- Staff Reporter
After LA Tech’s win over FIU (43-41), Coach Skip Holtz had some thoughts.
In his opening statement he said, “It’s always great to win, especially in conference. We didn’t expect it to be easy, and we knew it would be a dogfight. I was really proud of our football team tonight. Coming in we talked about how important it is to defend this field and how important winning at home is. We talked about the history and the overall record at Joe Aillet Stadium. We talked about our 14-2 stretch a couple years ago and how over the past two years we’ve been 6-6 and that has to change. I was really proud of the way we came into this game – very focused and very dialed in. At this point, we’re one fourth of the way through the season, and this is when the real season starts – in conference play.”
“To come out here on a short week and play the way we played against a very tough FIU team is very encouraging. I give FIU and Coach Davis a lot of credit. I thought his team competed and never quit. I think (QB James) Morgan is as advertised – he has a big time arm and was slicing us up in coverage. I thought Coach (Bob) Diaco and the staff made some changes that helped us slow them down a bit. Defensively, we got the stops we needed. We gave up almost 400 yards passing tonight, but we got timely stops. We’ll have to correct some things and see where we need to improve.”
“I thought our special teams did a nice job against a team that ranked No. 1 in punt and punt return. Offensively, the biggest thing that comes out of it was the way we were able to run the ball. 45 rushes for almost 300 yards rushing. We really challenged our offensive line and our running backs and I thought they stepped up. It was nice to see them compete the way they did. We had a lot of balance in this game plan, and I thought the players did a really good job of executing it. I’d love to have a couple calls in the red zone back again, but overall I was really proud of our effort. I hated the little banter that finished the game, because it took away from a really well-played and hard-fought game by both sides. We’ll come back on Sunday and get ready for the Rice Owls in conference game number two.”
He also had some thoughts on the fact that LA Tech scored on eight of the team’s final nine drives: “We had a lot of nine, ten, twelve play drives in this game. I felt like we were moving the ball, even after the deflected interception. After that we gave our guys an opportunity to start running the ball downhill after gaining some yards on first down, and I thought that made a huge difference. I didn’t feel like we really flipped a switch as much as guys just stepping up and making big-time catches and runs when we needed them.”
Finally, Coach Holtz pointed out the strength of the Offensive Line: “We knew coming in that we couldn’t be a one-dimensional football team. We didn’t want to throw it 80 times a game. It’s hard to move the ball consistently when you put all that pressure on your quarterback. I think balance on offense is what it’s going to take for us to become the team we want to be. Tonight was a huge vote of confidence for the line as a whole. I was really proud of the way they came off the ball and played tonight. They were the difference. That and the running game.”
Article sourced from provided press release. Photo credits – Donny Crowe/LA Tech Communications