Brianna Campbell / The Collegian Online
Bulldogs will try to rebound against Louisiana Tech and send off 19 seniors
After suffering a tough loss against Nevada, the Bulldogsâ€™ football team is determined to bounce back in their last home game of the season against Western Athletic Conference (WAC) foe Louisiana Tech.
Saturday will be Senior Day, so 18 of the teamâ€™s players will be honored in the pregame ceremony and celebrated during their final home game at Bulldog Stadium.
Among those players is safety Moses Harris, who had seven tackles in the Bulldogs game against the Wolf Pack. Harris said that the secondary performed well in the first half, but they made costly mistakes that led to their loss.
â€œWe didnâ€™t adjust in the second half and they got to us. Theyâ€™re a better team, theyâ€™re more physical and they got the better half,â€ Harris said. â€œItâ€™s tough, but we still have a lot to play for.â€
Another senior on the team, running back Anthony Harding, said that although the Bulldogs went through a tough loss, their focus is preparing to beat Louisiana Tech.
â€œWeâ€™ve had some tough losses but weâ€™re still a work in progress,â€ Harding said. â€œWe played well against Nevada, but we faced some bumps in the road, so hopefully weâ€™ll get over it.â€
Bulldogsâ€™ head coach Pat Hill looks to the upcoming game against Louisiana Tech as an opportunity for the team to redeem itself. After having let the Wolf Pack scored seven rushing touchdowns and gain 461 rushing yards, Hill is hoping to prove that the teamâ€™s rush defense is solid.
â€œWe have the chance to earn our respect back among ourselves. To me thatâ€™s huge,â€ Hill said. â€œWeâ€™ve come up short on league championships, but this teamâ€™s playing hard and doing a lot of good things.â€
When the nationâ€™s leading rusher, Ryan Mathews, left the game due to a concussion, quarterback Ryan Colburn stepped up his game and passed for a career-high 362 passing yards. Although he did achieve high numbers in passing, he said he canâ€™t move past his turnovers â€“ two fumbles and an interception.
â€œFrom my standpoint, it was a game of highs and lows. Command-wise,â€ Colburn said. â€œI commanded the ball really well that game but I still made a couple of mistakes that cost us some plays.â€
Itâ€™s not clear as of yet whether Mathews will play on Saturday, but Colburn said the other tailbacks are up to the challenge on filling the gap until he returns.
â€œRyanâ€™s a terrific player, a tremendous leader on the field for us so replacing him is never easy,â€ Colburn said. â€œLuckily for us, weâ€™ve got very talented running backs behind him who are ready to pick up the flag till he gets back.â€
In order to bounce back and prove that they are bowl-worthy, the Bulldogs are preparing intensely for their game against the WACâ€™s other Bulldogs.
â€œThe way we plan to bounce back is through some old fashioned hard work,â€ Harris said. â€œWe go to practice and do the things we do best, then watch some film on Louisiana Tech. We won several games so I know weâ€™re a good football team.â€
1989 team to be honored
Former coach Jim Sweeney and approximatley 50 players from the 1989 Bulldog football team will be in attendance Saturday, celebrating memories from the past.
â€œItâ€™s an opportunity to see people I considered to be my sons,â€ Sweeney said. â€œRekindling those fond memories is always a great thing.â€
Sweeney and Bulldogs will celebrate the 20-year reunion of a team that featured quarterback Mark Barsotti and rover Ron Cox and finished the season 11-1.
The Bulldogs won the ninth California Bowl, defeating Ball State 27-6.
â€œThe 1989 football team was almost as good as any team that played here,â€ Sweeney said. â€œI am very proud of them and very anxious to see them all return.â€