Kneauxing the Enemy 2018
Record 2-0, Conference: Conference-USA
Louisiana Tech comes to Tigertown Saturday with a five game winning streak dating back to the 2017 season. The highlight of the winning streak was a 51-10 Tech victory over SMU in the Frisco Bowl last year.
J'Mar Smith, now a junior, had a good performance at the quarterbacking position in the bowl contest. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for another one. Smith accounted for 231 of the 357 total yards generated by Tech in the game.
In a game one, 30-26 win this season against South Alabama, Smith accounted for 218 of his team's 440 total yards. He threw for two touchdowns, but three interceptions in the contest. In the second clash against FCS opponent Southern, Smith was responsible for 434 of his squad's 613 total yards in a 54-17 win. The pattern is clear. Smith drives the offense. The Tech offense is stopped if Smith is stopped. He has thrown four touchdowns to go with his three interceptions.
The leading rusher for the Bulldogs is junior Jaqwis Dancy. He ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns against South Alabama.
Smith and Dancy operate behind an offensive line which has a lot pf playing, if not starting experience. Junior right guard Ethan Reed started all 13 games last season. Senior left tackle O'Shea Dugas has started 32 games in his career, some at left guard.
The Bulldogs use a four receiver set on offense, even though one of the receiver slots resembles a tight end.
After the first two games, the three leading receivers are sophomore Adrian Hardy, junior Rashid Bonnette, and senior Teddy Veal. Hardy, who started nine games last year, has nine receptions for 184 yards this season. He averages 20 yards per catch. Bonnette, who started seven games in 2017, has 11 catches for 155 yards this year. He averages 14 yards per grab. He and Hardy have one touchdown each. Veal has seven catches for 126 yards this campaign. He averages 18 yards per reception. He played in every game last year.
Defensively, last year, the Bulldogs played well in their secondary. Defensive backs Amik Robertson and Darryl Lewis had five and four interceptions respectively last season. Robertson, a sophomore, and Lewis, a junior have one interception each after two contests this year.
Tech, as a team, has forced and recovered three fumbles after two games this season.
Senior defensive tackle Jordan Bradford has 16 tackles, five solos, after two games this year. Senior linebacker Devon Washington led the team in tackles last year with 70 stops, 44 unassisted. He has 14 stops, six solos, after two contests this season. Junior cornerback L'Jarius Sneed has 14 tackles, nine solos, this campaign.
At this point, still early in the season, it is hard to get a gauge on Louisiana Tech. They have played only two games, and they use a lot of players. On paper the Purple and Gold is the better team, but such was the case against Troy last year. Tech is definitely an upgrade over Southeastern Louisiana, so they should not be taken lightly.