With the start of football season around the corner, here is the third of a 12-part series of season previews on the Louisiana Tech opponents for the upcoming season. Tech will host the Mustangs on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium in a game that will be on CBS Sports Network.
2020 Record: 7-3 (4-3 in American Athletic Conference)
Bowl: Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl vs. UTSA (Cancelled)
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes (4th season)
All-time Series: LA Tech leads 4-1
Last Meeting: LA Tech 51, SMU 10 (2017 DXL Frisco Bowl)
Coach Sonny Dykes (Head Coach) – Dykes was the head coach for Louisiana Tech for three years (2010-12) where he developed the Bulldogs into one of the nation’s top offensive units while compiling an overall mark of 22-15. Dykes, who took over for the departed Derek Dooley, led Tech to the 2011 Western Athletic Conference title and an appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl while earning WAC Coach of the Year Honors. His 2012 team posted road wins over Illinois, Houston and Virginia and reached as high as No. 18 in the national polls after a 9-1 start.
Coach David Gru (Wide Receivers) – Gru played three seasons at wide receiver for Louisiana Tech (2010-12) under Sonny Dykes. He recorded 52 receptions for 661 yards and one TD during his Bulldog career and was part of the 2011 WAC championship team. He earned the 2012 Karl Malone Strength and Conditioning Award his senior season.
Coach Colby Cameron (Offensive Quality Control Assistant) – Cameron etched his name in the Louisiana Tech record books during his time in Ruston (2008-12), leading the Bulldogs to eye-popping offensive numbers. He was the 2012 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, the 2012 Sammy Baugh Award winner as well as a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist. As a senior, her passed for over 4,000 yards and 31 TDs.
SMU Outlook: Typical of Sonny Dykes’ teams, the Mustangs posted impressive offensive numbers last season, averaging 38.6 points per game while averaging almost 500 yards of offense a contest. However, SMU will have to find the replacement for QB Shane Buechele who passed for more than 3,000 yards and 23 TDs in just 10 games. The Ponies do return all-everything RB Ulysses Bentley IV, who rushed for 913 yards and 11 TDs as a freshman and caught 21 passes for another 174 yards. SMU was one of the top offensive teams in the Red Zone last year, scoring on 92 percent of its possessions and scoring TDs on 64 percent. Defensively, SMU surrendered more than 30 points a game in 2020 but does return its top tackler in Delano Robinson (77 tackles, 6 TFL), SMU allowed opponents to score TDs on 70 percent of their drives inside the red zone, an area it will have to improve on in 2021.
Season Tickets: LA Tech fans can purchase season tickets for the 2021 year by calling 318-257-3631 or going to LATechSports.com/tickets. The Bulldogs host six home games this year, including a marquee non-conference match-up against SMU.
Up Next: North Texas