Having played four consecutive ranked opponents--Miami, Tennessee, Fresno State and Auburn--Bicknell knows a good football team when he sees one, and says that Auburn has to be one of the top teams in the country.
"They're all good, but to me, I'd have to say that Auburn is a very complete team right now," Bicknell said. "They've got great receivers, great quarterback, running backs and offensive line. They've got a great defense and they're a complete team all the way around.
"They're very good," he added. "All around, they're one of the best in the country. They're just a dog-gone good football team."
Auburn smothers the Louisiana Tech quarterback during Saturday's game.
"They are excellent," he says of the senior tailback duo. "You can't say enough about them, but the thing that makes Auburn so good right now is the play of Jason Campbell and the receivers. We know they've got good running backs, but those other guys will hurt you if you're not careful."
Louisiana Tech knocked off 17th-ranked Fresno State 28-21 last Saturday, but was unable to duplicate its success against Auburn as the Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot all day against Auburn. The Bulldogs allowed nine quarterback sacks, threw two interceptions and lost one of three fumbles. They also committed seven penalties for 58 yards, including an illegal shift early in the game that wiped out a 37-yard gain down inside the Auburn 10.
"It kind of aggravates me because I wanted to compete more than we did," Bicknell said. "I felt like at times we did some good things. At times we were stuffing the run, and at time we were moving the ball offensively. We made mistakes and penalties that killed us. It's aggravating."
Louisiana Tech was off to a 3-2 start overall, 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, with junior tailback Ryan Moats serving as the workhorse of the ball club. Moats had 928 yards through five games, but suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter on his third carry and was unable to return. True freshman Freddie Franklin carried 13 times for 75 yards as Moats replacement.
"You hate to see it, but the next guy has to come in--end of story, "Bicknell said of Moats' injury. "Obviously Ryan is a great player for us, but we've got to have the next guy to step up and I thought Freddie did a good job coming in there. He did some good things. Ryan is a great back and you sure don't want to see him get hurt, but we've got to be ready when he does get hurt. Hopefully, we can get him back healthy for next week."