Louisiana Tech 44, New Mexico St. 0

Louisiana Tech captured the school’s first Western Athletic

Conference championship since 2001 with a 44-0 victory over New

Mexico State on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (8-4, 6-1) also accepted a bid to the Dec. 21 San

Diego County Poinsettia Bowl. The bowl bid is the fifth in school

history and Louisiana Tech’s first since an Independence Bowl

victory over Northern Illinois in 2008.

”It’s been a fun ride for this football team,” Bulldogs coach

Sonny Dykes said. ”It certainly feels great to win a championship.

We started the season off kind of rough and I was proud of how our

players hung in there. They have been a fun group to coach.

”We are excited about going to San Diego for the bowl game. It

will be a great experience for our players.”

After Matt Nelson’s 32-yard field opened the scoring, Louisiana

Tech extended its lead to 9-0 on Colby Cameron’s 7-yard touchdown

pass to Taulib Ikharo.

Following Hunter Lee’s 1-yard touchdown run, Adrien Cole

intercepted a Travaughn Colwell pass and returned it 45 yards for a

touchdown and a commanding 23-0 lead.

A walk-on who was put on scholarship by the coaching staff this

week, Lee finished the game with a career-high 148 yards on 26

carries to go along with three touchdowns on the ground.

”It’s been a phenomenal feeling to work my way up the ladder

like I have this season,” Lee said. ”We have had guys go out and

new guys step in and now it was just my turn. To be here and win a

WAC Championship; I am just so overwhelmed right now. I am so

happy.

”The offensive line did a fantastic job tonight. Holes were

opening up left and right. I just ran through the holes that they

opened up for me. You can feel when we start to make plays as an

offensive unit. We got into our hurry-up offense and finished

drives how we wanted.”

After starting the season 1-4, Louisiana Tech has won seven

straight games. The Bulldogs now await their opponent in the

Poinsettia Bowl to be announced.

New Mexico State (4-8, 2-4) concludes its season next week

against Utah State.