- Ben Mintz
Louisiana Tech defeated South Alabama 34-16 on Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston in Tech’s final non-conference game of the season.
The game started off wild with 3 touchdowns being scored in the 1st quarter. Tech had a 14-7 lead at the end of the period off 2 J’Mar Smith touchdown passes, the first a 40 yarder to Tulane transfer Wide Receiver Teddy Veal and the 2nd a 10 yard pass to Running Back Jared Craft. The game then slowed to a crawl with only 4 field goals scored in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
LA Tech was clinging to a 17-16 lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter. The Bulldogs then outscored the Jaguars 17-0 in the final period for a definitive 34-16 final score. J’Mar Smith threw his 3rd touchdown of the pass of the game, a 30 yard TD to Wide Receiver Adrian Hardy and Running Back Boston Scott had a 27 yard rushing touchdown.
LA Tech finished the game with 162 yards rushing and 317 yards passing. Sophomore Quarterback J’Mar Smith continues to impress with a 24 for 39 passing effort for over 300 yards and did not throw an interception. The Bulldogs have to be thrilled with Smith’s improvement as the season unfolds. Wide Receiver Teddy Veal had 5 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. He has emerged as the number one receiver for the Bulldogs.
The Tech defense continues to impress only allowing 333 yards in this game. The Bulldogs have only allowed 55 points the last 3 games. This defense has improved tons since last season and has fans feeling optimistic about a repeat as Conference USA Western Division Champions. Secdrick Cooper had 2 interceptions for the Bulldogs. LA Tech travels to Birmingham to take on UAB on Saturday at 3pm at Legion Field. You can listen to that game live on 100.7 FM/1340 AM The Ticket with pre-game starting at 1:30.
LA Tech is now 3-2 on the 2017 season and 1-0 in Conference USA. The October 21st home game against Southern Miss is shaping up to be a defining game of the season. The Bulldogs have a bye after the UAB game next week. Tech must be careful to not fall into a trap against the upstart Blazers who will be fired up playing in front of the home crowd in Birmingham. UAB has not had a football program since 2014. UAB is 2-2 on the season. The Blazers are coming off a bye after losing a heartbreaker 46-43 at North Texas. Blazers head coach Bill Clark is very good and should be lauded for sticking with this program after they did not have 2015 or 2016 seasons. LA Tech is a 12.5 point favorite on the road in Birmingham.