Lions, and … Dogs … at the Joe … Oh, my

Who: Southeastern at Louisiana Tech

Where: Joe Aillet Stadium (Ruston, La.)

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPN3 w/ Lyn Rollins (PxP), Chris Mycoskie (Color)

Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KDBS 1410 AM (Alexandria), KDBS 94.7 FM (Alexandria), WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KZBL 100.7 FM (Natchitoches), KOKA 980 AM (Shreveport), KOKA 93.3 FM (Shreveport), KNCB 1320 AM (Vivian), KNCB 104.1 FM (Vivian), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield)

Radio Talent: Malcolm Butler (PxP), Teddy Allen (Color) w/ pregame at 4:30 p.m.

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Louisiana Tech fans will see some familiar faces on the opposite sideline Saturday when the Bulldogs host No. 13 (FCS) ranked Southeastern. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium.

Head coach Frank Scelfo, nicklebacks coach Antonio Baker and special team’s coordinator Ross Jenkins all wore Bulldog red and blue at one time; Scelfo as an assistant coach and Baker and Jenkins as collegiate players.

Now dressed in green and gold, Scelfo and Co. come to Ruston as one of the most impressive offenses on the FCS ranks.

“I have known Frank Scelfo for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for the job he does,” said Tech head coach Skip Holtz. “I know Frank was here for a while in his career. He has two coaches on his staff that graduated from Louisiana Tech, and you can really see he is starting to make his mark at Southeastern. You can see his stamp on it. They are ranked 13th in the country in the Football Championship Series (FCS) for a reason.”

Southeastern is coming off a season-opening 49-28 win over North Alabama last weekend led by the 2020 Walter Payton Award winner at quarterback in Cole Kelly. The Arkansas transfer passed for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth in the victory.

“A 6-foot-7, 260-pounds, Cole Kelly has great size,” said Holtz. “He throws the ball well. He is very smart. Yet, he is big. He has thrown for like 31 touchdowns in his career, but he has also rushed for 18. He is a big body guy who can run the ball. They do run him. They run a million formations. They give you a lot of problems. It starts with Cole. It’s an offense that scores a lot of points. They are used to putting up a lot of points, and it will be a great challenge for our defense.”

Kelly is just one of 22 players for Southeastern that started their career on the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level before transferring to the Lions.

“They are very talented,” said Holtz. “In the day and age of the transfer portal, it’s no longer FCS. The FCS could have 20 to 40 players that were signed by DI programs or even Power 5 programs. They have a lot of talent. This is going to be a great challenge.”

Southeastern has been nomads since Hurricane Ida hit the southern part of the state in late August. The Lions have called Florence, Alabama, home for almost two full weeks – something not lost in Holtz.

“I can only imagine,” said Holtz. “Just the logistics and headache. They have been over there for most of two weeks. They haven’t been home since beating North Alabama last week. It’s been tough for them. I think their players are resilient. Its obvious the way they played in their first game. It didn’t slow them down with the way they played against North Alabama. That’s a testament to the job that coaching staff has done.”

Louisiana Tech will look to rebound from a heart-breaking 35-34 loss at Mississippi State in opening weekend of the season.

The Bulldogs lead the all-time series against Southeastern 28-7-2, including eight straight victories. The two programs have met just once since Tech moved up to the FBS ranks, a 41-26 Bulldog victory in 2008.

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Photo:  Darrell James


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