Bulldogs pull even in WAC

November 8, 2007

by David McGuirt

Tech broke out of a two-point deficit in the fourth quarter to give the Idaho Vandals (1-9, 0-6) their sixth straight conference loss last Saturday in Moscow, Idaho.

A 70-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Zac Champion to freshman runningback Phillip Livas decided the game as Tech (4-5, 3-3) pulled ahead in the fourth quarter after battling the Vandals for the first three.

“A win is a win,” Tech head coach Derek Dooley said. “Last week we made it look easy, and this week we almost made it look impossible. Livas continues to make big plays for us, and that was the big play of the game for us.”

The Bulldogs made their presence known only 1:47 into the game when senior defensive lineman Ben McGilton scored on a 5-yard interception return. The Vandals answered back with 5:28 left in the first with a 39-yard field goal by kicker Tino Amancio.

With the score at 7-3 in the second quarter, sophomore running back Daniel Porter ran one more into the end zone on a 19-yard sprint for Tech’s last touchdown of the half, bringing the score to 14-3.

Idaho added its own score with 6:39 to go in the half when Joe Shaw recovered a fumble in the end zone to bring the half-time score to 14-10.

The lone Vandal touchdown came after punter T.J. Conley backed the Bulldog’s up to their 9-yard line.

Two plays later, Idaho defensive linemen Jonathan Faraimo and Siua Musika teamed up to force a Champion fumble that was scooped up by defensive end Josh Shaw.

The third quarter gave the Vandals two more field goals, 34 and 24 yards each, both by Amancio.

The crux of the game came in the fourth quarter, however, when Tech was able to pull away from the two point deficit with Champion’s touchdown pass to Livas and a final touchdown by Patrick Jackson to seal the game off.

The defense came out in force, allowing only 67 yards on the ground and providing a touchdown with McGilton’s interception.

“The defense did a great job by defending the run, and that’s what Idaho likes to do,” Dooley said. “We forced them to throw the ball and they don’t do that as well.”
Dominique Faust continues to make clutch plays for the special teams.

The freshman strong safety blocked his fourth punt of the season and his career, tying the school record. He now leads the nation in blocked punts.

Offensively, the Bulldogs had 438 total yards. Champion was 16-for-25 for 227 yards, with one interception and one touchdown.

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle was 16-of-48 for 188 yards with three interceptions. Tech held the Vandals to 285 yards of offense.

The Bulldogs travel to in-state powerhouse LSU on Saturday to face the Tigers in Death Valley for their homecoming game at 7 p.m.

LSU is currently ranked second nationally and is favored to go to the Nokia Sugar Bowl for the national championship this year. The Tigers are coming off a conference road win against former head coach Nick Saban’s University of Alabama Crimson Tide and now have an overall record of 8-1.