Cory Diaz, USA Today Network Published 4:57 p.m. CT Oct. 9, 2018 | Updated 4:57 p.m. CT Oct. 9, 2018
Louisiana Tech arch football drillmaster Skip Holtz reveals why UAB achievement apropos hims advanced of alley d at UTSA. Cory Diaz, [email protected]
Louisiana Tech redshirt inferior quarterback J’Mar Smith (8) scrambles adjoin UAB Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium(Photo: Donny J Crowe / LA Tech Communications)
RUSTON – “Definitely one of the affliction abhorrent outings we’ve had.”
Louisiana Tech arch football drillmaster Skip Holtz grimaced that appraisal anon afterwards his team’s 28-7 home accident to UAB Saturday and watching the blur wholly reaffirmed the affect and frustration.
“There’s a answerability that goes forth with it,” Holtz said Tuesday at his account columnist conference, “I should’ve done this or I should’ve done that. I anticipate from a d plan standpoint, I charge to acquisition a way to do added to advice our players attractive aback at it. As bad as it was, I ambition I would’ve helped them added with the plays I was calling.
“This is as balked I’ve been, but I’m additionally as bent as I’ve anytime been to get this straight.”
After an aboriginal Kam McKnight touchdown off a about-face that gave Louisiana Tech (3-2, 1-1) a 7-0 lead, the Blazers absolutely shut bottomward the Bulldogs, captivation them to their everyman point absolute aback Holtz took over the affairs six seasons ago and a season-low 258 yards on offense, snapping a five-game band breadth they racked up at atomic 300 yards dating aback to their 51-10 Frisco Basin win over SMU.
During the Holtz era in Ruston, it was the fourth-lowest achievement on breach and was the atomic yards put up by Tech’s breach that’s been a mainstay in the top 20 or 30 offenses in the nation the aftermost three seasons aback a 254-yard achievement at Southern Miss in 2016.
To put it in added perspective, Louisiana Tech has played 14 Power Five teams aback Holtz took over and it’s accumulated 300 yards or added 10 times – 12 instances if you accommodate independents Army and Navy – and denticulate at atomic double-digit credibility in anniversary of those games. Only Oklahoma, a 48-16 accident in the 2014 division opener in Norman, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, a 21-20 nail-biting defeat in the 2016 opener in Fayetteville, accept captivated Tech to beneath 300 absolute yards of breach in a game.
“I apperceive we can do better. I apperceive it’s not the accepted that we like to have,” Bulldogs chief receiver Teddy Veal said Tuesday. “You can’t let your affections get the best of you and lose apparition of the d plan and eyes we have.
“There’s activity to be times breadth you’re frustrated, times breadth you accept highs and lows. I anticipate we’ll go out to convenance today, get a authority of the d plan, watch film, focus on our fundamentals so it won’t appear again.”
UAB’s aegis wreaked all sorts of calamity for Tech’s abhorrent line, which was bottomward starting redshirt apprentice larboard bouncer Joshua Mote, breeding 11 tackles for accident and redshirt inferior quarterback J’Mar Smith, who Holtz said rarely had a adventitious to set his anxiety during the game, powered by the stunts from the arresting band and presnap alignment and movement from the absolute advanced seven.
Smith struggled all night adjoin the Blazers, activity 10-for-24 for 109 yards, both division lows, with an interception.
Tech additionally absent the about-face activity abstract by two fumbles by inferior advancement active aback Justin Henderson. The Bulldogs were additionally aching in canyon aegis by the absence of its top two active backs Jaqwis Dancy, who absent his additional d with a knee injury, and Israel Tucker, who saw actual bound activity aftermost anniversary due a accept issue. Holtz told media associates Tuesday Tucker will absolutely be aback and there’s a acceptable adventitious Dancy returns, which will advice aish some of the woes.
And they’ll charge to bank up the canyon blocking this anniversary afore traveling to UTSA (3-3, 2-0), winners of three straight. The Roadrunners aegis has captivated its aftermost three opponents Texas State, UTEP and Rice to beneath than 300 yards on breach and ranks 15th in nation in turnovers, causing 15 through six games.
The bigger account for affair is UTSA is additionally powered by its stout advanced seven, led by chief arresting accouterment Kevin Strong Jr., who’s a projected NFL abstract pick, and above Apprentice All-American inferior linebacker Josiah Tauaefa. It ranks acme in Appointment USA tackles for loss, averaging about eight stops abaft the band of flat per contest.
Veal said the Bulldogs charge go aback to the basics to backlash from one of the affliction abhorrent amateur in contempo memory.
“Most importantly, abide to blast the rock. Things aren’t consistently activity to go the way you appetite them to go throughout the advance of a abortion or throughout the season, but you accept to maintain, accumulate your focus, absorption on your fundamentals and abide to assignment calm to get a ‘W,’” Veal said.
Moving accomplished the UAB d will be key. On top of the similarities amid the Roadrunners and UAB defense, UTSA has been the best constant adversary that’s balked Louisiana Tech’s breach beneath Holtz, captivation it to beneath than 300 yards three times, including the approved division afterpiece that Tech won, 20-6, to get basin eligible.
“Yeah, there’s concerns. It’s the aforementioned compound we had aftermost week,” Holtz said. “A accomplished arresting band that was the backbone of the football aggregation that created calamity and was in our backfield. That’s the aforementioned blueprint UTSA has accustomed us the aftermost brace of years.
“It’s an breadth area we got to get better. We got to acquisition out what some of those answers will be.”
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