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‘Bowldogs’ are NOLA bound

December 17, 2015

 

Quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) evades a tackle in the Oct. 24 game against Middle Tennessee in Ruston. Driskel was named C-USA Newcomer of the Year this week–File Photo Courtesy of LA Tech Athletics Communications

Quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) evades a tackle in the Oct. 24 game against Middle Tennessee in Ruston. Driskel was named C-USA Newcomer of the Year this week–File Photo Courtesy of LA Tech Athletics Communications

CALEB DANIEL

Staff Reporter | csd020@latech.edu

 

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will have a chance to win back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history as they take on Sun Belt champion Arkansas State in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

 

Tech and the Arkansas State Red Wolves will go head to head in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 8 p.m. Saturday in New Orleans.

 

In a press conference following Tech’s acceptance of the bowl bid, head coach Skip Holtz said he is excited by the opportunities the game presents.

 

“The 2015 team is not done yet and we have an opportunity to play again against a conference champion in a great venue in the Dome in New Orleans,” Holtz said. “That is one of the best case scenarios that we can ask for coming out of this season.”

 

Holtz’s squad finished the regular season with an 8-4 record and was one game away from claiming back-to-back C-USA West titles.

 

But in the final game of the regular season, the Bulldogs suffered a 58-24 loss to Southern Miss, turning the ball over four times in the process.

 

During the news conference, Tech defensive coordinator Blake Baker said despite that big loss, the team was enthusiastic about the bowl selection.

 

In fact, the way the season ended would serve as motivation for the team.

 

“They were excited,” Baker said. “It did not matter if we went to Timbuktu. After last week, they just want to get that bad taste out of their mouth. It did not matter who we played or where we played, we just want to put the ball down and play.”

 

The Red Wolves ended their regular season on a higher note, winning eight games in a row and cruising to a Sun Belt title.

 

This bowl game features a matchup of strength on strength, with Tech’s prolific passing attack squaring off against Arkansas State’s stingy secondary.

 

Led by senior quarterback Jeff Driskel, Tech’s passing offense has averaged 311.9 yards per game, good for 15th place in the FBS.  The Bulldogs are also in the Top 20 in scoring offense.

 

Arkansas State boasts a defense that leads the FBS in interceptions, total takeaways and defensive scoring.

 

The outcome of the game may come down to whether Driskel and the Bulldog passing attack can find success against a tough defensive backfield.

 

The Bulldog senior class has the chance to be the first class in Tech history to be a part of two bowl victories.

 

One of those seniors is chasing not only school history, but also national history.

 

Running back Kenneth Dixon is currently in contention with Navy’s Keenan Reynolds to hold the NCAA record for career touchdowns scored.

 

The game will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

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