RUSTON — The No. 1 objective for the Louisiana-Lafayette defense coming into Saturday’s game was to slow down Louisiana Tech’s super running back, Kenneth Dixon.
On an otherwise disappointing day, consider that mission accomplished.
Dixon finished the game with a season-worst 59 yards on 22 carries, and when the Bulldogs tried to find him through the air they were even less effective, as Dixon finished with two catches for minus-6 yards.
It was the least productive day for Dixon since he was held to 41 yards on 19 carries against Southern Miss last season.
Dixon entered the game averaging 7.2 yards per carry and 131 yards per game.
Dixon was ejected from the game after his final carry, a 7-yard touchdown, for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game.
Moment of silence
Before the Louisiana Tech band played its alma mater and the national anthem, the public address announcer led the crowd at Joe Aillet Stadium into a moment of silence for UL-Monroe quarterback Daniel Fitzwater, 20, who died Saturday morning.
Fitzwater attended his younger brother’s football game the night before in Farmerville. The cause of his death is unknown.
“The ULM family is saddened to learn of Daniel’s death,” said ULM president Nick Bruno in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”
This in-state rivalry featured plenty of players who spent their formative years growing up in the place represented by the opposite sideline.
Louisiana Tech freshman left guard O’Shea Dugas — who earned his fourth start — was playing for Northside High School last season. He’s joined on the Bulldogs roster by fellow Northside alumnus Tyler Porter.
Louisiana Tech’s Bryson Abraham prepped at nearby Jennings High School.
Bulldogs backup offensive lineman Joseph Brunson has seen life from both sidelines. He spent a redshirt year with the Cajuns before transferring to Louisiana Tech.
As usual, the Cajuns’ road captains were players who originally hail from the area they’re playing in. Saturday’s captains included Blain Wintston (Monroe), Octravian Anderson (Shreveport) and Jevante Watson (Bastrop).
Safety T.J. Worthy traveled with the team but did not play.
Worthy has now missed two full contests, as well as most of last week’s Akron game, which he exited in the first quarter after re-injuring his injured hamstring.
Defensive back Troy McCollum left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.