Schedule and Odds
Louisiana Tech had a solid turnaround in 2014 reaching the C-USA title Game and finishing at 9-5, five more wins than 2013. Once again, the Bulldogs should be at the top of the West division as they have the second-best odds to win the Conference this year at +280. Their over/under is set at eight wins.
The main difference for this year’s team will be at quarterback. Cody Sokol came in and tossed 30 touchdowns last year, but he’s gone. Florida transfer Jeff Driskel is the favorite to start, although he didn’t run away with the job in the spring as 2013’s starter Ryan Higgins is still there. Higgins threw for just 6 TDs and 13 INTs as a starter, though. No matter who the starter is, he will have plenty of options to work with.
Kenneth Dixon returns in the backfield after totaling 1,684 yards and 28 touchdowns through rushing and receiving. Even if the passing Game isn’t as good, the running Game could be used more often. But the Bulldogs have top options at receiver as well with Trent Taylor (834 yards, 9 TDs), Carlos Henderson (19.6 yards per catch) and Paul Turner (42 receptions). The offensive line also returns three starters from 2014’s group and should be a top unit again. While there is a question at quarterback, this offense should still be one of the best in the conference.
Lousiana Tech’s defense led the nation with 42 takeaways last year, but reaching that number again is probably unlikely. Still, with six starters coming back, this group should be solid. The line has a couple stud seniors with Vontarrius Dora and Vernon Butler, and the same can be said about the secondary that returns three starters. Safeties Xavier Woods and Kentrell Brice probably form the best unit in the Conference and both could be all-Conference performers. The question for this defense will be at linebacker where no starter returns. However, all three expected starters are seniors, so that’s another boost.
LA. Tech has another tough non-Conference Schedule this year facing Kansas State and Mississippi State on the road. They had a similar route last year and made it to eight wins in the regular season. Playing in the West, the Bulldogs don’t have an overly tough C-USA Schedule either. Of course, they have to travel to Western Kentucky in the second week of the year, but other than that, nothing pops out in the Schedule. But like last year, nothing is ever a certainty, after they lost at Old Dominion late last year. Road Games at Rice and UTEP will not be walkovers by any means.
The Bulldogs will be good again with a decent amount of talent returning on both ends. While they have the best shot at reaching the C-USA title Game again, winning the Conference may end up depending on quarterback Jeff Driskel, if he can put his struggles at Florida behind him.
2015 Louisiana Tech Football Schedule
Sept. 5 vs. Southern
Sept. 10 at Western Kentucky
Sept. 19 at Kansas State
Sept. 26 vs. Florida International
Oct. 3 vs. LA-LAfayette
Oct. 10 at UTSA
Oct. 17 at Mississippi State
Oct. 24 vs. Middle Tennessee
Oct. 30 at Rice
Nov. 7 vs. North Texas
Nov. 21 at UTEP
Nov. 27 vs. Southern Miss