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Two plays from perfection

September 24, 2015
Quarterback Jeff Driskel attempts to dive in the end zone in the Bulldogs’ out-of-conference battle with the Kansas State Wildcats. Tech lost 39-33 in triple overtime. – Photo by Parker Robb / The Collegian - Kansas State

Quarterback Jeff Driskel attempts to dive in the end zone in the Bulldogs’ out-of-conference battle with the Kansas State Wildcats. Tech lost 39-33 in triple overtime. – Photo by Parker Robb / The Collegian – Kansas State

 

ALEX HEARD
Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

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In sports there is a saying: “It is not how you start, it is how you finish.”

 

Teams must know how to finish to win games and how to ensure that any mistakes made early in a game will not happen again later during crucial moments.

 

For Head Coach Skip Holtz and his Louisiana Tech football team, they could not finish Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas, against Kansas State as they lost a three-overtime thriller 39-33.

 

Holtz said Tech in no way played mistake-free football.

 

“It certainly was not a perfect game on our part,” Holtz said. “We put our defense on the field three times inside the 30-yard line, which you cannot do against a really good football team.”

 

The Tech defense failed twice in overtime to hold KSU to a field goal. On both drives the defense stuffed KSU on its first two plays but then went on to give up third-and-long touchdown passes.

 

Holtz said despite those plays, he was proud of the way his team played.

 

“I am just really proud of the way we competed, I thought they played their tails off today,” he said.

 

Holtz said Tech’s youth is a reason for their inability to finish. However, the way they fought and scrapped against a big-league team like KSU is a great teaching moment for his team.

 

“We played 15 freshmen, which makes us the 14th team in the country playing the most freshmen,” said Holtz. “To play 15 freshmen in an environment like that and a game like that-for it to be only their third game of experience-I think that is invaluable for our football team.”

 

Holtz said Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel cannot be blamed for their struggles this season. He finished the Kansas State game with yet another impressive performance, connecting on 30 of 51 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown. Driskel also finished with 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

 

“I think Jeff was really seeing the field very well,” Holtz said. “He was making really good decisions with the ball and not putting it in danger if it was not there.”

 

Driskel said despite the consecutive losses he is proud of the way his teammates fought.

 

“We did not play our best game, but I thought we played hard both games,” said Driskel. “We stayed together. We never showed that we were going to quit. We are a team that believes that we are going to win every game we play.”

 

Holtz said his team must learn from these past two weeks and get it together as the team continues Conference-USA play.

 

“We are two plays from being 3-0,” Holtz said. “I told this team we are not going to hang our head. When you do not put your best foot forward, that is when you have something to be upset about.”

 

Tech plays Saturday against Florida International at 1:30 p.m. in Joe Alliet Stadium.

 

For more on Tech athletics, follow the Tech Talk Sports Desk’s Twitter page at twitter.com/techtalksports.

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