Louisiana Tech hosts Houston Baptist in 2020 football home opener

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RUSTON – Louisiana Tech football will host Houston Baptist in the home opener for the Bulldogs on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. (CT), inside Joe Aillet Stadium.

Saturday’s matchup will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0 C-USA) and the Huskies (0-2) in program history.

“As proud as I was of the first game’s success, this team and what they did, I watched film and you cringe at where we are fundamentally and execution-wise and all the things that we can do so much better to be able to go out and execute on the field,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “That’s where our real emphasis has to be as when we walk out on the practice field Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We have to get better as a football team if we want to achieve any of the goals that we have on our board right now. If we want to achieve those goals, we have to get better and we have to improve. That’s what this is going to be about. This week is about our improvement. Saturday is going to be about going and playing the game and trying to score one more point than they do.”

Louisiana Tech is 80-31-5 all-time in home openers, including 6-1 in home openers during the Skip Holtz era. Since Joe Aillet Stadium opened in 1968, Louisiana Tech has won 43 home openers at “The Joe” with a record of 43-8-1 over that span. Since joining the ranks of Division I-A/FBS in 1988, LA Tech has posted a 102-41 record at home, a winning percentage of 71.3 percent. LA Tech has dominated when playing on its home turf since making the transition to Division I in 1988 with a record of 28-4 in home openers. The Bulldogs were an undefeated 6-0 inside Joe Aillet Stadium during the 2019 season after posting wins over Grambling State (20-14), FIU (43-31), UMass (69-21), Southern Miss (45-30), North Texas (52-17) and UTSA (41-27).

Louisiana Tech is coming off a 31-30 season-opening win at Southern Miss (Sept. 19). LA Tech overcame a 17-point deficit in the victory after being down, 27-10, midway through the third quarter. With the Bulldogs down, 30-24 with 21 seconds left in the game, graduate student quarterback Luke Anthony took the snap at the USM four yard line and found junior wide receiver Griffin Hebert in the back of the end zone. The call on the field was incomplete, but upon further review, Hebert had a foot inbounds for the four-yard reception to tie the game. Redshirt freshman kicker Jacob Barnes converted on the extra point to lift Louisiana Tech over Southern Miss.

Holtz is in his eighth season at the helm of LA Tech football where he has collected a 57-36 overall record. He has led the Bulldogs to six straight bowl victories, including a 14-0 win over Miami (Fla.) in the Walk On’s Independence Bowl last season (Dec. 26). The win was the first shutout in Independence Bowl history and the only shutout of the 2019 bowl season. Just 10 out of 130 FBS teams have won six or more consecutive bowl games, and LA Tech has the only active streak..

Houston Baptist lost its first two games of the 2020 season after losing 57-31 at North Texas followed by a 35-33 loss at Texas Tech. HBU head coach Vic Shealy is in his seventh year at the helm of the program where he has accumulated a 15-54 overall record.

LA TECH NOTABLES
• Redshirt freshman kicker/punter Jacob Barnes was named both the C-USA and LSWA Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking a perfect 4-for-4 in extra point attempts in the 31-30 victory over Southern Miss, including the game-winning PAT to lift the Bulldogs over the Golden Eagles. He also made a 28-yard field goal in his only attempt of the night.
• Graduate student quarterback Luke Anthony was one of eight quarterbacks to be named a Manning Award Star of the Week and was an honorable mention for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week after throwing three second-half touchdown passes, including the game-winning four-yard pass to junior wide receiver Griffin Hebert, to help Louisiana Tech overcome a 17-point deficit to take the 31-30 win over Southern Miss (Sept. 19). Anthony led the Bulldogs in passing against the Golden Eagles after completing 13-of-21 for 149 yards and three touchdowns.
• Junior wide receiver Griffin Hebert’s game-winning four-yard touchdown reception against the Golden Eagles was tabbed the U.S. Farm Raise Catfish “Catch of the Week.”
• Freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs was named the LSWA Defensive Player of the Week and Athlon Sports Defensive Freshman of the Week after recording a game-high 16 tackles in his collegiate debut in the 31-30 victory over conference-rival Southern Miss (Sept. 19). His 16 tackles, including four solo and one for loss, were the most by a Bulldog in a single game since Thomas McDonald had 16 at NC State in 2013.
• Nine Bulldogs made their first start while at Louisiana Tech against Southern Miss (Sept. 19), including graduate students offensive lineman Donavaughn Campbell, defensive back Khalil Ladler and defensive lineman Gerald Wilbon. Junior offensive lineman Abraham Delfin, senior defensive lineman Eric Kendzior, junior fullback Jacob Adams, redshirt freshman linebacker Allen Walker, freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs and freshman defensive back Cedric Woods made their first collegiate starts against the Golden Eagles.
• The starts by freshmen linebacker Tyler Grubbs and defensive back Cedric Woods were the first starts by a true freshman since Amik Robertson in 2017.
• Three different running backs ran for 40+ yards on the ground against Southern Miss (Sept. 19), led by senior Justin Henderson who had a team-high 18 carries for 69 yards. Senior Israel Tucker carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards and junior Greg Garner, in his first game as a Bulldog, came in late with fresh legs to rush it six times for 40 yards.

GAMEDAY COVERAGE
Date: Saturday, September 26, 2020
Time: 6 p.m. (CT)
Location: Ruston, LA.
Venue: Joe Aillet Stadium (28,562)
Surface: FieldTurf Revolution
Series: First Meeting

In Ruston: N/A
Last: N/A
In Houston: N/A
Last: N/A
In Shreveport: N/A
Last: N/A

Live Stats: https://latechsports.com/sidearmstats/football/summary
Live Audio: Tunein.com (Louisiana Tech Football)
Twitter Updates: @LATechFB

Media
TV: ESPN3
PxP: Lyn Rollins
Analyst: Chris Mycoskie

Radio: LA Tech Sports Network (KXKZ 107.5 FM)
PxP: Dave Nitz
Analyst: Teddy Allen


Season tickets are on sale through the Tech Ticket Office by calling (318) 257-3631.

For all the latest in Bulldog Football, follow them on Twitter (@LATechFB), Instagram (@LATechFB) and Facebook (LATechFootball) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.

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