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2003 PREVIEW: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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Talk about your falls from grace. The Bulldogs came off a WAC title winning season with an experienced team and a star at quarterback. After a great performance in a 39-36 season-opening win against , the wheels started to come off. Injuries and a startling ability to give up the big play at the worst time killed all hopes of getting back to a bowl game. It wasn't just that the Bulldogs lost eight games, it's that the team wasn't even close against teams it should've been able to hang with. How did Tech lose to 37-20? How did beat the Bulldogs 42-30? This year's team can't afford gaffes against sub par teams. It might be hard for the 2003 Bulldogs to be a whole bunch better with several new starters on the offensive line, a brand new corps of linebackers and no established pass rusher on the line. The defense gave up 30 rushing touchdowns and 265 passing yards per game in 2002 and there's no reason to think there'll be too much of an improvement even after a strong spring game. In the end, the offense has to sparkle utilizing a star talent like in his final season.

Team Information
Head coach: Jack Bicknell III
5th year: 22-25
Returning O Lettermen: 22
Returning D Lettermen: 29
Returning ST Lettermen: 2
Lettermen Lost: 20
Ten Best Players
1. QB , Sr.
2. WR , Soph.
3. PK , Sr.
4. CB , Sr.
5. OG/C , Soph.
6. DT , Jr.
7. WR Chris Norwood, Sr.
8. FS , Sr.
9. TE , Jr.
10. OT , Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/28 Miami 9/6 at UL Lafayette
9/13 at
9/20 at
10/4
10/11 at
10/18
10/25 at
11/1 at
11/8 SMU
11/15 at
11/29
The Schedule: Starting the season against Miami followed by three straight road games is no way to break in new players. The Bulldogs get the two toughest WAC games out of the way early playing at and . If Tech can somehow get a split, it'll be in the hunt for the WAC title. A mid-season game at won't help in the middle of the conference season. Best Offensive Player: Senior QB . McCown has all the skills and all the experience a quarterback could ask for. Now he has to put it all together and finish with a great senior season. Step one is cutting down on his interceptions.. Best Defensive Player: Senior CB . He's only 5-7, but he's an extraordinary tackler making 93 stops last season. He can also play the pass well as Tech's best cover corner. Key player to a successful season: The offense was far better last season with the rushing exploit of Joe Smith taking some of the pressure off McCown. Running back Ralph Davis takes over the starting job and looks like he could be a fine replacement. If he's not, McCown will have to do even more. The season will be a success if ... Tech flirts with a winning season. With teams like UL Lafayette, , SMU, and on the schedule, the Bulldogs have to win at least four of those. Winning six games would be a great accomplishment for a team that has so many question marks. Key game: Sept. 20 at . If Tech can somehow pull off the win against the WAC favorites, the team could be in the mix for its second WAC title in three seasons. Beating a team like would do wonders after potentially getting bombed by Miami and gets over the game. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Second half score: Opponents 237 - 122
  • Time of possession: Opponents 32:50 - 27:10
  • Tech rushing attempts: 310. Fumbles 16 (lost 10)
  • Opponent rushing attempts: 517. Fumbles 22 (lost 11)
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Terrance Jackson, LB, 6-1, 235, Columbia, Miss (Columbia HS/Pearl River CC) James Edward Atkins, DE, 6-2, 250, Hattiesburg, Miss. (Hattiesburg HS/Pearl River CC)
    Kevon Bagot, OT, 6-7, 320, Houston, (Willowridge HS)
    Zachary Scott Champion, QB, 6-2, 190, Birmingham, Ala. (Bessemer Academy HS)
    Hiram Eugene, DB, 6-2, 200, Jeanerette, La. (Jeanerette HS/Pearl River CC)
    Kermit Juanquil Givens, RB, 6-0, 195, New Orleans, La. (Crescent City Baptist HS)
    Jason Lee Gooch, TE/OL, 6-6, 255, Vidor, (Vidor HS)
    Kentrell Gransberry, WR, 6-8, 240, Baton Rouge, La. (Woodlawn HS)
    Johnathan Darell Holland, WR, 6-0, 180, Archibald, La. (Mangham HS)
    Brannon Joseph Jackson, LB, 6-2, 220, Lake Charles, La. (Washington-Marion HS)
    * Johnny Terrill Jackson, DL, 6-7, 290, Aliceville, Ala. (Aliceville HS/East Central CC)
    Jason Paul Lewis, OL/DL, 6-4, 295, St. James, La. (St. James HS)
    Tyler Miller, OT, 6-7, 285, Waco, (Waco HS)
    Eddie Moss, DE, 6-3, 250, Meridian, Miss. (Meridian HS/East CC)
    Joshua Woodrow Muse, DL, 6-4, 285, Baton Rouge, La. (Denham Springs HS)
    Zachary Wade Myatt, K/P, 5-11, 180, College Station, (A&M Consolidated HS)
    Willie Shelton Richardson, RB, 6-2, 235, Grenada, Miss. (Grenada HS/Holmes CC)
    Thaddeus Isaac Williams, DE, 6-3, 210, Independence, La. (Independence HS)
    Bryon Dewayne Young, LB, 6-1, 250, Haughton, La. (Bossier HS)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players
  • Tagged: Michigan State, Boise State, Mississippi, LSU, Georgia, Tulsa, Rice, Hawaii, UTEP, Fresno State, San Jose State, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas

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