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Jan 20, 2019
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Bulldog Game Day: Louisiana Tech

Breakdown: La Tech

Louisiana Tech has not only shared the same mascot as Fresno State this season, it has also shared the same level of inconsistency as the West Coast’s version of the canine. Louisiana Tech narrowly lost to two Conference USA teams in Houston and Southern Mississippi. The Bulldogs have also lost to Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State, 26-20.

The Bulldogs, like Nevada, employ a starting freshman quarterback, but he recently went down with an injury. Junior quarterback Colby Cameron will step in behind center for Louisiana Tech. Senior Lennon Creer will be in the backfield to help Cameron against the Fresno State defense. Creer has 411 yards on 98 carries and six touchdowns. He will give Fresno State a reason to respect the run. Helping out Cameron at wide receiver is junior Quinton Patton, who has 55 catches for 789 yards and seven touchdown receptions. He will keep the Fresno State secondary honest in the passing game.

On defense, Louisiana Tech has been playing better recently with the Bulldogs currently on a three-game winning streak. During the winning streak, Louisiana Tech has allowed 18.6 points per game, playing much stiffer defense than seen earlier in 2011.

Breakdown: Fresno State

Fresno State returns home for its second-to-last game in Bulldog Stadium in 2011. The ‘Dogs are coming of their bye week after playing eight straight weeks, allowing all the players to get back on the same page for final stretch through the WAC. The ‘Dogs have four remaining WAC games and will need to win four of the last five games to become bowl eligible.

On offense, Fresno State will need to utilize its weapons, starting with quarterback Derek Carr, who will maneuver the offense. Running back Robbie Rouse is closing in on his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. By the end of his collegiate career, he could be the all-time leading rusher in school history. The offense’s best weapon could be punt returner Devon Wylie, who has to rebound from a key lost fumble against Nevada. They say the best offense is a good defense, so if Fresno State limits the big plays and first downs to get the ball back to Carr and company, the ‘Dogs could be in good shape. Defensive lineman Logan Harrell has provided the leadership and nonstop motor the defense has needed all season long. Harrell and the rest of the defense will need to be on the same page this weekend.

If the ‘Dogs can control the line of scrimmage and play stout defense, Fresno State could get the big WAC win Saturday.

Keys to Victory

1. Contain the Creer
Fresno State faces another stellar rushing attack with Louisiana Tech’s Lennon Creer coming to town. He has 411 yards on 98 carries and six touchdowns. Creer just ran for 119 yards against San Jose State. The Fresno State defense needs to keep contain if it hopes to stop Creer.

2. Limit the ‘Big Play’
The big play has hurt Fresno State all season long, so this is the perfect time for the ‘Dogs to finally limit these plays, especially if they want to stay in the conference title race and reach another bowl game.

3. Continue making plays
In the past two games, the ‘Dogs have continued to make plays in the run game and pass game. Fresno State will need to continue to utilize the deep ball and power runs to keep the Louisiana Tech defense honest.

Position Matchups

When Fresno State runs:
Advantage – Fresno State
RB Robbie Rouse could finish the season in historic company with some of the best backs in Fresno State history. Rouse is currently eighth in country with 123 rushing yards per game.

When Louisiana Tech runs:
Advantage – Louisiana Tech
Fresno State’s run defense ranks in the bottom tier of rush defenses in the WAC and faces a talented back in Lennon Creer.

When Fresno State passes:

Advantage – Fresno State
QB Derek Carr continues to provide efficient efforts while limiting the amount of turnovers he gives up. Carr needs to continue to play turnover-free football.

When Louisiana Tech passes:
Advantage – Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech’s offense has mostly been a run-based attack, but with new starting quarterback Colby Cameron behind center, the other Bulldogs could air it out.

Special teams:
Advantage – Even
Senior Kevin Goessling has given Fresno State a consistent scoring option in the kicking game as he has made seven of 11 field goals so far this season.

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