2008 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Season

Posted Feb 8, 2009

2008 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Dec. 28
2008 Independence Bowl
Louisiana Tech 17 … Northern Illinois 10

In an occasionally ugly defensive struggle, Louisiana Tech got a 97-yard kickoff return from Phillip Livas as an answer to an eight-yard Kyle Skarb touchdown catch in the first quarter to tie it at seven, and then it took the lead for good with an 11-yard Daniel Porter touchdown run in the second. The two teams traded field goals in the third quarter, while three turnovers and inefficiency wouldn't allow the Huskies to get closer than seven.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech WR Phillip Livas caught four passes for 18 yards and returned a punt 97 yards for a score. 
Stat Leaders: Northern Illinois - Passing: Chandler Harnish, 20-40, 186 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Chad Spann, 14-79. Receiving: Matt Simon, 6-44
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 12-27, 144 yds
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 18-78, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 4-18
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the Independence Bowl …Louisiana Tech LB Weldon Brown led all defensive players with 14 tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery … Third down conversions: NIU 7-of-16 – Tech 2-of-14. … Total yards: NIU 339 – LT 236. … First quarter time of possession: NIU 11:46 – LT 3:14. … Punts put inside the 20: LT 4 – NIU 0.

- 2008 La Tech Preview
- 2007 La Tech Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record: 8-5

Aug. 30 Mississippi St W 22-14
Sept. 9 at Kansas L 29--0
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 SE Louisiana W 41-26
Sept. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 1 at Boise State L 38-3
Oct. 11 at Hawaii L 28-14
Oct. 18 Idaho W 46-14
Oct. 25 at Army L 14-7
Nov. 1 Fresno State W 38-35
Nov. 8 at San Jose State W 21-0
Nov. 15 Utah State W 45-38
Nov. 22 at NMSU W 35-31
Nov. 29 Nevada L 35-31
Independence Bowl
Dec. 28 Northern Illinois W 17-10

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 1 Central Ark W 28-7
Sept. 8 Hawaii L 45-44 OT
Sept. 15 at California L 42-12
Sept. 29 at Fresno State L 17-6
Oct. 6 at Ole Miss L 24-0
Oct. 13 N Mexico St
W 22-21
Oct. 20 Boise State L 45-31
Oct. 27
at Utah State W 31-21
Nov. 3 at Idaho W 28-16
Nov. 10 at LSU L 58-10
Nov. 17 San Jose St W 27-23
Dec. 1 Nevada L 49-10

Nov. 29
Nevada 35 … Louisiana Tech 31
Down 31-14, Nevada mounted a comeback with 21 unanswered points capped off by a 22-yard touchdown run from Vai Taua with just over three minutes to play. Colin Kaepernick threw four touchdown passes including plays to 62 and 18 yards to Marko Mitchell in the third quarter, but Louisiana Tech got up early with two touchdown passes from Ross Jenkins and touchdown runs from Daniel Porter and Patrick Jackson. The Bulldog offense sputtered in the last 20 minutes and Nevada got hot with the short passing game. Kaepernick hit Mike McCoy for a 27-yard score early in the fourth to get the Pack close, and Taua put it away. Nevada outgained Tech 500 yards to 443.
Player of the game: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick completed 24-of-42 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns and an interception, and he ran for 28 yards on 13 carries.
Stat Leaders: Nevada - Passing: Colin Kaepernick, 24-42, 397 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Vai Taua, 22-61, 1 TD. Receiving: Chris Wellington, 8-93, 1 TD
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins 17-31, 258 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Patrick Jackson, 10-79, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 5-70, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It was all there for the Bulldogs to make a huge statement and finish second in the WAC, but the defense that had played so well for 40 minutes against Nevada couldn't come up with the big stop needed, and the offense couldn't come up with the one late drive to stop the momentum. Even so, this has been a fantastic turnaround year for the program and the bowl will come. Getting the extra practice time will be vital, but getting a win might start to finally give the program a little bit of deserved attention.

