Tech shines at home

September 23, 2009

by Kevin Sims

After a tough two-game road stint, the Bulldogs added one to its win column in a 48-13 rout of Nicholls State Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Struggling with miscues early, Tech went into the half with a 13-3 lead, but a 35-point rally propelled the Bulldogs to victory in its first home game of the season, debuting the new 45-foot video board.

“I told the team this third quarter was going to define the character of our football team and the competitive nature of our football team, and they came out and responded,” head coach Derek Dooley said. “We were close in the first half, we had a couple of drops, had a touchdown called back, so we were close, but we stayed with the game plan, and we started making plays down the field.”

Quarterback Ross Jenkins came out of halftime connecting on his first four passes including a 50-yarder to reciever Phillip Livas on the first play from scrimmage. Freshman running back D.J. Morrow found the end zone for the first time in his young career with a nine-yard touchdown run to give Tech a 20-3 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Tech’s defense put six on the board when cornerback Deon Young intercepted an errant throw by Nicholls’ Jacob Witt, Youngs’s second of the game, taking it 32 yards for a score.

“We were in the type coverage where I just sat in the flat and waited on the ball,” Young said. “I broke to it when he tipped the ball to me. Our defensive line was putting pressure on their quarterback, which gave us time to cover.”

Jenkins added to the onslaught on Tech’s next possession, driving his team 97 yards on 10 plays capped off by a 37-yard touchdown catch by tight end Dennis Morris. Jenkins finished the game with a career high of 357 yards, going 21-30 with two touchdown passes.

“A lot of it though came from the guys running after the catch,” Jenkins said. “That’s a big part of it and that’s what we’ve been stressing a lot is that big plays happen when you catch the ball and break a tackle and the guys did a great job of that tonight.”

Although the offense started off a little shaky, the defense dominated from the opening kickoff, causing four turnovers and holding Nicholls to 271 yards of total offense. Linebacker Adrian Cole led the defense with nine tackles and safety Antonio Baker finished the game with four tackles and caused a fumble and an interception.

Young made his presence known on the first series when he picked off Witt’s first pass of the game. Tech took advantage of the early turnover with a 24-yard field goal by kicker Matt Nelson.

Nicholls answered with a field goal of its own on its next series, but Tech took over the lead early in the second quarter on a two-yard run by running back Daniel Porter. Tech would keep this lead for the remainder of the game.

“I wasn’t frustrated in the first half because I thought the plays were there, and we were close and nobody was playing poorly,” Dooley said. “I didn’t think that we were lethargic. We weren’t finishing the play.”

Freshman Tyrone Duplessis led all rushers with 71 yards on eight carries. Both Morris and Livas finished the game with four catches a piece for 85 yards.

The Bulldogs return to the field for a Red-Out Wednesday night matchup against WAC opponent Hawaii in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.