RUSTON - Taking its winning streak to seven straight games will be awfully sweet if the Louisiana Tech football team can do so by beating New Mexico State at 3 p.m. Saturday in Joe Aillet Stadium.
The Bulldogs (7-4, 5-1 Western Athletic Conference) are attempting to win at least a share of the WAC title and, according to the school’s website, also “reportedly earn a bid to play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against a Mountain West opponent.”
The game against NMSU (4-7, 2-3) will be televised by CST (Cable Ch. 37).
“We try to focus on what we control and that’s playing well, preparing well and doing the little things right,” Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said in a university news release. “When you get into games like this, you have a tendency to think about things that don’t really matter, and this team has been great at only worrying about what we can control.
“We want to focus on improving and practicing/playing well.”
The players, it seems, have bought into what Dykes is saying.
“We’re just going about our business, and play one game at a time,” said junior wide receiver Quinton Patton. “We’re not worried about the championship. We’re just trying to win our next game and worry about preparing and improving in practice on a daily basis.”
Tech has played in five bowl games, the last in 2008, when the Bulldogs were in the Independence Bowl.
Though the Aggies are 0-4 when playing in Ruston and Tech has won each of the past four meetings, Dykes won’t take NMSU for granted.
“We’re going to have to have energy this week, because New Mexico State is coming in here without anything to lose,” Dykes said. “When a team comes in like that, they will play hard and aggressive all game. They will be zoned in from beginning to end and very prepared to face us.”
NMSU’s offense is ranked 17th in the nation in passing and 45th overall.
“Their speed,” Dykes said when asked what concerns him the most about the Aggies. “They have guys that can run on offense and defense. ? They have a lot of good skill position players on both sides on the ball.
“They are very explosive offensively. They throw the ball down the field more than any offense I’ve seen in a while. They are going to take their shots, and we are going to have to make tons of competitive plays on the ball, because they are not going to be afraid to throw it down the field.”
Tech is coming off a 24-20 win at Nevada after trailing by 17 points with less than 13 minutes left to play.
“That game was a microcosm of our season; not great early, but keep hanging in, slug away and keep expecting something good to happen and all of a sudden good things happened for us and we were able to make plays down the stretch,” Dykes said.