Nov. 22
Louisiana Tech 35 … New Mexico State 31
Phillip Livas took a short pass 68 yards for a touchdown with less than four minutes to play to give Louisiana Tech the lead for good. The Bulldogs had a 28-10 lead in the first half helped by a blocked punt for a score and a 10-yard Patrick Jackson run, but New Mexico State roared back with three of Chase Holbrook's four touchdown passes on a 21-point run. Chris Williams had a huge day for the Aggies with an 80-yard touchdown and a 34-yard scoring play, but it wasn't enough. NMSU outgained Tech 523 yards to 358.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter ran 17 times for 130 yards and a touchdown, and he caught a pass for 13 yards
Stat Leaders: New Mexico State - Passing: Chase Holbrook, 45-59, 486 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Tonny Glynn, 10-19. Receiving: Chris Williams, 10-189, 2 TD
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 12-20, 132 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 17-130, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 4-88, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Louisiana Tech assured itself of a bowl bid by coming up with its first ever win at New Mexico State. It was a battle, and the secondary struggled, but despite blowing a big lead and almost giving it away late, Phillip Livas came through with the play that has sealed the season as a success. Now it's time for the icing on the cake. A home win over Nevada would mean the No. 3 WAC bowl slot, assuming Hawaii stays at home for its bowl.

Nov. 15
Louisiana Tech 45 … Utah State 38
Down three in the fourth, Louisiana Tech took the lead on a 22-yard Daniel Porter run and put it away on a 22-yard Brad Oestriecher field goal with just over two minutes to play. Utah State put up a great fight with Robert Turbin running for scores from one, 48 and two yards out, but mistakes were a killer. The Aggies' Diondre Borel ran for two scores, but he threw three picks with Matt Broha taking one back for a 40-yard score and Dominique Faust returning one 60 yards for a touchdown on the way to an early 21-10 lead. But Tech also turned the ball over three times and was outgained 360 yards to 345.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter ran 24 times for 114 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Utah State - Passing: Diondre Borel, 12-18, 204 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Robert Turbin, 17-99, 3 TD. Receiving: Nnamdi Gwacham, 3-76
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 12-17, 145 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 24-114, 1 TD. Receiving: Shane Womack, 3-39
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Bowl eligible. Derek Dooley has his team in a position to go bowling after a tougher-than-expected win over Utah State, but more wins are needed to ensure a post-season spot. There will be chances with New Mexico State and Nevada to close to finish up with a strong campaign, but the defense has to be tighter. The secondary came up with some big plays against Utah State, but it struggled a bit too much to get by a bad Aggie passing game. The offense sputtered a bit too much, but it came through late when it needed to.

Nov. 8

Louisiana Tech 21 … San Jose State 0
Louisiana Tech's defense held San Jose State to six first downs and 148 yards of total offense, while the Bulldog attack got a 21-yard Patrick Jackson touchdown run in the second and a 35-yard Dustin Mitchell scoring grab. Terry Carter came up with a 50-yard interception return for a score in the second. The Spartans had just 30 rushing yards and completed 11-of-28 passes.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech DT D'Anthony Smith made seven tackles and a sack with two tackles for loss.
Stat Leaders: San Jose State - Passing: Kyle Reed, 4-14, 79 yds
Rushing: Chris Reese, 13-46. Receiving: Terrance Williams, 3-19
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 7-16, 97 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 18-102. Receiving: Dustin Mitchell, 1-35, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Very quietly, Louisiana Tech's defense is coming up with a tremendous second half of the year. A meltdown against Fresno State aside, the secondary is doing a fantastic job while the run defense didn't allow a thing against San Jose State. D'Anthony Smith set the tone in the middle of the line, and the rest of the D swarmed. The Spartans were never in the game, meaning the Tech offense didn't have to do anything other than hand the ball off to Patrick Jackson. With Utah State and New Mexico State up next, this is when the Bulldogs have to go on a roll and make a big statement in the WAC. The No. 2 spot is still a possibility.

Nov. 1
Louisiana Tech 38 … Fresno State 35
Daniel Porter ran for 189 yards with touchdown dashes from one and 43 yards out, and Patrick Jackson scored twice as Louisiana Tech held on to beat Fresno State. The Bulldogs got four touchdown passes from Tom Brandstater with two to Bear Pascoe including a 10-yarder with 44 seconds to play, but that was as close as the Bulldogs could get. The two teams traded punt returns for touchdowns in the second quarter with Rashad Evans giving Fresno a 14-7 lead before Phillip Livas answered with an 81-yarder.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter ran 20 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Fresno State - Passing: Tom Brandstater, 23-38, 296 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Anthony Harding, 14-47. Receiving: Seyi Ajirotutu, 7-137, 2 TD
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 7-12, 88 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 20-189, 2 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 4-50
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Tanks to a tremendous day from the running game, motoring for 280 yards, and an effective enough defense to come up with key third down stops, Louisiana Tech got by Fresno State and is back in the hunt for a decent bowl games. Ross Jenkins didn't do much throwing the ball, but he didn't have to with Daniel Porter and Patrick Jackson running so effectively. After the loss to Army, the team needed this win, and now comes a big-time challenge at San Jose State before things ease up with Utah State and New Mexico State.

