Dec. 18, 2015
NEW ORLEANS - One of the most successful senior classes in Louisiana Tech's Division I history will get one more chance to sing the fight song when the Bulldogs face Arkansas State at 8 p.m. CT in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
When Louisiana Tech's senior class first reported to campus four years ago, they had a goal in mind to transform Louisiana Tech's program for the better and to take it to new heights. Over the course of their four years, the only constant has been change with a new coach, new conference and new facility but the goal still has been achieved and the bar could even be pushed higher with a win over the Red Wolves (9-3).
Louisiana Tech has reached back-to-back bowl games for just the second time in school history and a win would make this senior class the first in school history to win multiple bowl games.
"When we came in as freshmen, we believed we were the best recruiting class the school had ever had at the time," cornerback Bryson Abraham said. "We made a promise to ourselves then that we would do whatever it took to make this team better than it has ever been."
A win would achieve that. If the Bulldogs can upend the Red Wolves this would be the winningest senior class in Tech's Division I-A/FBS history with 31 wins and mark yet another milestone for Louisiana Tech from a class that has set many.
Many of those were set by Kenneth Dixon, the tailback out of Arkansas who has his name etched throughout record books on all levels. He broke three NCAA records his freshman season that were previously held by Marshall Faulk and enters the New Orleans Bowl with 83 career touchdowns, tied with Wisconsin's Montee Ball for the second-most in NCAA history.
"I was in a recruit's home a couple weeks ago and I told him to name any college football player that has ever played the game," Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said of a visit when Dixon, Ball and Navy's Keenan Reynolds all shared the NCAA record (Reynolds is now at 85 after the Army-Navy game). "Walter Payton? Kenneth has scored more touchdowns than him. Adrian Petersen? Kenneth has scored more touchdowns than him. Kenneth has scored more touchdowns than any other player that has ever played the game."
Dixon could pull ahead of Ball and add to a school record that may never be broken Saturday night. He enters the bowl game having scored almost as many points in his career (498) as the population of his small hometown of Strong (540).
One or multiple scores by Dixon could help Louisiana Tech achieve another first in school history ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢'Â¬" winning in The Crescent City. The Bulldogs are looking for the program's first win in New Orleans but the opportunities have been slim; the 2015 New Orleans Bowl is just Louisiana Tech's second game in The Big Easy since 1936.
However the turf field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is hardly unfamiliar territory. Several members of the team led their respective high school programs to state championship games at the Superdome during their prep days as did running backs coach Jabbar Juluke when he was head coach at Edna Karr High School prior to joining the LA Tech Family.
Even Skip Holtz is familiar with the Superdome. As a graduate assistant coach at Florida State in 1989, Holtz helped the Seminoles to a 13-7 win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl and then claimed another Sugar Bowl win while an assistant at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish upended Florida, 39-28, in the 1992 Sugar Bowl. He has a 3-0 all-time record in the Superdome and a 1-0 mark as a head coach after guiding East Carolina to a 28-14 win over Tulane in 2008.
Fans headed to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl are advised to review the Superdome and bowl game's stadium policies on prohibited items at http://www.neworleansbowl.org/game-day/faqs/.
KXKZ 107.5 FM serves as the flagship station for the LA Tech Sports Network for the 17th straight year as the 100,000-watt station will carry all of the Bulldog football games in 2015. Additional affiliates carrying Bulldog Football games this fall on the LA Tech Sports Network include WUBR-AM 910 (Baton Rouge/Zachary), KJVC-FM 92.7 (Shreveport/Mansfield), KTKC-FM 92.9 (Shreveport/Spring Hill), KRMD-AM 1340 and KRMD-FM 100.7 (Shreveport), KVCL-FM 92.1 (Winnfield) and KDBS-AM ESPN Radio 1410 (Alexandria/Pineville).
All Bulldog football games can also be accessed online (audio for all games) by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access on LATechSports.com. Cost of a subscription to LA Tech All-Access is only $9.95 per month or $79.95 for the entire year (which includes all live broadcasts for all of Tech's athletic teams).
Fans can also choose to purchase the C-USA Digital Network subscription for $14.95 per month or $119.95 per year, which includes all of the above content as well as audio and video for all road C-USA games along with additional video content throughout the year.
This fall, all of the Tech football broadcasts can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network as Dave Nitz, Teddy Allen, Thomas Graham, Malcolm Butler and Bennie Thornell comprise the broadcast team. Nitz -- one of the longest-tenured broadcasters in college football -- is entering his 41st year of broadcasting Bulldog Football games.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow Louisiana Tech on social media at @LATechFB (Twitter), /LATechFootball (Facebook) and @LATechFB (Instagram) or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.