To say that new Louisiana Tech
head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin want to air it
out this fall is putting it mildly. "We
will run a fast-paced, no huddle, attacking offense that scores points and
Tech began a tremendous run with Tim Rattay and Luke McKown, both of which went on to the next level. Since that duo, the Bulldogs' pass efficiency rating has hovered around 115 over the last six years.
Dykes was previously the
offensive coordinator at
Ross Jenkins (6-3, 212, Sr.)
returns at quarterback (163-278 for 1,930 yards and 16 touchdowns last season)
but he isn't the type of guy who can fling it all around the stadium 50 times
or more a game. Steve Ensminger, who
originally transferred from
Sophomore Colby Cameron (6-2,
190) was 14-26 for 142 yards last year with a 20-yard rushing touchdown as well.
Cameron threw for nearly 5,000 yards and 47 touchdown passes in his last
two years in high school. And the
Bulldogs secured the commitment of Taylor Burch (6-2, 205) early in their 2010
class. He may be the QB of the
Senior wide receiver Phillip Livas (5-8, 175) will be the go-to guy in
this offense. Livas has a great
opportunity to finally show what he can do.
Despite his talent as a playmaker, he only had 20 catches for 205 yards.
Even so, Livas is the only returning player in the nation with touchdowns
of 70 yards or more on a reception, a carry, punt return and kickoff return in
his career. R.P. Stuart (6-3, 215)
presents a big target and had 17 receptions last season for 249 yards.
Stuart will be used in the "Y". Redshirt
freshman Jacarri Jackson (6-2, 185) is the secret weapon in the new offense
working from the "X" position.
Richie Casey's arrival on the scene was a bit delayed by a knee injury which forced him to miss all of 2009. He has great speed and athletic ability and will see a lot of playing time. LSU transfer Tim Molton too suffered a knee injury last year but should be ready to go. Molton (6-2, 170) will challenge at the inside "Z" position and could be a big star in this offense.
Lyle Fitte (5-8, 185) looks to
be the man in the backfield. Fitte
began his career as a wide receiver, catching nine passes for 72 yards last
season. In the new offense, Fitte
will be used mostly as a receiver out of the backfield.
Junior Lennon Creer (6-1, 205) is a transfer from
Pass blocking is essential to the spread offense.
Up front, Rob McGill (6-6, 310, Sr.) was a Second-Team All-WAC selection
for the second consecutive season last year.
McGill has the muscle to create holes and is steady in the passing game
as well. Kevin Saia (6-2, 300, So.)
moved into the left guard position for the final three games last season and is
back this fall. Recruited for his
run blocking, Saia must now prove a worthy pass blocker in the new offense.
Senior Lon Roberts (6-3, 285) begins his third year as the starting
center for the Bulldogs. Stephen Warner looks to compete for the right guard position.
Warner (6-0, 300) also started the last three games of last year.
Cudahy Harmon (6-6, 310, Sr.) started the first seven games at right
tackle for Tech before going down with an injury.
Despite his size, Harmon can move well.
New defensive coordinator Tommy Spangler looks to build on recent improvement in the Louisiana Tech defense.
Senior Mason Hitt has bulked up and is now 6-1 and 270.
He saw spot duty as a starter and recorded 33 tackles.
Hitt has the strength to get a good surge up the middle.
Adrien Cole is the returning leader in tackles with 93. Senior Ramone Randle (6-2, 300) hopes to start at the other tackle. Junior Matt Broha led the Bulldogs with four sacks last year and is quick off the end. The Louisiana Tech coaches want to turn him loose this fall. Christian Lacey (6-1, 240, Jr.) is the projected right end. Lacey started against Navy and finished with 21 tackles. Spangler is pushing Lacey to provide more pressure in the pass rush.
Big redshirt freshman Just Ellis (6-2, 330) has the bulk and the raw
ability to be a force in the Bulldog defense.
He will rotate with Randle.
Junior Adrien Cole became the leader of the defense last season making 93
tackles, four for loss, with two sacks from his middle linebacker position.
Cole received All-WAC honors for his performance.
Cole is a fierce hitter and moves well but could play on the strong side
Dusty Rust (6-3, 220) is a tough, dependable tackler with a great motor. He finished with 25 tackles last season and if Cole remains in the middle, Rust will likely patrol the strong side.
Junior Jay Dudley (6-3, 225) has the weak side locked up after making 75 tackles, four for loss, with 2.5 sacks last year.
The Bulldogs are rooting for Solomon Randle, a 5-11, 235-pound sophomore
to earn a spot in the middle. Randle
Redshirt freshman Rufus Porter (6-1, 215) had a sensational year on the scout team last season and will be a factor very soon. Porter is a great athlete with range that should land him a spot on the field this fall.
Cole and Dudley are already as good a linebacking duo as any in the
conference. If Randle and Porter can
step forward, this is a definite position of strength for Louisiana Tech.
Senior Tank Calais is poised for a great 2010 at strong safety.
Junior Terry Carter is back at cornerback after making 45 tackles with four pass deflections last year. Carter was a star in the 200-meters in high school and has the speed to stay with most receivers. Senior Josh Victorian started the final four games last season at the other cornerback spot and the job is now his. Victorian is a good coverage corner, picking off three passes and being credited with four breakups while he was in the lineup. Senior Olajuwon Paige will also see plenty of playing time and could start at either position. Paige had 21 tackles and a pick last year.
Chad Boyd (5-10, 190) provides the Tech coaches with another option at
strong safety. He made 31 tackles as
a true freshman last season.
Matt Nelson stepped forward and was a very pleasant surprise in
provides thrills in the return game, averaging 27 yards on kickoffs and 13.4
yards per punt return. Fitte will
get his shots this year as well.
Tech has scheduled home games with Grambling (which is only six miles away),
a 4-8 team that is completely replacing its coaches doesn't have a good
outlook its first year. With the
talent back, however, and the plans for a wide-open passing game, this year's
Louisiana Tech team could be the exception.
A postseason date is well within reach and an eight-win season is not out
of the question.
4 Grambling State