Oct. 25
Army 14 … Louisiana Tech 7
Army came up with five sacks and got two short Ian Smith touchdowns, one In the first and one on a catch in the fourth for the team's third win in four games. Louisiana Tech only gained 152 yards of offense with the points coming on a two-yard R.P Stuart run in the third quarter. The Knights turned it over four times, but the defense was able to pick up the slack.  
Player of the game: Army LB Stephen Anderson made 10 tackles
Stat Leaders: Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 8-19, 84 yds
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 20-73. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 2-27
Army - Passing: Chip Bowden, 3-9, 32 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Collin Mooney, 17-57. Receiving: Ian Smith, 2-14, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Army might be playing better, but the loss was an inexcusable performance for this point in the season. The offensive line couldn't handle the quick Knight defensive front, but there wasn't much of an attempt to power the ball. Ross Jenkins only averaged 4.4 yards per pass and didn't get anything going deep. Worse yet, the offense didn't take advantage of all the breaks. The defense came up with four turnovers, but the offense only came up with seven points. Overall, the team isn't playing nearly as well as it should.

Oct. 18
Louisiana Tech 46 … Idaho 14
Idaho opened up the scoring with a 33-yard Kama Bailey touchdown catch, and then it was all Louisiana Tech as the Bulldogs scored 30 straight points helped by four touchdown runs from four different players. Phillip Livas ripped off a 72-yard scoring dash, while Daniel Porter ran for scores from one and 17 yards out. The Idaho offense only gained 239 yards and turned it over three times.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter ran 23 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught a pass for six yards
Stat Leaders: Idaho - Passing: Nathan Enderle, 19-33, 203 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Troy Vital, 4-11. Receiving: Max Komar, 5-69
Louisiana Tech - Passing: Ross Jenkins, 13-20, 192 yds
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 23-145, 2 TD. Receiving: Dennis Morris, 4-121

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Louisiana Tech did what it was supposed to do against a bad Idaho team. The more Daniel Porter and the running game can be effective, the better, but the secondary still needs a lot of tightening up. Fortunately, the stats will start to look better with Army coming up next week before the meat of the schedule kicks in with Fresno State and San Jose State in back-to-back weeks. A bowl game is out there for the taking, but a win next week is a must.

Oct. 11
Hawaii 28 … Louisiana Tech 14
Hawaii's defense forced four turnovers and just one Patrick Jackson five-yard touchdown before Louisiana Tech got back on the board in the final seconds on a fumble return for a score. The offense cranked out 401 yards with Inoke Funaki throwing for a career-high 224 yards with a 20-yard pass to Kealoha Pilares for a score and a 25-yard play to Greg Salas for a second quarter touchdown.
Player of the game: Hawaii QB Inoke Funaki completed 14-of-26 passes for 224 yards and two touchdown, and he ran 12 times for 43 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Louisiana Tech - Passing: Taylor Bennett, 11-29, 152 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 15-82. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 6-80
Hawaii - Passing: Inoke Funaki, 14-26, 224 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kaloha Pilares, 9-54. Receiving: Kealoha Pilares, 5-52, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Louisiana Tech no-huddle offense didn't exactly light up the Hawaii defense. Taylor Bennett struggled with his accuracy and threw two interceptions, but Ross Jenkins wasn't much better. The Bulldogs should be getting more form a running game that's hit of miss, but Daniel Porte and WR Phillip Livas made plays when they had the chance. Now there's a layup against Idaho that should break the gloom of a bad two-game losing streak. It's time to get the offense working; that's what the Vandals are for.

