Former South Carolina offensive coordinator Skip Holtz returns to Williams-Brice Stadium as the head coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. After a 57-21 home loss to Mississippi State in week two, Tech bounced back with a 22-21 road-win over Western Kentucky.
Head Coach: Skip Holtz. Fifth season (33-23).
Last Week: 22-21 win at Western Kentucky
Offensive playmaker: RB Jarred Craft
Top Defender: Jaylon Ferguson
Louisiana Tech enters the contest off the back a huge win in the Conference-USA race as the try to defend their western division crown. Before that, they were humbled by Mississippi State at home. Tech was up early, scoring the first 10 points in the game. A few minutes later, State scored off a blocked punt to tie it up. Then Nick Fitzgerald ran and threw for four straight touchdowns, giving them a 36-14 halftime lead.
Tail-back Jarred Craft has been a bright spot for the Bulldog offense. The senior has rushed for 248 yards through three games with a pair of scores. He enters the contest averaging 5.1 yards per carry. His back-up, Boston Scott has done well when giving him a breather. Scott has 180 yards on only 30 carries. They have combined to help out QB J’Mar Smith. The sophomore struggled during the defeat to Mississippi State, finishing with a line of 10-23 with 140 yards and an INT. He played better last week, throwing for 306 yards in the win against WKU with a score and pick.
Jaylon Ferguson gathered some NFL Draft buzz last year after a 14.5-sack sophomore campaign. He got off the mark last week with a pair of sacks in the win against WKU last week. Ferguson leads the d-line while Jordan Bradford and Deldrick Canty provide the help, combining for three sacks and five additional tackles for loss.
The biggest weakness for the Bulldogs so far has been hanging onto the ball. Tech enters the game with 7 turnovers. They rank in the bottom twenty of the nation in fumbles (6) and fumbles lost (5) to go along with a pair of Smith interceptions. The Carolina defense sits just outside the top ten of the nation, forcing seven turnovers. Turnovers will be a big key to the game as the Gamecocks look to rebound off the defeat to Kentucky.