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Fighting for Independence

October 11, 2012

41,567 people attended Tech’s victory over Northern Illinois at the 2008 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl. - Photo by Media Relations

 

ALWAYNE GREEN
Sports Reporter

 

In 1925, Independence Stadium, once branded as the State Fair Stadium, was born in Shreveport.

 

It opened its gates to become Louisiana Tech’s second home in 1928 when the Bulldogs lost to Union (Tenn.) 28-0.

 

Not the best way to start a relationship, but it gave birth to a longstanding affair between Tech and Northwestern State. According to the 2012 Tech football media guide, since 1937, the teams have played each other at the venue 48 times with Tech having the upper hand, claiming a record of 33-12-2.

 

Tech’s overall record at the stadium is 45-22-3.

 

The Independence Stadium has a seating capacity of 50,459 and is home to the Independence Bowl every season. Tech has appeared in the bowl game on four occasions, winning over Louisville 24-14 in 1977, losing to East Carolina 35-13 in 1978, tying with Maryland 34-34 in 1990 and defeating Northern Illinois 17-10 in 2008.

 

The relationship between Tech and Independence Stadium bared Tech two of its biggest crowd turnouts. In 1990, 48,325 people gathered to watch Tech draw with Maryland in the Independence Bowl. Also in 2003, 43,279 fans were on site as Tech lost to No. 2 Miami 48-9 in a regular season game.

 

The Bulldogs have also faced other big name teams inside the stadium such as Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma State, California, Houston and Texas A&M.

 

Now another page in history will once be written inside Independence Stadium when the Tech Bulldogs seek a revengeful bite against the Texas A&M Aggies. However, history seems to favor the Aggies inside Independence Stadium, as the last time both teams faced each other the Bulldogs were defeated 37-17.

 

Head coach Sonny Dykes said though their intention is to turn the tables against the Aggies, their main focus is to continue playing good football.

 

“Every year is a different year and a different team,” he said. “You can’t draw much from the past, so what we have to do is focus on playing well Saturday and giving our best effort.”

 

Similar to Dykes, quarterback Colby Cameron said they have done a good job on focusing on this year’s team rather than past teams. Cameron added the team wants to do well and the mood heading into Saturday’s game is on point.

 

“Everyone is excited about it,” he said. “I think the community and the players have a lot of emotions going into the game because it’s such a big one.”

 

Cameron said it was not an easy road to the team’s recent successes and it was important everyone remember how hard they worked to get there. Cameron said he had a good experience when he played Grambling at Independence Stadium in the 2010s season opener.

 

“It was a fun atmosphere to play in and there were a lot of fans,” he said.

 

Dykes said playing the Aggies at Independence Stadium works in the Bulldogs favor because it will allow more Tech fans to attend the game.

 

“It’s certainly better than playing at Kyle Field, their home field,” Dykes said. “We feel like in some ways it’s our home stadium and playing in Shreveport is like playing at home for us.”

 

With a team ranked at No. 23, the ’Dogs will have a lot to prove to their critics as well as the No. 22-ranked Aggies inside Independence Stadium this Saturday night.

 

Email comments to ahg007@latech.edu.

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