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Football season ends on a high note for Bulldogs

January 14, 2016

Alex Heard

Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

R+L New Orleans Bowl, Sunday, 12/20/2015, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, (photo by Donny J Crowe), Copyright:Louisiana Tech University.All Rights Reserved.(dcrowe@latech.edu) 318-257-4854

R+L New Orleans Bowl, Sunday, 12/20/2015, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, (photo by Donny J Crowe), Copyright:Louisiana Tech University.All Rights Reserved.(dcrowe@latech.edu) 318-257-4854

 

This year’s football senior class was one for the ages. The 2015 class contains a myriad of quality players with some of the most notable being a defensive tackle capable of being drafted in the top two rounds of the NFL Draft, one of the best passers in Louisiana Tech football history, and, most importantly, one of the most productive running backs in NCAA history, aka a “touchdown machine.”

 

Now Tech head coach Skip Holtz and his staff must figure out how to replace such immense talent next year. Holtz said the task will not be easy being that the class is one the winningest ever at Tech having won back-to-back bowl games, the latest being the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 19 against Arkansas State (a 47-28 victory).

 

“I’m proud of the leaders,” Holtz said. “This senior class is the only team in school history to win two bowl games. To get third and fourth bowl wins in school history in the last two years, to be the winningest senior class in Louisiana Tech history in Division I-A wins, there were a lot of firsts that this win in this bowl game brought for us. It was accomplished by a senior class that came together and wouldn’t accept defeat. I was really proud of the way that they went out and competed and the way that they did it.”

 

The aforementioned “machine” is senior running back Kenneth Dixon. Dixon came into the New Orleans Bowl with the NCAA all-time career touchdown record well in grasp. After a four touchdown performance in the bowl game, Dixon was able to capture the record, at least temporarily, with 87 career touchdowns. Dixon said he would not have wanted to set the record with any other guys.

 

“(The record) is very rewarding,” Dixon said. “You find some teammates that care about you, want to see you be successful and do a lot of great things. That is what we have in our locker room. We have a lot of unselfish people in our locker room. It makes me want to say that we won it for us. Our offensive line blocked very well, (quarterback) Jeff (Driskel) threw it well, (reciever) Trent (Taylor) caught it well, our defense played very well, special teams played well. If we didn’t get turnovers, we couldn’t have scored. That is why I say that. Coach Holtz did a great job on calling plays.”

 

Unfortunately, Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds broke Dixson’s all-time touchdown record days later during his team’s bowl game. Though Tech is losing big-time playmakers, there are still quality ones returning next year with the most notable being Taylor, who ended his junior campaign with 99 receptions, 1,282 yards, and 9 touchdowns, emerging as Driskel’s go-to receiver and a Biletnikoff Award (going to the best receiver in college football) finalist. Taylor said this Tech senior class was a great one and he was honored to play with them.

 

“(Playing with them) is a big deal,” Taylor said. “I have enjoyed this senior class immensely. It is an honor to be on the field with them. We have plenty of senior leaders on the offensive side and plenty on the defensive side. Just the humbleness of each and every one of them, they are great leaders for this whole team. Hopefully going into next year and all the following years we can reenact the same way that they have led us.”

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