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’Dogs expect tough challenge from G-Men

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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            Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith (8) completed a career-best 34 passes on 51 attempts for 331 yards and two touchdowns during the Bulldogs’ loss at Texas on Saturday.

Update: word added to lede, punctuation added — Sept. 4

A 30-point loss is always tough, even when it comes to the No. 10 team in the country.

But after having a little time to look at video and rehash things in the wake of his Bulldogs’ 45-14 loss at No. 10 Texas, Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz was feeling better during his weekly football press conference Monday afternoon

“What a great opportunity we had last week as a program,” Holtz said. “What a great venue and atmosphere for football. It was just unfortunate that we didn’t do some of the things we needed to do in order to win the game. I was proud of our team and the way that they prepared and competed. I thought they belonged on that field. Statistically we were nearly even in yards and first downs. But we did some things you just can’t do against Top 10 football teams. We turned the ball over three times at our end. At one point they had 70 yards of offense and 17 points to show for it. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes, gave up some uncontested deep balls and made mistakes you just can’t make against a team like Texas.

"Overall, it was a great learning experience for our team. Our players desire to play at that level, and it was a great opportunity for them to grow and learn from their mistakes.”

Now the Bulldogs begin gearing up for Grambling State, which fell 31-9 Saturday night at Louisiana-Monroe.

“We’re getting into our practice schedule and Grambling scouting reports today through the end of this week,” Holtz said. “We have great respect for Grambling. When you look at their winning history and the tradition of their program — I have nothing but respect for (GSU) Coach (Broderick) Fobbs and their program. He came in and resurrected a very proud program and has multiple coach of the year accolades to show for his work there. They’re used to winning. I’m excited to play the game — first game between these two schools in Lincoln Parish. It has ramifications in the community and geographical implications. It has a chance to be a great venue.

“This is the first regular-season college football game aired live by the NFL Network. It’s great to be part of a nationally televised event. It will be phenomenal exposure for both universities. It’s rare to be able to play an in-town rival in college football.”

Holtz said the Bulldogs realize the quality of competition they’ll be facing.

"Their quarterback (GSU’s Geremy Hickbottom) is big and very athletic. He’s a dualthreat player,” Holtz said. “I’ve been really impressed with him. He’s very poised and I don’t think the moment is too big for him. I think he’s a special player. We’re going to have our hands full. They have a great left tackle, receivers that can really run and just an overall solid offensive ball club.

“On defense, they play their system very well. They create a lot of confusion and play a lot of man. Their safeties are very active and fly to the ball. They play very aggressive and try to put a lot of pressure on you. Offensively we’re going to have our challenges, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Holtz also realizes the toughest opponents for both teams on Saturday may not be wearing an opposing jersey.

“Another hurdle is the weather,” Holtz said. “It’s probably going to be close to 102 degrees around kick and 120 degrees on that turf. I recommend for everyone involved to hydrate, because it will certainly be a special occasion and a special day.”