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Bulldogs gatecrash AP rankings with win over Rebels

For only the second time in school history, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs find themselves with the AP rankings. A win over UNLV at the weekend propelled the side into the rankings, thanks in part to a 5-0 record and upset wins over Illinois and Virginia.

Louisiana Tech Beats UNLV, Remains Perfect

Ray Holley goes in for one of Louisiana Tech's five rushing touchdowns on the way to a 58-31 win over UNLV.

The last time Louisiana Tech found itself a ranked side was heading into its final game of the 1999 season, a campaign that saw the Bulldogs go 8-3. That season saw the team win eight straight at one point, including a huge upset of the then #18 Alabama. A loss to Southern California in the final game of the season saw that it was a short-lived stay in the polls.

On Saturday, Louisiana Tech (5-0, 0-0 WAC) won in the same way it has won all season, scoring big. The Bulldogs posted 50+ points for the fourth time in five games. The team’s 53.2 PPG average is good enough for third in the country (behind Oklahoma State and Baylor).

The Bulldogs took a 27-7 lead midway through the second before UNLV (1-5, 1-0 MWC) reeled off 17 points to close the gap to 27-24. The Bulldogs countered with 31 straight, including three of Kenneth Dixon’s four rushing touchdowns on the day, to put the Bulldogs well and truly in the lead.

Dixon ran for 102 yards all told while Ray Holley had 139 yards and one score on the ground. Quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 316 yards and one touchdown on 31/45 passing. Quinton Patton caught that sole touchdown on his way to 116 yards receiving.

The win matches the Bulldogs’ best start to a season, previously attained by the 1975 side.

The Bulldogs now look ahead to this weekend and a rescheduled showdown with #22 Texas A&M (4-1, 2-1 SEC). Hurricane Isaac put the halters to the pair’s opening day matchup back in August and now both teams will ride a winning streak into the game.

The Aggies have won four straight since losing to Florida in their SEC debut, including a conclusive 58-10 win over Arkansas. Undoubtedly this is Louisiana Tech’s toughest contest of the year so far, and quite the warm-up for the six straight WAC games the Bulldogs play to close out the season after this encounter.

A win over Texas A&M would surely put the Bulldogs in the national eye – as Houston was last season – and strengthen Louisiana Tech’s current position as favorites to win the WAC this year, opening the way for a potential Bowl spot.

Across the Conference

Dominique Blackman and the Idaho Vandals picked up their first win of the season, beating New Mexico State 26-18.

While Louisiana Tech was winning its fifth game of the year, Idaho was looking for its first. The Vandals (1-5, 1-0 WAC) did exactly that, downing New Mexico State (1-5, 0-2 WAC) in the weekend’s only conference game. Idaho will follow this win up with a trip to Texas State. New Mexico State meanwhile will look to regroup with a bye week before visiting Utah State on October 20.

Week 6’s short slate of WAC games concluded with Texas State (2-3, 0-0 WAC) falling to New Mexico (3-1, 0-1 MWC), despite the Lobos only completing one pass. New Mexico’s aptly named running back Kasey Carrier had a career day on the ground, rushing for 191 yards and four touchdowns. Texas State meanwhile continued to struggle, tallying just 216 yards through the air and a deflating 32 yards on the ground, while failing to score in the second half. The Bobcats’ attention now turns to this upcoming week and a home game against Idaho.

Defense was the soup of the day as Utah State (4-2, 0-0 WAC) visited Brigham Young (4-2) on Friday night. The Aggies – no strangers to close games earlier in the season – were thwarted in a game than finished 6-3. It’s conference play from here on out for Utah State, who heads to San Jose State this weekend.

Over in San Antonio, UTSA (5-0, 1-0 WAC) enjoyed a bye week and will now travel north to Houston for a showdown with Rice (1-5, 0-3 C-USA). The Owls fell 56-37 to Louisiana Tech in Week 3 so this will be a good chance for the Roadrunners to gage themselves against the Bulldogs, and for bettors to assess whether UTSA is for real.

Also coming off a bye week, San Jose State (4-1, 0-0 WAC) will host Utah State this weekend. The Spartans have won four straight games since losing a close opener to Stanford. The matchup with the Aggies will mark the first of five straight conference games for San Jose State this season, and offers the one-loss team a good opportunity to make a statement in conference play.


Week 6 Results (in full)

Conference games highlighted

UTAH STATE 3-6 Brigham Young (Friday)


TEXAS STATE 14-35 New Mexico




Week 7 Schedule (in full)

Conference games highlighted

UTSA (5-0, 1-0 WAC) @ Rice (1-5, 0-3 C-USA)

UTAH STATE (4-2, 0-0 WAC) @ SAN JOSE STATE (4-1, 2-0)

IDAHO (1-5, 1-0 WAC) @ TEXAS STATE (2-3, 0-0 WAC)

#22 Texas A&M (4-1, 2-1 SEC) @ LOUISIANA TECH (5-0, 0-0 WAC)


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