Oct. 2
Boise State 38 ... Louisiana Tech 3
Boise State got up 14-0 in the first half on Kellen Moore touchdown passes from 13 yards out to Julian Hawkins and 44 yards to Chris O'Neill, and then the defense did the rest. Louisiana Tech moved the ball, but sputtered when it got close, only managing a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter. Titus Young ran for a 15-yard score late in the first half, and D.J. Harper put it away with two three-yard second half touchdown runs.
Player of the game: Boise State QB Kellen Moore completed 20-of-28 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Stat Leaders: Boise State
- Passing: Kellen Moore, 20-28, 325 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Ian Johnson, 9-42. Receiving: Jeremy Childs, 4-36
Louisiana Tech
- Passing: Taylor Bennett, 9-27, 202 yds
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 16-68. Receiving: Philip Livas, 3-77
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Bulldogs moved the ball on Boise State but couldn't close once they got in scoring range. Taylor Bennett struggled with his accuracy, but Ross Jenkins wasn't any better in relief, misfiring on all three of his attempts with an interception. The defense couldn't handle the short to midrange Bronco passing game, and while Hawaii might not be the Hawaii of last year, the Tech pass defense has to be a bit of a concern going into the road trip in ten days. Trying to get sharp should be a problem with just one game, this loss to Boise State, in the span of 20 days.

Sept. 20
Louisiana Tech 41 … SE Louisiana 26
Louisiana Tech pulled away in a tight battle with a ten-point third quarter. Daniel Porter ran for a 23-yard touchdown and Brad Oestricher kicked his first of two field goals, and the defense held on. SELA got a 51-yard interception return for a score from Marquis Powell and a 55-yard Andre Cryer scoring grab, but Louisiana Tech had some big plays of its own with a 44-yard Porter touchdown catch and a 57-yard punt return for a score from Phillip Livas. The two teams combined for 18 penalties and five turnovers.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech RB Daniel Porter ran 19 times for 97 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 53 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Louisiana Tech
- Passing: Taylor Bennett, 15-27, 196 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Daniel Porter, 19-97, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 3-58
SE Louisiana
- Passing: Brian Babin, 32-59, 322 yds
Rushing: Jay Lucas, 13-67. Receiving: Andre Cryer, 7-138, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The win over SE Louisiana wasn't exactly the performance the team might have wanted after getting shut out by Kansas and with a trip to Boise State coming up. However, it was a good sign that the Bulldogs can handle the adversity. Taylor Bennett had a nice game throwing the ball, and he spread it around well, but the secondary got ripped to shreds. To win in the WAC, Tech will have to be ready to get involved in a few shootouts.

Sept. 6
Kansas 29 ... Louisiana Tech 0
In the rain and lousy conditions, Todd Reesing was razor-sharp throwing for 412 yards with touchdown passes of three and 39 yards to Daymond Patterson and a 48-yarder to Dezmon Briscoe. Jacob Brandstetter added three short field goals, while the Jayhawk defense kept the Bulldogs to 267 yards of total offense and just 119 through the air. KU held on to the ball for 35:16.
Player of the game: Kansas QB Todd Reesing completed 32 of 38 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Louisiana Tech - Passing: Taylor Bennett, 12-33, 119 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Phillip Livas, 2-80. Receiving: Dustin Mitchell, 3-27
Kansas - Passing: Todd Reesing, 32-38, 412 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Angus Quigley, 15-84. Receiving: Kerry Meier, 9-71
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Mississippi State and Kansas have two tremendous defenses, so there's no reason to get too worried about a struggling offense, but the 12-of-33 passing performance from Taylor Bennett might mean more work and practice time for the other options this off-week. The running game has to be more consistent to help out, but Phillip Livas showed off why he needs the ball more in a variety of ways with an impressive 78-yard dash. The loss of Quin Harris wasn't a killer, but his presence certainly would've helped against the KU running game.

