#63 Louisiana Tech Football 2012 Preview

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

2012 Overall Rank: #63
#1 Western Athletic Conference
Louisiana Tech College Football 2012 Team Preview
Louisiana Tech Team Page


Louisiana Tech had a heck of year in 2011.  They finished the season atop a decent WAC conference.  At the beginning of the year, it almost seemed improbable that they would finish in that position.  After losing four out of five, the Bulldogs won seven straight before losing in their bowl game to TCU.  Their quarterback and star receiver return this season to try and duplicate last season’s success.  After a few down years, the Bulldogs are hoping to string multiple winning seasons together for the first time in a over a decade.

2011 Record: (8-5)
2011 Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl (L 24-31)
Coach: Sonny Dykes
Offensive Coordinator: Tony Franklin
Defensive Coordinator:  Tommy Spangler

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Hunter Lee, RB, 650 yards
Passing: Colby Cameron, QB, 1,667 yards
Receiving: Quinton Patton, WR, 1,202 yards
Tackles: Jamel Johnson, DB, 88
Sacks: I.K. Enemkpali, DL, 3.5
Interceptions: Quinn Giles, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR David Gru, WR Miles White, DB Chad Boyd

Key Losses: DE Christian Lacey, DE Matt Broha, LB Adrian Cole, LB Jay Dudley

Offensively, quarterback Colby Cameron was good for them last season.  He did not hit the 2,000 yard mark, but they averaged almost 250 yards per game.  He only threw 13 touchdowns, but only three interceptions.  In fact, they hardly turned the ball over at all last season and they ranked in the top 15 in turnover margin.  Even if their numbers did not display it, they got the most out of their possessions.  Defensively, they clogged up everything at the line of scrimmage.  They stopped runners to the tune of less than 130 yards per game.  They applied significant pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  They racked up nearly 2.5 sacks per game.  They lose their top two defensive ends next season, so they are going to have to find a way to maintain their tenacious pass rush.

On the flip side, their pass defense left a lot to be desired.  They gave up 250 yards per game.  Outside of Quinn Giles, who has a nose for the ball, they did not do a very good job of shutting down offenses.  Not to mention they lose a huge contributor in Chad Boyd.  They were not great to begin with, so to lose a strong contributor certainly hurts.  Their rushing offense was not spectacular either.  They were not inept in that area, but their leading rusher only gained 838 yards for the entire season.  Hunter Lee appears to be in the driver seat for the starting job at that spot if they do not platoon the position.  He will be asked to produce more than his 650 yards he gained last season.

The Bottom Line:
Coach Dykes has some interesting questions to answer.  Though Cameron was his leader under center, sophomore Nick Isham also tossed for over 1,000 yards last season.  Perhaps Isham, who is two years younger, might be the man to get the call.  Dykes also has to decide if Hunter Lee is his man in the backfield.  They need some consistency at that position.  They will have to find a way to replace a ton of tackles and sacks on defense due to departing seniors.  At least they have a stellar receiving corps returning led by Quinton Patton.  The Bulldogs seem to be in pretty good position to mirror their 2011 win total and successfully defend their conference title.

Projected Bowl: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 146.23 (70th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 248.38 (45, 6)
Total Offense: 394.62 (51, 6)
Scoring Offense: 30.08 (42, 4)
Rushing Defense: 127.38 (29, 1)
Pass Defense: 249.08 (91, 6)
Total Defense: 413.83 (86, 4)
Scoring Defense: 23.15 (41, 1)
Turnover Margin: .85 (13, 1)
Sacks: 2.46 (25, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.92 (59, 5)


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