latech Louisiana Tech Preview

Image via Lost Letterman

Louisiana Tech is coming off a dismal season, which was a far cry from their 2012 campaign. Fast forward to present day and the Bulldogs are entering the 2nd year of the Skip Holtz era. While much can be said about last year’s 4-8 record, you have to remain optimistic that failure is a great teacher. When you’re that bad, you should be extremely familiar with a list of what not to do on Saturdays in the fall! One of things on that list should have been traveling to Norman. Rest assured no one down here in Louisiana expects anything remotely close to an upset come Saturday.

Offense:

Louisiana Tech uses a balanced attack on offense that typically has multiple receivers and one feature back. They are in 10 personnel primarily, but are balanced in their play calling. It is very common for the Bulldogs to run the ball with four receivers spread over the field; however, they use tight ends and fullbacks randomly as well. This balance is crucial, because former Iowa quarterback, Cody Sokol, replaces the incumbent starter Ryan Higgins under center. Throughout the summer he showed really good command of the ball and has been really comfortable with the wide open offense. His ability to keep his team in manageable down and distances will ultimately determine just how successful he can be.

They return their star running back, Kenneth Dixon, who was a 2012 freshman All- American. Dixon put up big numbers despite being featured in a pass happy offense, which ranked in the Top 5 in passing the entire year. He spent much of last season battling nagging injuries, but still managed just shy of 1,000 rushing yards on a decreased number of carries. I have seen him carry the ball live, and he is definitely worthy of the defense’s respect. No matter the opponent, tackling him coming downhill is definitely a business decision. He is one of only six returning starters on offense, but carries the flag as their best player on that side of the ball. Based on his body of work, no one will doubt the talent of Dixon, but his ability to wear down that improved Oklahoma front seven will be an interesting battle on the gridiron. Look for the Bulldogs to lean on Dixon heavily in order to ease the transition of Sokol’s first start on the road.

Defense:

The Bulldogs run a base 4-3 defense that returns eight starters from last year. The secondary returns a lot of experience and will be the strength of the defense in 2014. The defensive backs are sound, but how well they will hold up against the Sooner’s fast tempo offense is questionable. They will need plenty of production from the front seven and junior defensive tackle Vernon Butler. The defensive line also will have the services of Illinois Transfer, Houston Bates, who they hope will cause havoc off the edge. The defense is expected to be improved, but depth is an issue that will be on full display against Oklahoma.

My thoughts:

The drop off between first and second team defense is a major concern. Expect the Sooners to get big plays, but how fast this defense grows up in the awareness department will be the difference between a competitive game and a cake walk. On offense, I don’t know if Sokol is the answer to their offensive woes from a year. He has the talent to be the next great gun slinger from LaTech, but if the running game stalls that may have to wait to be seen. The wide receivers feature no major stars, but have had moderate success from Hunter Lee and Trent Taylor. They hope LSU transfer Paul Turner can play to his potential and give the offense a spark. Louisiana Tech doesn’t have the horses to match up with the Sooners, but a moral victory may be at hand if they can manage to limit turnovers and the big play.


  • Sooner Ray

    I expect La. Tech to be gassed, bruised, and beaten long before the fourth quarter starts.

  • boomersooner

    41-13 good guys

  • ohiosoonerdevildog

    45-7 with them scoring on a busted play by our 3rd stringers late in the 4th.

  • Sooner Ray

    I will be a little disappointed if we don’t hit half a hundred. Yeah, I’m one of those guys. LOL.

  • Drew

    On a different note, I’m feeling really bad for Virginia right now. Their defense is dominating UCLA, but their offense gave up 2 defensive tds.

    • Drew

      Scratch that. 3 defensive td’s.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      Not impressed by UCLA at all…

      • Drew

        Completely agree. Isn’t Hundly a preseason Heisman watch? I mean, he hasn’t necessarily done badly, but 25 yds offense in a quarter? That’s pathetic, no matter who you’re playing. Pile that on top of a porous pass defense, and UCLA is going to have a hard time staying ranked, much less top 10 if they keep this up.

