Battered Bulldogs Impressed By Auburn

Louisiana Tech's players note there is a lot to like about Auburn's football team.

Auburn, Ala.--Louisiana Tech quarterback Matt Kubik walked into the interview room beaten and battered following his team's 52-7 loss to Auburn.

He had a dark four-inch bruise across his forehead, a circular bruise on his left arm probably 6 inches in diameter and several other scrapes, bruises and cuts all over his body. Kubik looked like he had gone 12 rounds with Lennox Lewis thanks to a barrage of beatings from the Auburn defensive front.

"I got driven into the ground a couple of times," he said.

Kubik was sacked six times on the day by Auburn defenders, fumbled twice, and his backup didn't fair much better. Zac Champion was sacked three times and had a fumble of his own.

"When you talk about the Auburn defense, you've got to talk about their speed," Kubik said. "That's a big factor with their pass rush. They're not big, huge guys but they can definitely get around the edge. They've got big-time speed and it gave us problems."

Auburn was the fourth ranked team in as many weeks for Louisiana Tech to play. Kubik and the Bulldogs had already been to Neyland Stadium and the Orange Bowl before coming to Jordan-Hare.

"Their defense is right up there with Miami and Tennessee," he added. "There's no doubt in my mind that this team has a legitimate chance at a national championship. We moved the ball a decent bit in the first half, but we had some opportunities that we let slip away from us. This is a national championship caliber defense."

For the day, eight Auburn defenders were credited with a sack. Stanley McClover and Christopher Browder led the way with two apiece, Quentin Groves had 1.5, Marquies Gunn, Andrew Letts, Bret Eddins and Doug Langenfeld had one and Travis Williams was credited with half a sack.

In the first quarter of the game, Louisiana Tech star tailback Ryan Moats went down with an ankle injury. "Ryan Moats is a big part of our offense," Kubik said. "As big a part of our offense as he is, it's still 11 guys out there and we had to pull together. We did some decent things without him, but it obviously took a little out of our running game. If you take the running game away it takes away from some of the play action stuff, too."

Kubik was able to connect with receiver Johnathan Holland on two big plays during the game. In the first half, Holland caught a 37-yard post pass over Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. In the second half, the two connected again, this time for a 78-yard score in which Holland out-raced Auburn safety Will Herring.

"The play was set up for me one-on-one against the safety," Holland said. "That bettered my chances of scoring. It was one of those plays where you get your opportunity and you've got to score."

Kubik finished the day with 179 yards, and 122 of those came on three catches from Holland. "Those (two long plays) were pretty much just scheming up the Auburn defense a little bit," Kubik said. "They were in a lot of quarters defenses. The one long touchdown pass was specifically designed for the Auburn defense and it worked to perfection. John has unbelievable speed--probably the fastest on the team. When you put the ball up in the air and let him go get it, good things are going to happen."

Tech senior Chris Van Hoy said after the game that the Bulldogs are now eager to take on conference teams the rest of the season. The 6-4, 314 defensive lineman said his team is right where it hoped it would be after six games with one victory over a Top 25 team, a 3-3 record and 2-0 WAC start.


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