5 Thoughts - 2008 Independence Bowl
Louisiana Tech WR Phillip Livas
Louisiana Tech WR Phillip Livas
Posted Dec 29, 2008

Louisiana Tech beats Northern Illinois 17-10 ... 5 Thoughts on the 2008 Independence Bowl

5 Thoughts ... 2008 Independence Bowl 

Louisiana Tech 17 ... Northern Illinois 10

GAME REVIEW: Phillip Livas & Tech gets by NIU  
- 2008 CFN Independence Bowl Preview

2008 Independence Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. Unlike a number of bowls, the Independence has some staying power and an appreciably long history (dating back to 1976). This is a bowl game that--by dint of its longevity--should not be blown up. With that said, this matchup--cobbled together because the SEC and Big 12 couldn't fill slots--offers a perfect reason why there are far too many bowl games. Louisiana Tech at least had a 7-5 season, but Northern Illinois--a .500 team from the MAC--frankly had no business being in this game. With the way these two teams performed--including the victors, who play in Boise State's conference--it's not hard to see why fans in BCS conferences look down on the little guys in the sport.
The Independence Bowl should have a future. The amount of bowl games--and the 6-6 teams invited to them--should decrease in number. - Matthew Zemek 

2. This time around, it was pretty hard to argue with those who rail on college football’s all-inclusive, overstuffed postseason. Coming from someone who won’t pass on a good spring game, I’ve got to admit that it was painful navigating through four quarters of Northern Illinois versus Louisiana Tech. No disrespect is intended to the Huskies or the Bulldogs, who’ve both authored feel-good stories, or the bowl committee in Shreveport, which has a passion for this game. However, when you put a mid-level WAC team in the same building with a 6-6 MAC team, it’s going to be a tough sell nationally. While I hung in for all 60 minutes, don’t despair. You’re no less of a football fan if you declared you’re independence from this game much earlier.  - Richard Cirminiello

3. I’m sure the world will dump on this game since it was such a dull dud, so I’ll try to find the silver lining in a game with no offense, one really big kickoff return, and ineptitude triumphing over strong play. On the plus side, Chandler Harnish really does look like a keeper at QB for NIU. He ran just enough to add a little bit of pop, as he always does, and he spread the ball around well with 10 receivers catching passes. They just didn’t give their quab much help. Louisiana Tech might just use this win as a big recruiting tool. It might not have been a thriller, but it proved that Derek Dooley has the program on the right track. And, of course, Phillip Livas got a national showcase game, at least for those not watching San Diego pound Denver. He’s a special talent who took over the game with one big kickoff return. Now let’s get on with the rest of the bowl season.  - Pete Fiutak              
4. If Louisiana Tech was LSU’s AAA farm team, Bulldog WR Phillip Livas would be ready to be called up to the bigs. Tech’s version of a Swiss army knife looks like one of those diminutive, do-everything weapons that usually winds up taking classes in Baton Rouge. The most exciting and versatile player in the game Sunday night, he carried the ball, caught passes, and was the special teams star with a 97-yard kickoff return for a score in the first quarter. Best of all, he’s only a sophomore, which means the fans in Ruston, not Baton Rouge, will be enjoying his big-play ability over the next two seasons. - Richard Cirminiello    

5. As bad as this game was on both sides, one impressive feature of the contest was the effort level of both secondaries. Corners and safeties repeatedly contested passes, and poked at the football even when it appeared that a catch had been made. By refusing to give up on plays, the back lines of each defense--especially NIU's unit, which had to play under the pressure of a seven-point deficit for most of the second half--acquitted themselves quite well.
(As for the passing, catching and coaching involved in this game, don't get me started.)  - Matthew Zemek