAC), leading the Bulldogs to their first bowl game since 2008.
This marked the fifth consecutive year that the Bulldogs have had at least five players named all-WAC. Tech finished the 2011 campaign with a record of 8-4 (6-1 WAC) and WAC champions. They will play in the Poinsettia Bowl vs. Nov. 15 TCU (10-2, 7-0 MWC) who won the Mountain West Conference for the third consecutive season.
The 2011 Poinsettia Bowl will be televised on ESPN and will be the only bowl game taking place on Dec. 21. Joe Tessitore (play-by-play) will call the action along with Lou Holtz (analyst), Mark May (analyst) and Samantha Steele (sidelines). In addition, ESPN Radio will carry the game nationally with Bill Rosinksi (play-by-play) calling the action along with David Norrie (analyst) and Joe Schad (analyst).
Tickets for the Poinsettia Bowl are on sale now through the LA Tech Ticket Office and range from $35 - $55. To purchase tickets, please call (318) 257-3631, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit LATechSports.com.
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