College Football Preview: The 2015 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Preview
2014 Record: 9-5
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs enter 2015 as one of the favorites in the CUSA if they can overcome some defensive losses.
Overview: Louisiana Tech needs to settle on a quarterback to replace star Cody Sokol while revamping the front seven of the defense. Sounds like a tall order for one of the favorites in the CUSA East.
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Offense: Sokol won’t be easy to replace as he led La Tech to 37 points per game and finished with over 3,400 yards with 30 TD’s so will Ryan Higgins take the job that was his as a freshman or will Florida transfer Jeff Driskel who was unremarkable for the Gators despite being a four star recruit. Whoever is the starter has Trent Taylor (64-834), Paul Turner (42-514) and Carlos Henderson (29-561) to play catch with although there will be other choices. The choice on the ground is Kenneth Dixon who logged almost 1,300 yards on 254 totes with a nifty five yard average. The offensive line features six players with starting experience with four star LSU transfer Derek Edinburgh Jr. likely in the mix as well.
Defense: The defense needs pieces in the front seven which makes the departure of DC Manny Diaz an even greater loss. Vernon Butler and Vontarrius Dora had 19.5 TFL and five sacks between them but will recruits and returning players account for the five players gone that totaled 25 TFL? The top three linebackers are gone with four back that saw action at least 12 games with Nick Thomason recording seven TFL as a reserve. The $100,000 question is how will the losses in the front seven effect a really good secondary that got into the backfield and got their hands on the ball with an impressive 15 picks and over 30 passes defended.
Special Teams: Punter Logan McPherson averaged less then 37 yards on 62 boots which is a concern but PK tandem Jonathan Barnes and Kyle Fischer were 11-13 at under 40 yards and 6-14 at 40+ yards. Carlos Henderson averaged 25 yards on 33 kick returns with a touchdown while Trent Taylor returned 22 punts for a 7.6 yard average.
Outlook: Louisiana Tech is one of the top teams in the CUSA but even the biggest Bulldogs backers have to be worried about the front seven and quarterback position. Adequate play in either area is probably all that’s needed to challenge and anything better and the rest of the conference will have their hands full.