Utah State football: No. 19 Louisiana Tech's offense looms large
Ruston, La. • With a win over No. 19 Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Utah State can move one step closer to the best regular season in school history and, perhaps, a national ranking.
Of course, getting that win on the road in Ruston against one of the best offenses in the country looks to be the most daunting task of the season for the Aggies.
USU is running into an offensive blitzkrieg. The Bulldogs lead the FBS with 576.5 yards per game. They are second in the country in scoring, averaging 53.4 points per game. Only one team New Mexico State, oddly enough has held Louisiana Tech under 30 points. The Bulldogs have scored 50 or more points in seven of their nine wins.
"It's an offense that consistently comes at you in waves," Utah State coach Gary Andersen said. "It's a relentless offense with a number of great players in it that can hurt you. This is a great opportunity for Utah State as a program. It's also a terrific challenge for us."
Louisiana Tech entered the season expecting one of its best teams in school history. So far, the Bulldogs have not disappointed.
They are 9-1 are looking for at least a share of their second consecutive Western Athletic Conference title. They have a chance to qualify for a BCS bowl game. Their lone loss is a 59-57 defeat to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M the same team that just knocked off then-No.1 Alabama on the road.
USU is facing a team that treats offense as a continuous track meet. Quinton Patton has proved to be one of the best receivers in the country, and Colby Cameron has done the same at quarterback.
"Anytime the season starts, your first goal is to compete for and win a championship," Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes said. "We are true to that. At the same time, Utah State is a great team and we realize that. It's going to take our best game of the year to come out on top."
The Aggies face the dilemma of slowing down on offense or playing at their normal pace. Utah State usually puts the pedal down, but not at breakneck speed like Louisiana Tech or Oregon. The Aggies, however, will make no attempts to curtail what they do offensively. If they score in three plays, so be it. USU is confident it can score enough to win a shootout against the Bulldogs.
"They have a good defense, but we feel we can attack them in certain places," quarterback Chuckie Keeton said. "We have to play our best. We're confident, but we know exactly what we're up against."
Utah State at Louisiana Tech
P At Joe Aillet Stadium (Ruston, La.)
Kickoff • Saturday, 2 p.m. MST
Internet • ESPN3
Radio • 960 AM, 1060 AM
Records • Utah State 8-2, 4-0 WAC; Louisiana Tech 9-1, 4-0 WAC
Series history • Louisiana Tech leads 6-3
Last meeting • Louisiana Tech 24, Utah State 17 (Oct. 22, 2011)
About the Aggies • Utah State is averaging 44 points over its last four games. â¦ The Aggies are 6-2 in their last eight road games. â¦ USU has outscored its opponents 103-6 in the first quarter this season. â¦ Kerwynn Williams has 1,005 rushing yards this season. â¦ Senior safety McKade Brady leads the Aggies with 81 tackles.
About the Bulldogs • Receiver Quinton Patton has 83 catches for 1,086 yards. â¦ Louisiana Tech is seeking its second consecutive WAC title. â¦ Freshman running back Kenneth Dixon has 1,052 yards on the ground this season. â¦ The Bulldogs return 16 starters from last year. â¦ Louisiana Tech's season high is 70 points.