Louisiana Tech falls at FIU for second straight overtime defeat
MIAMI – Louisiana Tech lost in heartbreaking fashion for the second game in a row, falling 42-34 to FIU in double overtime on Friday night at Ricardo Silva Stadium.
With LA Tech (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) starting true freshman Landry Lyddy at quarterback and short two of their top receivers (Griffin Hebert out for a second straight game and Tre Harris leaving early due to injury), the Bulldogs still came from behind in the fourth quarter to take a 27-24 lead.
FIU (4-4, 2-2 C-USA) managed to drive the ball 69 yards with no timeouts, kicking a 28-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
The Bulldogs got the ball first in OT and it was back-to-back rushes of nine and five yards by Marquis Crosby that got them into the end zone. The Panthers matched though, sending the game into a second OT period.
The home team needed just two plays and a converted two-point conversion to make it 42-34. After one first down gained by the ‘Dogs on an 11-yard catch by Nate Jones, four straight incompletions ended the contest.
LA Tech was clicking on all cylinders early, scoring on drives of 75, 61, and 75 on its first three offensive possessions – 1-yard QB sneak by Lyddy, 36-yard FG by Jacob Barnes and 29-yard rushing TD by Crosby.
The Bulldogs held a 17-7 advantage early in the second quarter, but the momentum shifted in favor of the Panthers. The home team took advantage of short field position, mainly by winning the special teams battle (blooped onside kick recovered, 17-yard punt by LA Tech, and blocked field goal).
FIU ended up scoring 17 consecutive points, taking a 24-17 advantage into the fourth quarter. LA Tech ended up totaling 184 yards on the ground, nine of which came on a speedy rush to the outside by Charvis Thornton to even things up at 24-all with 13:01 remaining. Another short FG by Barnes, this one from 32 yards, allowed by the Bulldogs to retake the lead until the Panthers countered with a short FG of their own.
In his first collegiate start, Lyddy went 28-of-40 for 256 passing yards, distributing the ball to nine different receivers. Smoke Harris totaled a team-high nine catches while Jones registered a team-high 72 receiving yards.
Head coach Sonny Cumbie
“We have to find a way to win. We had an opportunity to seize momentum early in the game, but our lack of execution on special teams costed us. It is our job as coaches to respond the right way. It is not about feeling sorry about ourselves. Our players are very dejected. Football provides a ton of lessons. We are going to find ways to win football games.”
• LA Tech now leads the all-time series over FIU, 4-1.
• LA Tech played its second straight overtime game, something that has only been done one other time in program history (2001).
• The Bulldogs rushed for 184 yards, the second most in a single game this season.
• Landry Lyddy became the first true freshman at LA Tech to start a game at quarterback since Nick Isham in 2011.
• Landry Lyddy completed his first 10 passes of the game.
• The Bulldogs continued their streak of having at least one offensive play go for 40+ yards (have had one in all eight games this season).
• Marquis Crosby registered his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, going for 115 yards on the ground.
• Smoke Harris became the seventh wide receiver in program history to eclipse 200 career receptions.
• Smoke Harris continued his streak of games with at least one reception to 28.He had a team-high nine catches on the night.
• Myles Brooks recorded four pass breakups, tied for the fifth most in a single game in program history.He also had a season-high seven tackles.
LA Tech returns to Joe Aillet Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 5 to face Middle Tennessee. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN+.
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