The Great Mr. Moats!

He's had the kind of season that dreams are made of. Ryan Moats leads Louisiana Tech into Bronco Stadium Saturday in what will be the biggest challenge of the season for the Bronco defense.

He's Louisiana Tech's version of Superman. Ryan Moats, the 5-9, 201-pounder from Dallas has rushed for 1,646 yards this season in 10 games, leading the nation in yards and also 3rdst in the country with 17 touchdowns. He's also caught 11 passes for 84 yards. For a while, Moats was being mentioned as a Heisman candidate—he's that good. He's faced top-notch defenses at Miami of Florida, Auburn and Tennessee and performed well. Here's a game-by-game recap of Mr. Moats' accomplishments:

  • Game One—Louisiana Tech jumps out to a 21-0 lead on Nevada and holds off the Wolf Pack 38-21 behind Moats' 257 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Bulldogs gained 434 yards on total offense, with the stingy La Tech defense allowing just 251. When the final gun sounded, Nevada had 7 rushing yards. The Tech win was despite 3 fumbles lost and an interception.

  • Game Two—Chalk up another 257 yards and a touchdown for Moats against Louisiana-Lafayette. Again Tech scored the first 17 points only to have to hold on for a 24-20 victory. Donald Allen completed 17 of 28 passes and the Bulldogs held Lafayette to just 4 of 16 3rd down attempts.

  • Game Three—at Miami and Moats ran 14 times for 81 yards against the Hurricanes vaunted defense. But, he was kept out of the end zone as was the entire Bulldog team in a 48-0 Miami win. Louisiana Tech also lost 3 more fumbles and Miami punt returners combined on 4 returns for 192 yards to give the ‘Canes great field position for the entire game.

  • Game Four—Continuing their tough stretch, Louisiana Tech tackled Tennessee next in Neyland Stadium with Moats carrying 21 times for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Volunteers. It was Moats' 37-yard scamper that propelled La Tech to a 14-7 lead after the 1st quarter, but Tennessee ran away from there 42-17. The Vol's gained 595 yards in controlling the line of scrimmage.

  • Game Five—Needing a win desperately, La Tech hosted then-#17 Fresno State and won a big conference game 28-21. Moats ran reckless, gaining 236 yards and reaching the end zone 4 times, accounting for all of his team's touchdowns. Fresno State totaled 269 yards rushing themselves, but could only manage 104 through the air.

  • Game Six—The Bulldogs were smack dab in the middle of their tough schedule that now called for a game against the powerful Auburn Tigers. La Tech was never in it and lost 52-7. Moats was injured on just his 3rd carry of the game and did not gain any yardage. Without him, the team managed just 37 yards rushing and were just 2-14 on 3rd downs.

  • Game Seven—Moats and company went down to Dallas and defeated SMU 41-10. Louisiana Tech outgained the Mustangs 590-350 as Moats ran for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns.

  • Game Eight—A tough 44-27 loss at home to UTEP, with Moats just a yard short of the century mark in rushing and another touchdown. Again, the Bulldogs were ineffective on third downs, converting just 1 of 14 tries and quarterback Matt Kubik was 9-28 passing with 3 interceptions.

  • Game Nine—A demoralizing 34-23 loss at Hawai'i eliminated Louisiana Tech from the WAC title hunt. Moats did his part, gaining 228 yards and hitting paydirt 2 more times. La Tech outgained the Rainbow Warriors in total offense, but could not stop Timmy Chang when it counted.

  • Game Ten—In preparation for Boise State, the Bulldogs turned back Tulsa 38-21 as Moats ran for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Ryan Moats has been nothing short of sensational and were he not injured against Auburn, he would have had a shot at a 2,000-yard season. To say he is the key to the Bulldog offense is the understatement of the year. He is without a doubt the best running back to ever visit Bronco Stadium. Add in that the Broncos lead the nation in rushing defense, and you have a collision course in store for fans Saturday afternoon. Join the crowd to see Mr. Moats and the Bulldogs take on Boise State in Bronco Stadium!

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