Bulldogs, Blazers tangle Saturday

Louisiana Tech football (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) continues its two-game road trip this week as the Bulldogs take on UAB (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Bulldogs will look to get back into the win column this week after a four-game slump. Six of Tech’s eight games in 2021 have gone down to the wire as each of those contests were decided by a single possession. The Bulldogs have added a couple of tallies to the win column with a 45-42 victory over Southeastern and a 24-17 conference-opening win against North Texas.

UAB is coming out of a bye week after losing, 30-24, in its homecoming game against Rice. The Blazers had won back-to-back games prior to the loss to the Owls with a 34-0 win at Southern Miss and a 31-14 victory over FAU.

“We’re going to have to protect the football,” said Tech head coach Skip Holtz. “We’re going to have to do a really job protecting the football offensively. We have to try and generate some points whether that’s through the running game or the passing game.

“Defensively, the key is we can’t give up the big play. We’ve got to keep the ball in front of us. Make them earn it again. They’re going to earn some yards rushing. You just have to make sure you don’t give up the homerun ball and make them earn everything they get.

“Offensively, it’s about trying to protect the ball and manufacture points. Defensively, it’s about not giving up the big play, trying to keep the ball in front and make them snap it again.”

Offensively, Tech is led by graduate quarterback Austin Kendall with 267.71 passing yards per game (Kendall’s status for Saturday is up in the air following an injury late in last Saturday’s loss to ODU), graduate running back Marcus Williams with 57.75 rushing yards per game and sophomore wide receiver Smoke Harris with 56.88 receiving yards per game.

Freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs and senior linebacker Trey Baldwin lead the Bulldogs defensively with 67 and 66 total tackles, respectively.

UAB is led offensively by redshirt junior quarterback Dylan Hopkins with 161.4 passing yards per game, sophomore running back DeWayne McBride with 78.4 rushing yards per game and redshirt senior tight end Gerrit Prince with 58.9 receiving yards per game. Defensively, redshirt senior linebacker Noah Wilder leads the Blazers with 54 total tackles.  

The contest will be televised on CBS Sports Network. It can also be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network with Malcolm Butler (PxP) and Teddy Allen (Color) providing the call of the game. Pregame show begins at 9:30 a.m.

Photo: Tim Smith

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