Aug. 30
Louisiana Tech 22 ... Mississippi State 14
Mississippi State turned the ball over three times in the third quarter and five overall as Louisiana Tech shut out the Bulldogs in the second half. Patrick Jackson scored two six-yard touchdowns, one on a pass and one on a run, and Brad Oestriecher nailed three field goals including bombs from 48 and 50 yards away. MSU came up with three takeaways of its own and had a 14-3 lead on an eight-yard Brandon McRae touchdown catch and a one-yard Brandon Hart run, but the offense sputtered the rest of the way with turnovers and penalties killing drives time and again.
Player of the game: Louisiana Tech FS Antonio Baker made ten tackles and an interception
Stat Leaders: Louisiana Tech - Passing: Taylor Bennett, 14-40, 175 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Patrick Jackson, 17-62, 1 TD. Receiving: Phillip Livas, 6-85
Mississippi State - Passing: Wesley Carroll, 12-25, 172 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Anthony Dixon, 18-91. Receiving: Aubrey Bell, 6-67
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's not like Tech played well in the win over Mississippi State. The running game was streaky, the passing game was off, and there were three turnovers, but the defense came up with the big plays when it had to and MSU screwed up worse. It's a win over a BCS conference team; it doesn't matter how it happened. Going into Kansas and with Boise State coming up soon, the Bulldogs needed to know they could play with a real team. This could be a program definer for the young Derek Dooley era.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Eric Harper, DE, 6-4, 220, Marrero, La., John Ehret
Lettered three years for coach Billy North at John Ehret High School ... named All-District and All-Metro as a junior ... graduated in December.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Michael Lacy, OT, 6-5, 310, Gulfport, Miss., Gulfport
Played for coach Marcus Woods at Gulfport High School … named All-Coast by the Sun Herald… Mississippi State Football Coaches Association All-Star two years in a row…Clarion Ledger All-State and All-Coast … named team MVP…amounted more than 60 pancake blocks this season.

Philip Longino, DT, 6-0, 290, Missouri City, Texas, Marshall HS
Lettered two years for coach Dennis Brantley at Marshal High School … helped lead Marshall to the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs … named first team All-District 12-4A as a senior and second team as a junior … throws shot put and discus for track and field

Rest of the Class
Richie Casey, ATH, 6-0, 180, Homer, La., Homer HS
Adrien Cole, LB, 5-11, 245, Mobile, Ala., McGill-Toolen
Kwame Jordan, DE, 6-4, 245, Marrero, La., Fort Scott CC
Christian Lacey, DE, 6-1, 235, Harvey, La., Archbishop Shaw
Josh Parrish, OL, 6-4, 275, Klein, Texas, Klein Collins
Solomon Randle, LB, 6-0, 235, Mobile, Ala., LeFlore Academy
Kevin Saia, OL, 6-2, 315, Geismar, La., Dutchtown
Chandler Spence, TE, 6-3, 240, Arlington, Texas, Lamar HS
Todd Spence, DB, 6-0, 175, Lewisville, Texas, Lewisville
Ketaraus Stanton, RB, 5-11, 215, Diboll, Texas, Diboll
R.P. Stuart, WR, 6-3, 205, Austin, Texas, Anderson
Darrius Terry, DB, 5-11, 180, Lufkin, Texas, Lufkin
Houston Tuminello, WR, 6-1, 180, Gilmer, Texas, Gilmer

2007 Recap

With one game left in the regular season, the Bulldogs were a win away from a New Mexico Bowl invitation, a sign of progress for a school that's bowled just once in the last 17 seasons.  Tech lost badly to Nevada in that finale to slip below .500, but the playoff atmosphere will serve the younger players and first-year head coach Derek Dooley well down the road.  The Bulldogs finished 4-4 in WAC play, a dramatic improvement from last year's 1-7 mark.

Offensive Player of the Year:
RB Patrick Jackson

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Quin Harris

Biggest Surprise: The defense.  Hardly the calling card at Louisiana Tech over the years, the defense played surprisingly well in 2007, finishing third in the league in run defense and sending four players to the all-league team.  Two of those defenders, Harris and S Antonio Baker, will be the cornerstones of next year's unit.   

Biggest Disappointment: During the regular season, no one came closer to beating Hawaii than Louisiana Tech did on Sept. 8.  The Bulldogs went blow-for-blow with the No. 20 Warriors for more than four quarters before falling, 45-44, when a Zac Champion pass for two points and the win was knocked down.  The game became a footnote in Hawaii's run to a BCS bowl game, rather than a defining moment for Louisiana Tech.        

Looking Ahead: Can Dooley build on Tech's improvement from last season?  If so, the Bulldogs will be vying for the postseason again next November.  The staff's first order of business will be to find Champion's successor at quarterback out of junior Michael Mosley, sophomore Ross Jenkins, and Auburn transfer Steve Ensminger.   



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