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La Tech Football Preview

   by Matt Fargo - 08/12/2008

No. 99 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

2007 Record ~ 5-7 SU ~ 6-5 ATS

Starters Returning ~ Offense (8) Defense (5)

The Bulldogs significantly improved last year over their three-win season in 2006 but they still failed to make a postseason appearance. It was a positive step in Derek Dooley’s inaugural season as head coach but a step back is a good possibility this year. At the same time, a bowl game is the goal for 2008 but there are a lot of holes in big areas that need to be filled before playing in December is even a remote possibility. It is likely that Louisiana Tech is a year away from contending in the WAC.

Offensively, balance is what the team will strive for but a quarterback needs to step up and thus far, no one has. Michael Mosley has the only experience on the roster and that is to the tune of passing for only 101 yards last season. Taylor Bennett, Stephen Ensminger, and Al Hawkins are also in the mix to win the starting nod. The rushing attack will be solid, led by senior running back Patrick Jackson along with a young but experienced offensive line. Scoring improved from 2006 but must make a bigger move in 2008.

Defensively is where it is going to make or break the Bulldogs season. Two years ago, Louisiana Tech allowed 41.7 ppg due to having only two starters back. Last season, they returned nine starters and dropped their points allowed to 30.7 ppg which was a solid improvement. The problem is this season, the Bulldogs are returning only five starters so things could be dicey once again. Only one starter is back along the defensive line and only one starter is back in the linebacking corps.

The schedule has both winnable games and sure losses with a few swing games in the mix and those are the ones that will determine the end result. The Bulldogs start out with a home game against Mississippi St., the first SEC ever to play in Ruston. A trip to Kansas follows and then a week off before SE Louisiana visits. Back-to-back road games at Boise St. and Hawaii end the tough part of the slate. Three of the final six are swing games and that could be the time to jump on the Bulldogs as they could make a late run.

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