2011 Record: (8-5, 6-1 in WAC)
Head Coach: Sonny Dykes (13-12 at La Tech, 10-5 in WAC)
Last Bowl Game: 2011 Poinsettia Bowl: lost to TCU 31-24
Big Name Opponents: 8/30 vs Texas A&M, 9/22 at Illinois, 9/29 at Virginia
Stat to Cheer: opponents converted just 32.08% of third downs (1st in WAC, 10th in Nation)
Stat to Fear: converted 36.87% of third downs (7th in WAC, 94th in Nation)
Phil Steele's Returning Starters: (Offense: 8; Defense: 5; Specialists: 2)
Key Defensive Returnees: S Jamel Johnson (86 tackles, 2 INT), S Chad Boyd (76 tackles, 3 INT), DE IK Enemkpali (33 tackles, 3.5 sacks)
Key Offensive Returnees: QB Colby Cameron (13 TD, 3 INT), WR Quinton Patton (78 rec, 11 TD), WR Myles White (31 rec, 3 TD), RB Hunter Lee (650 yds, 5 TD)
There is a lot to like about Louisiana Tech this season. First and foremost is their schedule. Well, at least their conference schedule. The only conference team they lost to last year was Hawaii and guess what? Hawaii is not in their conference anymore. Their toughest conference foes are Utah State and San Jose State. Enough said. As easy as their conference schedule is, their non-conference schedule does present some challenges. Texas A&M, Houston, Illinois and Virginia are all tough games and if La Tech was to win one of those many would consider it an "upset". When Louisiana tech starts out 1-4 (like they did last year) I wouldn't worry about it as the wins will come.
Another thing to like about the Bulldogs is their experience. They are easily the most experienced team in the WAC and have the most seniors on their two-deep. The guy to watch on offense is Quinton Patton. Chances are you've heard of him, if not then pick him up in your college football fantasy league. Tech should take a step forward on offense.
Defense was a strength of the Bulldogs last year as they allowed a WAC best 23.2 ppg. They do have some holes to fill but for the most part they will be filling those holes with upper classmen. Look for Louisiana Tech to win the WAC and if Tommy Tuberville struggles, La Tech might be looking for themselves a new coach.
2012 Prediction: 8-4
Previous 2012 Previews:
Big East: Temple