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Archive for Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tech 0-1, but full of potential

September 17, 2005

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Louisiana Tech's football team, quite simply, hasn't proven anything yet.

The stat sheet from last week's 41-3 loss to No. 10 Florida was an eyesore for Bulldog fans - 1.7 yards per rush, nearly two out of every three pass attempts incomplete, and the Gators racking up 313 more yards of offense than La Tech.

"It's amazing how average you can be," Tech coach Jack Bicknell said, "against a team like Florida."

Tech's opponent today, Kansas University, doesn't have the wallop that the tradition-rich Gators do. But the Bulldogs had a crucial week of preparation for the KU game - workouts that could either put the Florida game in the past or make it a sign of things to come.

"The big thing is, we just didn't make plays offensively," Bicknell said. "That was probably the story of the game."

Offensively, Louisiana Tech is a different team than last year's 6-6 squad, mainly because of the loss of running back Ryan Moats, the team's engine. A traditional pass-heavy school, Tech flourished on the ground last year behind 1,774 yards from Moats' legs.

Now, a quarterback situation not unlike KU's is working on being solved in Ruston, La. Matt Kubik started the Florida game, but Donald Allen will take the reins for today's tilt. Either way, both expect to get snaps as the competition continues.

"They have a young tailback, a true freshman, that's a real burner," KU coach Mark Mangino said of Patrick Jackson. "They have a couple of guys that are real solid players. They probably are throwing a little bit more because of losing Moats."

The eye-popper of La Tech, though, is the size up front. All five starting offensive linemen weight more than 290 pounds, including 6-foot-7, 360-pound guard Marcus Lindsey and 6-3, 305-pound Marcus Stewart at center. In comparison, only Bob Whitaker tops 300 on KU's line.

The Bulldogs' history playing marquee opponents will no doubt have them calm and collected for their journey to Memorial Stadium tonight, so look for the Bulldogs to be the toughest foe KU's played to date.

"Traditionally, they are very good, physical and have a lot of speed," Mangino said. "We have to be well-prepared for them."

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