      • ND52

        That goes double for Ohio State.

        • blaster1371

          I hate Ohio State

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Amen. I abhor them. I hate the suckeyes worse than texass.

          • blaster1371

            That’s some strong hate. Texass has its own special category of disdain in my flow chart of hate. Ohio State and So. Cal and their fans share my hate level #2

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Yeah I live about 25 minutes SE of Columbus and the level of idiocracy from suckeye fans is second to none.

          • blaster1371

            I was looking at your handle and wondered how far you were from the campus. And we Marines can deliver some epoch hate and discontent on those who wish to push our buttons.

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Yeah unfortunately I have had to unleash that hate a few times here. Ive had people at the grocery store tell my kids they were being raised to be losers. And thats when the inner Marine has been unleashed more than I like.

          • blaster1371

            Whoa…that is a punk move by them. I had a 20 something year old male texass fan talk some crap to my 8 year old- OU shirt wearing daughter while in line for a ride at Disneyland. We were in two groups one a little ahead of the other. The way the lines switchback it was that turd in one line, then my daughter over one and then me over one. He obviously did not put me and her together. Inner Marine became outer Marine real quick. His buddies decided to get lippy. I was with two other former Marines, one of whom is the deadliest man I have ever known. He held me back..then when they popped off some more…he asked if he let me go if could he have that one- pointed straight at the biggest one. They all left the line.

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Yupp. That day I met that guy and his buddy in the parking lot. I walked away without a scratch. I dont mind friendly banter and some smack talk at all. But you dont cross a line of disrespecting someones kids. And I was a 1371 as well. Engineers Up! Was in Iraq in 09.

          • blaster1371

            Yea I remember “talking” to you over at CCM. Good job in Iraq- y’all did the Corps proud. I was in from “86 to “92. Combat Engineers–smart and deadly! I agree with the smack talk. That’s what I told him that it was really unnecessary to say anything insulting to a kid- could have just asked if she was from there or a big fan. He said what he said in ear shot of my wife and the others wives–they all looked in shock at him and then all whipped their neck over to me so see my reaction. I couldn’t believe he said what he did..had he not repeated it I would not have believed he said it. The f-bomb and all.

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Yeah thats completely uncalled for. Thats the type of stuff that causes people to lose teeth.

          • blaster1371

            Agreed! One of the guys in our group is a Texass fan….he is a brother to me. The three of us were tight back in our service days and our families together every other year at Disneyland. We talk football in the lines for hours…never once have we said anything that even drew irritation. The third bro is not as OU rabid as we are but he is a strong lean for the Sooners.

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Same here. Had a buddy who is a texass fan and another who is a bama fan. Sure we talked some smack as Marines do, but nothing that even came close to crossing that line.

          • blaster1371

            My favorite fan base outside my own kind are Nebraska, Boise State and Tennessee people. I know every team has its social rejects but but rarely do I meet someone who loves those teams be a total douchebag. I talk to anyone and everyone- love talking to folks from other walks of life and other parts of the country. Those fans always have something interesting to say about college football.

          • blaster1371

            So you must be excited for OU to play Ohio State next season (?) and also dreading it to some degree.

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            My phone will be off and Ill be nowhere near that stadium. Ive heard a few posters here say they are going and I will pray for them. Id go to the game in Norman, rather than drive 25 minutes and go to the game here.

          • boomersooner

            thank you for yall’s service and letting us eavesdrop on stories. honored to share this site with yall

          • blaster1371

            Thank you for the compliment. The Marine veterans from Iraq and afghanistan have tons of my respect—guys kicked ass and took names.

          • boomersooner

            i hope the results of todays game and what we do to isis are about identical

          • blaster1371

            Both would make me happy

          • hOUligan

            Been wondering about that handle, blaster. Nothing but respect and grateful for you, soonerdevildog, and all who serve or have been in service for us. Thanks a ton and Boomer!!

