Holtz: “We have to have everyone pulling in the same direction”

When Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz addressed the media following Tuesday morning’s practice, the ninth year Bulldog Boss jokingly said he wasn’t even sure what day it was.

One thing he did know was that the Bulldogs season opener against Mississippi State is 18 days away.

“I don’t even know what practice we are on,” said Holtz. “I know we are 18 days away from our first game. It was a Tuesday practice; middle of the week. This week we are really just trying to polish up and continue to teach and get better as an offense and defense. We are doing a lot of work of good on good. At this point we want to be done with teaching assignments and teaching not what to do but how to do it.”

Like many Division I college football teams around the country, Tech’s roster is loaded with newcomers – both true freshmen, junior college transfers and DI transfers. It’s simply a result of the times we are in with the transfer portal.

Holtz and Co. will depend on a lot of those newcomers if they are to compete for the Conference USA championship in 2021. However, on Tuesday, Holtz was thinking about one day at a time.

“We have had a good couple of days to this point,” he said. “I am excited about the way the team is progressing and some of the things that they are doing. We still have a long way to go. This is a process that we are involved in and we just aren’t as consistent as we need to be, but that’s why we go to practice every day. I love the attitude. I love the work ethic. Love the way they are pushing through things.

“We have been able to stay relatively healthy. I am really proud with the way this team is working. It will give us a chance. I don’t know how good we will be at the beginning with so many new faces and so many transfers.”

There are plenty of position battles for Tech this fall, none more under the microscope than at quarterback where returners Aaron Allen and JD Head join West Virginia transfer Austin Kendall in the battle for the opening day starter while Luke Anthony continues to recover from off-season surgery.

Regardless of who wins that battle – no starter has been announced – Holtz knows it will take an entire roster competing as one come Sept. 4 when the Bulldogs open at Mississippi State.

“We are going to have to really come together as a football team,” said Holtz. “That’s the biggest challenge we have with everyone pulling the rope in the same direction. I am excited with the direction, but even more excited that we still have 18 days before we have to go out and play in our very first game.”

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