Louisiana Tech Preview 2006
La Tech Bulldogs
Posted Aug 9, 2006

Every school, with the possible exception of USC, whines about not getting enough respect. After finishing 7-4 with a dominating season-ending win at Liberty Bowl bound Fresno State, Louisiana Tech truly didn't get any respect getting shunned from the bowls.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

Fine, we're not talking about one of the great injustices in sports history considering Tech's win over Fresno was the only one of note in a sea of victories over the WAC's worst teams, but it was a second straight good season and proved that Jack Bicknell's club is good enough to be considered a solid program. Not flashy, but solid.

Head coach: Jack Bicknell
8th year: 40-42
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 26, Def. 20, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 24
Ten Best Tech Players
1. WR Eric Newman, Sr.
2. RB Freddie Franklin, Jr.
3. TE Anthony James, Sr.
4. LB Brannon Jackson, Jr.
5. FS Dez Abrams, Sr.
6. OG Marcus Lindsey, Sr.
7. WR Johnathan Holland, Sr.
8. PK Danny Horwedel, Jr.
NT Josh Muse, Jr.
LB Quin Harris, Soph.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-6

9/2 at Nebraska
9/16 Nicholls State
9/23 at Texas A&M
9/30 at Clemson
10/7 at Boise State
10/14 Idaho
10/21 Utah State
10/28 at San Jose State
11/4 at North Texas
11/11 at Hawaii
11/18 Nevada
11/24 Fresno State
12/2 at New Mexico State

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-6
2005 Record:
Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/10 at Florida L 41-3
9/17 at Kansas L 34-14
10/1 New Mexico St W 34-14
10/8 Hawaii W 46-14
10/15 at Nevada L 37-27
10/22 North Texas W 40-14
10/29 San Jose St W 31-14
11/5 at Utah State W 27-17
11/12 at Idaho W 41-38
11/26 Boise State L 30-13
12/2 at Fresno State W 40-28

The Bulldogs didn't turn the ball over, had a nice ground game, and efficient passing attack, and a good enough defense to keep some bad offenses from doing much of anything. This year's team has a bit of turmoil with some massive personnel losses, so expect this to be the real test of where things are at.

Only two starters return on defense, there's a woeful lack of experience at quarterback, and there could stand to be far more explosion considering all the speed in the receiving corps and at running back. Even with the problems, this should still be an upper-division WAC team that needs to come up with more big wins.

To take the next step in the WAC, you have to beat Boise State. Tech not only hasn't done it since 2001, it hasn't been close. There was a 37-27 loss to Nevada last year which ended up killing any title hopes. And, of course, Fresno State is always going to be decent. The Bulldogs get Boise State on the road, but the other two big boys, along with Hawaii, come late in the year, so there's time to jell in time to make some more noise and be a player in the WAC championship race.

But titles aren't really going to be the focus. It'll be a year of getting better and getting more experience in key spots before what should be a really good 2007. For now, trying to finish with another winning record and getting the respect from a bowl would be reason enough to celebrate. Unfortunately, that might be impossible because ... 

The Schedule: The Bulldogs play 13 games with eight on the road. The home games have an interesting mix of layups early (Nicholls State, Idaho, and Utah State) and huge WAC games (Nevada and Fresno State) late. The first five weeks will be a killer with four road games in the first five with nightmares ahead against Nebraska, Texas A&M, Clemson and Boise State. The road slate eases up in a huge way going away to play San Jose State, North Texas, Hawaii and New Mexico State.

Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Eric Newman. He's not as fast or as talented as fellow receiver Johnathan Holland, but the senior is tremendously consistent and is the perfect go-to number one receiver the team needs so the rest of the speedsters can do their thing. Averaging 18.9 yards per catch last year, Newman can make big plays, too.

Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Brannon Jackson. The 263-pound middle linebacker joins safety Dez Abrams as the only returning starters on defense. The two are good leaders and All-WAC candidates, with Jackson certain to be a top tone-setting hitter up front.

Key player to a successful season: Quarterbacks Zac Champion, Michael Mosley and Joe Danna. There isn't much concern about the quarterback situation with three good options, and the receivers are in place to make some big plays and the running game will take the heat off. Now it's up to one of the quarterbacks to be an efficient producer and keep the offense moving.

The season will be a success if ... Tech goes bowling. It'll have to survive seven road games in the first nine, but things open up over the second half of the year. The WAC title is out of the question.

Key game: Sept. 1 at Fresno State. The Bulldogs are going to want payback after last year's 38-31 nationally televised loss, but Nevada has to win the rematch to set the tone for the rest of the year. The next WAC game is at Hawaii, which will become a must-win if there's a loss on opening day.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Second quarter scoring: Louisiana Tech 136 - Opponents 39
- Penalties: Opponents 89 for 719 yards - Louisiana Tech 69 for 575 yards
- Fumbles: Opponents 23 (lost 15) - Louisiana Tech 20 (lost 8)

The Last Time Louisiana Tech…
…played in a bowl game…2001 (Humanitarian Bowl v. Clemson)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…1996(Middle Tennessee State)
…was shutout…2004 (Miami)
…scored 50 points…2004 (Rice)
…went undefeated…1972
…won a conference title…2001 (WAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Luke McCown)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2004 (Ryan Moats)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2000 (James Jordan)
…had a first-round draft choice…1999 (WR Troy Edwards)

Related Stories
Louisiana Tech Preview 2006 - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Louisiana Tech Preview 2006 Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006
Louisiana Tech Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 9, 2006

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Louisiana Tech
[View My HotList]