The Bulldogs defense was firing on all cylinders during the first three quarters of their date with South Carolina. They ran out of gas in the final 15 minutes. They allowed 211 yards, 17 points, including the final gut punch – the game winning field goal, which gave the home team the 17-16 victory.
“…It’s 13-0, and they have the ball, ” says Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz. “We made some uncharaterisitc mistakes. Gave up a 23-yard scramble. Got back up on the ball, they threw a jump ball. [Bryan Edwards] made a great double catch that put them in position. And, their field goal kicker made the kick.”
Despite allowing J’Mar Smith to throw for 281 yards, it was the Gamecocks defense that also impressed. They held Tech to a season low 80 yards on the ground.
“…Their front seven. They’re big and they’re physical, ” says Holtz. “We struggled up front. We did not play as well as we wanted to. I think some of that is on us, some of that was them. Their size and strength definitely made a difference.”
The Dogs may want to just air it out if they want to win this ball game on Saturday. They face a defense that loves to stuff the box in South Alabama. They’re ranked 42nd in the country against the rush.
“…I think it’s why it’s so important for our quarterback and our young receivers to mature to get on the same page, and to be executing at a high level, ” Holtz continues. “If you can turn and throw the ball against these teams you have an opportunity to loosen them up. But, you can’t keep banging a square peg into a round hole. You can’t say ‘they’re going to put everyone on the line and I’m just going to keep running the ball, and see what we can do.’
The Bulldogs and Jaguars hook up on Saturday at 6:00 inside Joe Aillet Stadium.