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2014 LOUISIANA TECH FOOTBALL PREVIEW

June 10, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2008 - Pres)

2013 Record: (4-8, 3-5)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Skip Holtz (4-8 at Louisiana Tech, 92-79 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tony Petersen
Defensive Coordinator: Manny Diaz

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Kenneth Dixon, RB, 917 yards
Passing: Ryan Higgins, QB, 1,715 yards
Receiving: Sterling Griffin, WR, 357 yards
Tackles: Thomas McDonald, S, 70
Sacks: Vontarrius Dora, DL, 2.5
Interceptions: Adairius Barnes, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: OT Mitchell Bell, RB Tevin King, DB Xavier Woods, DB Kentrell Brice, K Kyle Fischer

Key Losses: LB Daniel Cobb, DE IK Enemkpali, DT Justin Ellis, QB Scotty Young, WR Andrew Guillot, OL Matt Shepperd

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2008 - Pres)

It was a very tough season for first year head coach Skip Holtz.  The Bulldogs got off to a 1-4 start and never really recovered going 4-8 overall and 3-5 in C-USA. If Coach Holtz want this team to become bowl eligible, his defense will have to get much better. The Bulldogs gave up over 400 yards per game and 26.3 points per game in 2013. Tech lost three key linemen, including NFL draft picks Justin Ellis and IK Enemkpali, but the Bulldogs defense returns plenty of talent and experience.  The secondary is where most of the experience returns. Thomas McDonald, Terrell Pinson, Le’Vander Liggins and Adairius Barnes are returning starters in the secondary. New Defensive Co-Ordinator Manny Diaz (Texas and Mississippi State) also has DE Vontarrius Dora and LB Mitch Villemez returning.  Filling the holes up front will be DE Andre Taylor, DT Devon McKinney and NT Vernon Butler. 
 
The Bulldogs threw the ball a lot in 2013…37.3 pass attempts per game, third most in C-USA.  The good news for the Bulldogs will be Ryan Higgins and Scotty Young are both back but it looks like this is now Ryan Higgins team. Higgins, a 6-2 sophomore, threw for 1,715 yards in 2013.  The biggest issue concerning Higgins is the 13 interceptions he threw. His red zone numbers must also improve.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2008 - Pres)

WR Sterling Griffin is back as Higgins’ top target, but LSU transfer Paul Turner and Hunter Lee will help stretch the field. If the Bulldogs are to make further strides on offense it will have to come in the running game.  All-CUSA RB Kenneth Dixon led the Bulldogs with 917 yards and Tevin King added 539 yards. The offensive line will see four new starters, all topping 300 pounds.  The only returning starter is LG Tre Turner (6-1 308). 

The Bulldogs will have an early tough schedule with road trips to Oklahoma, Louisiana and Auburn.  Coach Holtz will need more production out of the passing game and the revamping of the defense can’t hurt.

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 160.2 (73rd in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 206.0 (97, 7)
Total Offense: 366.2 (94, 8)
Scoring Offense: 19.2 (111, 11)
Rushing Defense: 194.8 (91, 7)
Pass Defense: 213.5 (31, 6)
Total Defense: 408.3 (69, 8)
Scoring Defense: 26.3 (61, 8)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (79, 7)
Sacks:  1.92 (71, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.50 (93, 10)


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