RUSTON, La. — The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football team has the honor of playing in the first ever Conference USA game for LA Tech Athletics as the Bulldogs host in-state foe Tulane Thursday night in a nationally-televised matchup at 6:30 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium.
For the first time in 102 years, LA Tech will face off against the Green Wave on its home turf, as Thursday’s game will mark the ninth meeting all-time between the two schools. Although the two teams have not met in Ruston since 1911, Tulane called Ruston home during the 2005 season after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Thursday night’s contest will be available on Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Petros Papadakis (color), Joel Klatt (analyst) and Kristina Pink (sideline) on the national broadcast. Additionally, the LA Tech Sports Network will carry the game on its radio network with Dave Nitz (play-by-play), Teddy Allen (analyst) and Malcolm Butler (sideline) calling all the action.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 27-14 victory over Lamar at home last week, and after a short week, LA Tech welcomes the Green Wave to Ruston for the team’s fifth annual Community Trust Bank RED OUT. Since the first RED OUT game in 2009, LA Tech is 2-2 in those games. Thursday’s game will also mark the annual Bulldogs Tackling Breast Cancer game.
LA Tech legends Terry Bradshaw and Phil Robertson will both be in attendance and reunite for the first time in Ruston since their Bulldog playing days in the 1960s.
“I am excited to play at home,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “I look at this Tulane team and they return eight starters on offense. Their quarterback’s last name is Montana. Enough said with that. I call it rivalry week. When you look at a school like Tulane and being just a few hours away, they are one of the closest teams that we are going to have the opportunity to play from a geographical standpoint.”
“Even though we have not played that much, I think it does have an opportunity to be a huge rivalry game because of where we are. I know there are a lot of people who have emotions in this game. There are a lot of relationships that are interwoven into this geographically rivalry that we have. I am excited to have the opportunity.”
In the first two games of the 2013 season, the Bulldogs have ridden the backs of their running-back tandem of Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King thus far this season.
Dixon carried the load to open the season at NC State, recording his seventh 100-yard rushing game in his young career. Versus Lamar, it was King who reigned supreme in place of an injured Dixon, as he rushed for 182 yards against the Cardinals to help lead the Bulldogs to victory. King is expected to start at tailback for LA Tech Thursday while Dixon is listed as a game-time decision.
Head coach Curtis Johnson and the Green Wave are coming off a tough 41-39 loss to South Alabama at home after opening the season with a 34-7 rout of Jackson State the week prior.
Last week, Nick Montana recorded his first 300-yard passing game since joining the Green Wave. The junior quarterback was 29-47 passing with 327 total yards and three touchdown strikes against the Jaguars.
While Montana impressed last week, the Tulane defense is the bright spot for the Green Wave on the stat sheet. Tulane’s defense has already recorded six interceptions and forced nine turnovers this season. Tulane has a plus-3.5 turnover margin in two games, which ranks third nationally and first among C-USA teams.
“They have a very aggressive style of defensive play with a lot of pressure and movement,” Holtz said of Tulane’s defensive game plan. “They are not a team that is going to sit still and let you know where they are going to be. They do a lot of movement and different things and I think they are getting better and better in their second year. This football team is definitely going to look the part. As a defense, they have six interceptions in two games which is an awful lot. When you look at us, we have two in two games and they have created six interceptions in two games, which speaks to the volume of confusion that they give you and aggressiveness that they bring.”
KXKZ 107.5 FM will serve as the flagship station for the LA Tech Sports Network for the 15th straight year as the 100,000 watt station will carry all of the Bulldog football games in 2013.
Its sister station- KNBB 97.7 FM – will host Hill Oil’s Inside Bulldog Football with Skip Holtz radio show each and every Monday throughout the season at The Dawg House Sports Grill with a new start time of 6 p.m. The first edition of Hill Oil’s Inside Bulldog Football is scheduled for Aug. 26.
The 11 affiliate network will continue to provide coverage across the region, bringing the Bulldogs to listeners in Arkansas, East Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. In addition to the affiliates in Ruston, the LA Tech Sports Network will also include KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KTKC 92.9 (Springhill), KBEF 104.5 FM (Minden), KASO 1240 AM (Minden), KPCH 99.3 (Ruston), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield), KRMD 1340 AM (Shreveport/Bossier City), KRMD 100.7 FM (Shreveport/Bossier City) and WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge).
All Bulldog football games can also be accessed online 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).
Starting this year, 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.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.