Bulldogs Tabbed Fifth In Preseason Polls

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – One year after surprising most people by finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings, Louisiana Tech has been picked fifth in both preseason polls released Wednesday morning at the league's football preview being held in Salt Lake City.

Fresno State has been picked the favorite by the WAC coaches while Boise State has been selected to win this year's title by the media.

Tech, which was tabbed seventh in last year's preseason polls before finishing in a tie with Nevada and San Jose State for fourth place, finds itself behind Fresno State, Boise State, Nevada and Hawaii in both polls this season.

"Preseason polls are generally an indicator of success programs have had in recent history and the players they have returning on their roster," said second year Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "While its great fodder for the fans, our focus remains on what needs to be done to be where we want to be in the standings at the end of the year."

Tech returns eight starters on the offensive side of the football although the Bulldogs must find a replacement for two-year starting quarterback Zac Champion and a couple of three-year starting tackles in Ryan Considine and Tyler Miller.

The Bulldogs return six starters on the defensive side of the football and the biggest question marks heading into fall camp are along the defensive line where Tech must replace three starters.

The Bulldogs received 33 total points in the coaches' poll to tie for fifth along with San Jose State. Fresno State received seven first place votes and 63 total points, followed by Boise State (2 first place votes, 57 points), Nevada (43), Hawaii (41), Tech (33), San Jose State (33), New Mexico State (26), Idaho (15) and Utah State (13).

In the media poll, Tech received 209 points to stand alone in fifth place. Boise State edged out Fresno State with 25 first place votes and 383 points, followed by Fresno State (20, 379), Nevada (296), Hawaii (243), Tech (209), San Jose State (183), New Mexico State (167), Idaho (87), and Utah State (78).

The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Boise State running back Ian Johnson was voted the Offensive Player of the Year while Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year. Louisiana Tech opens up fall camp when players report Aug. 3 while the first practice is slated for Aug. 4.

The Bulldogs open the 2008 season Aug. 30 at home in a nationally-televised contest against Mississippi State at Joe Aillet Stadium at 5:45 p.m.

Season and individual game tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631 or logging onto www.latechsports.com.

Coaches' Poll Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points 1. Fresno State (7) 63 2. Boise State (2) 57 3. Nevada 43 4. Hawai‘i 41 5. Louisiana Tech 33 San Jose State 33 7. New Mexico State 26 8. Idaho 15 9. Utah State 13

Media Poll Rank Team (1st place votes) Points 1. Boise State (25) 383 2. Fresno State (20) 379 3. Nevada 296 4. Hawai‘i 243 5. Louisiana Tech 209 6. San Jose State 183 7. New Mexico State 167 8. Idaho 87 9. Utah State 78

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