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October 21, 2010Last year, Derek Dooley and Louisiana Tech had a close 10-point loss to Boise State at home inside Joe Aillet Stadium. After being down 27-7 at halftime, the Bulldogs could easily have rolled over but they didn't. They fought back and got back within two points in the fourth quarter but the Bronco's hit them back in the mouth with a long touchdown drive to solidify their lead.
Louisiana Tech has a more potent offense this year, but their defense has been gouged by passing offenses this season. The problem on defense lies squarely on the shoulders of their young safeties. Tank Calais the lone upperclassman of the bunch has been slowed with a nagging foot injury most of the year. Sophomore C.J. Broades was sidelined due to an injury and sophomore Javontay Crowe has stepped in and played significantly better than Broades had been playing. Broades was routinely picked on by quarterbacks with simple seam routes. Another sophomore starting at safety, Chad Boyd, has been very inconsistent for the Bulldogs.
The corner backs for Louisiana Tech are playing at a very high level. Last week against Idaho, Josh Victorian was often challenged down the field by Nathan Enderle and each time Victorian was up to the challenge. Whereas Idaho brings a vertical passing game to the table, Boise State brings a completely different method of passing to the table. The Broncos love to bring their wide receivers all the way across the field on shallow crossing routes. This can really tire out a defensive secondary if they stay in a man defense, which is where Tech has seen the most success this season. Boise is also known for throwing a bit of "trickeration" at a defense. With the struggles Tech has had at the safety position, look for Boise to exploit them at least once with a trick play.
Defensively, it seems Boise has some issues with teams who have speed at the running back position and can beat them to sideline and turn up field. Lennon Creer has this kind of speed and also in the last two games has shown the ability to cut up field to get extra yeards. Myke Compton is more of a downhill running back and may struggle a bit this game as Boise's defense is really tough to run up the middle on.
Special teams would probably be the only place where Louisiana Tech has an advantage in this game. Boise State's kicking game is average and punting game is average. Louisiana Tech has two specialist that are rising stars in kicker Matt Nelson and Ryan Allen. Nelson has struggled at times this season with consistency but is still an up-and-comer. Allen, an Oregon State transfer, is a native to the Northwest and will probably have lots of family in the stands for this one. Look for him to really boom some punts for the Bulldogs.