Tech Stretches Past UCA

Louisiana Tech led 35-20 late in the 3rd quarter before a stunning Central Arkansas rally put Tech down 42-35 with just over two minutes to go. Freshman Quarterback Nick Isham took the Bulldogs down the field for a quick score to force overtime and Tech was able to hold on for a 48-42 win.

So what went right? Quinton Patton scored on a 42 yard pass and a 72 yard pass both from Nick Isham early in the game. When Tech needed to score to tie the game with less than two minutes to go, it was Patton coming up with a 42 yard reception to put the Bulldogs in position to score.

Isham finished 22 of 37 for 318 yards. He had two touchdowns and one interception. Leading the team down the field in roughly 70 seconds with the game on the line was huge for his development.

Lennon Creer and Ray Holley combined for 226 yards rushing and five touchdowns. The offense stalled late in the 3rd quarter and the bulk of the 4th quarter. However, Isham and Company were able to put points on the board when it mattered most.

The rush defense was good as well. Jon'al White has been a big addition inside for the defensive line. Both Chad Boyd and the linebackers were good in run support. Boyd had ten tackles and Middle Linebacker Adrien Cole added nine tackles and a sack.

(photo: Trey Smith)

So what went wrong? Well, obviously losing Ryan Williams early hurt in a big way. The defense was holding on to the notion that with Williams at safety and Dave Clark emerging at corner, that the pass defense would be much improved. Without Williams, walk-on defensive back Craig Johnson was thrown into action. Johnson fought hard and had four tackles and a late interception.

Without Williams, the Tech coaches will have to find a way to shore up the safety position. Javantay Crowe has not returned to action yet. Redshirt freshmen Mike Schrang and Kendall Hayes might get called on to step in. Tech gave up 372 yards passing and four touchdwns to Nathan Dick. Houston and Hawaii are both coming to town soon and looking to put up similar numbers.

On offense, it's hard to argue with 542 yards of offense and 42 points in regulation. The Bulldogs scored enough points to win. Looking back, there are still things to work on. 10 penalties for over 100 yards are never good. The Bulldogs have to find a way to get the tough one yard run for a first down on a little more consistent basis. Consistency is the key with most things, and Isham is learning to keep that offense moving.

The Bulldogs escaped a close one on Saturday. There is still plenty of time to get things straight. The near miss against Central Arkansas showed us exactly what the Dawgs need to clean up of we are going to celebrate another win in at home in the near future.

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