#90 Louisiana Tech Football Preview

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #90
#4 Western Athletic Conference

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2010 Record: (5-7, 4-4)
2010 Bowl: none
Coach: Sonny Dykes (5-7 at Louisiana Tech, 5-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tony Franklin
Defensive Coordinator: Tommy Spangler

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Lennon Creer, RB, 1,114 yards
Passing: Colby Cameron, QB, 461 yards
Receiving: Taulib Ikharo, WR, 530 yards
Tackles: Jay Dudley, LB, 94
Sacks: Matt Broha, DE, 9.0
Interceptions: Chad Boyd, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR Richie Casey, LB Adrien Cole, S Javontay Crowe, DE Ik Enemkpali, G Kevin Saia, LB Solomon Randle, LB Dusty Rust, C Stephen Warner, CB Ryan Williams

Key Losses: S Tank Calais, DE Randy Grigsby, OT Cudahy Harmon, DT Mason Hitt, QB Ross Jenkins, WR Phillip Livas, OT Rob McGill, G Jared Miles, WR Ahmad Paige, CB Olajuwon Paige, CB Josh Victorian

Coach Sonny Dykes needs some quarterback stability for his pass happy offense to work. In his first year at Louisiana Tech he rotated through four different quarterbacks. One of those was Colby Cameron, who threw just one touchdown last year and five interceptions. However, Cameron looked good this spring and it is now his job to lose. However, with junior college transfer Zach Griffin and freshman Nick Isham joining the squad in the fall, Cameron could lose it. The two newcomers are obviously Dykes recruits and they fit the system.

Whoever the quarterback may be, he will have a pretty good offensive line to work with. Guards Oscar Johnson and Kevin Saia, along with center Stephen Warner will all be looking for some postseason accolades. Johnson is just one of three junior college transfers who should see playing time on the offensive line along with Larry Banks and Jeremy Graffree. The new faces should not be an issue since all of them were around for spring practice. The line will again pave the way for the superb ground game led by Lennon Creer. Creer, who played two years at Tennessee, rushed for 1,114 yards and ten touchdowns during his first year with the Bulldogs. If the quarterback situation remains muddled, Louisiana Tech can always lean on Creer. Yet, there are plenty of talented wide receivers to make just about any quarterback relatively successful. Taulib Ikharo and Ricihe Casey are proven targets, but there are even more options from the junior college ranks with the addition of Myles White, who played at Michigan State briefly, and Quinton Patton. All those receivers will need to step up with the dismal of Ahmad Paige and Tim Molton in late May.

The defense has some issues, but they do have a major strength in senior defensive end Matt Broha. Broha tallied 9.0 sacks and 5.0 tackles-for-loss last year and was the one player who could provide consistent pressure in the backfield. If Ik Enempali, or anybody else, can provide pressure from the other end, Louisiana Techs defense will be much more productive. The front line needs to fill some holes in the middle or the rush defense, which was the best part of the defense a year ago, will be much worse. The return of a talented group of linebackers, led by Adrien Cole and Jay Dudley, could help. Add Solomon Randle and the greatly named Dusty Rust to the mix and the linebacker corps could be very strong. The secondary lost a lot of talent, but a shakeup in the secondary is not necessarily a bad thing. The team ranked 117th in the nation in pass defense and the entire unit has to build around players like Ryan Williams if they hope to improve.

The Bottom Line:
In the end, Louisiana Tech has the tools to be a good team. The defense can only be better, presumably. The offense has a ton of weapons, especially if they can find a couple receivers. Once again it will come down to quarterback stability. If some quarterback can fit into the system and do a good job sharing the wealth in Coach Dykes passing game, Louisiana Tech has the ability to be one of the better teams in the Western Athletic Conference.

Projected Bowl: New Mexico Bowl

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 170.92 (40th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 218.92 (62, 7)
Total Offense: 389.83 (49, 4)
Scoring Offense: 26.75 (59, 5)
Rushing Defense: 171.92 (81, 5)
Pass Defense: 290.17 (117, 9)
Total Defense: 462.08 (116, 8)
Scoring Defense: 30.67 (90, 6)
Turnover Margin: -.42 (83, 5)
Sacks: 2.00 (61, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (29, 3)

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