          • ohiosoonerdevildog

            Thanks for the kindness. I loved my time in the service.

      • blaster1371

        texass fans were chalking that one to be a loss ….think that game is now more winnable for them

        • Shelby is a Patriot

          I was thinking the same, lol.

  • trusoonerA53

    Dito sooner ray

  • Rees Bear

    59-0… gotta have one FG

  • trusoonerA53

    I’m looking for a place to see the game? Who’s showing for free. finances not what it use to be. Any help would be appreciated

    • Stats

      I understand where you’re coming from. There are couple of bars in the area, but food & drinks add up there too. I finally decided to listen to internet radio at home and follow the TFB game thread. I can watch the replay later. There’s usually a replay on YouTube in a couple of days and one of the FOX Sports stations is reshowing it at least once (tomorrow morning at 9am Central)

    • blaster1371

      I am in California…where are you at?

  • Gary Robbins

    Navy ahead of Ohio State at half (7-6). Did I read that correctly?

    • Sooner Ray

      Yes and it should actually be worse.

    • Drew

      Yep. And UCLA hasn’t scored on offense yet either.

  • Cory Reedy

    Well, since we are playing for a “committee” now….there’s no time for slow starts and ugly football. We need to come out sharp and dominate this team from the get go. Strength of schedule and no Conference Championship game may not be in our favor so we HAVE to be dominant!

    • Sooner Ray

      We can show no mercy for anyone.

  • Malicong

    On my way out the door for Norman. I am thinking 48-13.

    • boomersooner

      just about nailed it

  • kt-raida

    No more north Dakota state for big 12 north teams

  • Chris White

    Depending on their defense, I think OU should take West Virginia seriously. Look good against Alabama

    • Boomer4life

      Agreed!

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      Honestly, after the close games we’ve had with them I don’t know why we wouldn’t.

    • blaster1371

      It today’s CFB world I cannot see any team on OU’s schedule they shouldn’t take seriously. That lesson was learned when Kansas came to Norman in 1974 (?)

  • blaster1371

    just completed my PPV order……Does wheat or white bread go better with water?

    • Sooner Ray

      Crackers will hold up better with the water. I had a friend call and say he already bought the game and even wants me to help eat food from his smoker. Gonna be a good night.

      • blaster1371

        DUUUUDE! Free game? Free Smoked meat? After I post shelling out big moolah and eating bread and water? Do you work for the CiA and do you reside at Gitmo?

        • blaster1371

          …because that is what I call torture!

          • Sooner Ray

            Sorry bud, not trying to torture you, I just treat me friends well and it pays back good. I’ll try to pay for half the game if he lets me, he wouldn’t let me bring food though.

          • blaster1371

            I’m teasing you bro….its good to have good friends. Mine sent me back to Norman (from Cali) for my birthday present- airfare, game ticket (dang good seat) car rental, hotel, spending money- love those guys! I worked two hours of OT for this one. The whole time I was beaming ear to ear knowing what enjoyment my labor would bring.

      • Gary Robbins

        Are you out to M. Hall’s?

        • Sooner Ray

          No sir, an old high school buddy of mine.

  • trusoonerA53

    Thanks stat reall appreciate that. I’m going to try Buffalo wild.wings. they treat you good from what I hear

  • trusoonerA53

    I’m in Okc;-(

    • blaster1371

      Good luck to you….should be some sports bars showing it

  • blaster1371

    Dadgum!!!!! WVA hanging in there!

    • Defend Colfax

      It’s just a consolation game.

  • kt-raida

    Saban said it’s hard to get his guys going for West Virginia because it’s not a championship game.

    • Daddy R

      I’m guessing (this time) its all Kiffin’s fault, and he’ll be out by mid-season if they struggle…

    • EasTex

      So you are saying he finds no consolation in his season opener?

    • hOUligan

      Yeah. Nick’s kids looking like they didn’t feel like playing today, either. Hoping that sugar rush was just the beginning of the end for them and adding Kiffin the final element for implosion.