UTSA fans celebrate their 31-28 win over the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

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No. 24 UTSA rolls as Sincere McCormick enjoys a big night

Sincere McCormick rushed for three touchdowns and No. 24 UTSA won its first game as a ranked team by defeating host Louisiana Tech 45-16 in a Conference USA game Saturday night.

McCormick finished with 113 yards on 23 carries for the Roadrunners (8-0, 4-0), who scored 35 straight points to take command after falling behind 10-7.

Frank Harris completed 12 of 20 attempts for 193 yards and two touchdowns to Zakhari Franklin, who finished with 118 yards on five receptions.

Austin Kendall completed 22 of 33 for 259 yards for the Bulldogs (2-5, 1-2). Smoke Harris caught seven of Kendall’s passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs rushed for just 62 yards on 33 carries.

On the second possession of the third quarter, Dadrian Taylor intercepted Kendall and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown that increased the Roadrunners’ lead to 28-10.

McCormick ran 47 yards for a touchdown that increased the lead to 35-10 early in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, leading to McCormick’s 1-yard touchdown run that increased the lead to 42-10 and the hosts cruised from there.

The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead on the first possession of the game when Kendall threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Harris. The Roadrunners tied the score two plays later when Harris threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Franklin.

Jacob Barnes’ 35-yard field goal gave Louisiana Tech a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but UTSA took over after that.

McCormick’s 2-yard touchdown run gave the Roadrunners a 14-10 lead during the first minute of the second quarter.

The Bulldogs drove into scoring range, but Barnes missed a 46-yard field goal midway through the quarter. Harris and Franklin teamed on a 10-yard touchdown pass to give the Roadrunners a 21-10 halftime lead, and they dominated the second half.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2020; Dallas, TX, USA; UTSA Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris (0) runs the ball against Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns linebacker Andre Jones (10) in the third quarter at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 UTSA will test first Top 25 ranking at La. Tech

In winning its first seven games, including road victories over Illinois and Memphis, Texas-San Antonio demonstrated the resilience and toughness of a Top 25 team.

Now that the Roadrunners are ranked for the first time in program history, at No. 24, can they live up to the billing? That’s the question they must answer Saturday night when they visit Ruston, La., for a Conference USA matchup with Louisiana Tech.

UTSA (7-0, 3-0 CUSA) certainly looked the part of a ranked squad last week, blanking Rice 45-0 in what second-year coach Jeff Traylor called its most complete game.

“It was by far the best game we have played in all three phases,” he said. “This was a big game with a lot of pressure on those kids. Those kids understand the pressure. They came out and played as good as I have seen them play.”

This is the 11th year of the Roadrunners’ program, which was started in 2011 under former Miami coach Larry Coker. He went 26-32 in five years and was replaced by Frank Wilson, who posted a 19-29 mark from 2016 to 2019 and took the school to its first bowl game.

Traylor came aboard in December 2019 after serving as running backs coach at Arkansas and posted a 7-5 mark last year, guiding the program to its second bowl appearance. A third bowl game is all but assured now.

“It is crazy,” Traylor said of the 7-0 start. “I am proud for my kids. They deserve it. Usually when you have good kids who are good players, good things happen.”

The offense is led by quarterback Frank Harris, who has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 1,600 yards, with a 14-3 touchdown-interception ratio. Sincere McCormick has rushed for 778 yards and six touchdowns, while Joshua Cephus, Zakhari Franklin and De’Corian Clark have combined for 113 receptions.

UTSA’s defense has forced 14 turnovers and allowed opponents to rush for just 81.9 yards per game. The leaders have been Rashad Wisdom (45 tackles), Clarence Hicks (7 1/2 tackles for loss, 3 1/2 sacks) and Trevor Harmanson (29 tackles).

Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1) is coming off a 19-3 conference loss last week at surprising UTEP.

The Bulldogs’ record can be partially explained by how tough their schedule has turned out. The Roadrunners are the second ranked team Louisiana Tech has played.

The Bulldogs could have forced overtime at N.C. State before a final-snap interception allowed the Wolfpack to close out a 34-27 win in Raleigh on Oct. 2.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said. “It’s going to be a great challenge for us. I’m glad we have the opportunity to come back home.”

This will be the Bulldogs’ first home game since a 24-17 conference victory over North Texas on Sept. 25. They are led by quarterback Austin Kendall, who has thrown for 1,342 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games, with eight interceptions.

Louisiana Tech owns a 7-2 lead in the all-time series, but UTSA pulled out a 27-26 victory in last year’s matchup in San Antonio.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary (13) drops back to pass against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 N.C State holds off Louisiana Tech for third straight win

Devin Leary threw two touchdown passes and No. 23 North Carolina State built on its big upset from a week earlier by defeating visiting Louisiana Tech 34-27 on Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C.

It wasn’t over until Jakeen Harris intercepted a pass in the end zone on the game’s last play after Louisiana Tech drove to the NC State 22-yard line.

Zonovan Knight’s 4-yard touchdown run with 7:45 left helped clinch the outcome for NC State, which moved to a 4-1 record for the second year in a row.

The Wolfpack never trailed but it had trouble pulling away, taking the lead for good in the waning seconds of the first half.

Austin Kendall finished with 341 passing yards and three touchdowns for Louisiana Tech (2-3), which has just four victories in 52 all-time games against Top 25 opposition.
Leary ended up 22-for-36 for 251 yards.

NC State’s Ricky Person, who had a 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, produced 90 yards on the ground on 15 attempts. Knight racked up 85 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Still, Kendall threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the latter on a 14-yard play to Griffin Herbert with 4:43 to play.

N.C. State, coming off a double-overtime win against Clemson a week earlier, is 4-0 at home.

NC State scored first on Leary’s 6-yard pass play to Chris Toudle, who dove into the end zone.

Louisiana Tech responded with a nine-play drive, capped by Kendall’s 2-yard toss to Jacob Adams.

Dunn, who missed all three of his field-goal attempts in the Clemson game (including a game-winning attempt from 39 yards on the final play of regulation), drilled a 36-yard field goal as the Wolfpack took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. Louisiana Tech’s Jacob Barnes tied the game at 10-all when he booted a 21-yarder with 2:12 left in the half.

From there, each team punted before the Wolfpack went 57 yards in 36 seconds, setting up Dunn’s 29-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half.

Louisiana Tech’s two previous defeats this season came by a combined three points, including a one-point setback at Mississippi State, where NC State happened to suffer its lone defeat.

–Field Level Media

NC State quarterback Devin Leary (13) passes near Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy (98) during the fourth quarter at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., September 25, 2021.  The Tigers lost 27-21 in two overtimes game at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., September 25, 2021. Leary  was 32-44 for 238  yards and four touchdown passes.

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Fresh off big win, No. 23 N.C. State hopes to maintain momentum

The No. 23 N.C. State Wolfpack look to avoid a letdown when they host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Saturday in Raleigh.

N.C. State (3-1) ended an eight-game losing streak against Clemson when they upset the then-No. 9 Tigers 27-21 in overtime last Saturday. Now they’re heavy favorites against Louisiana Tech (2-2).

“People are going to talk about trap games and letdowns and all those kinds of things. I’ve already addressed that with our team,” coach Dave Doeren said. “This game is about being better than we were last week. That’s our goal, to be a great football team. Great football teams don’t step backwards.”

The Wolfpack earned the right to celebrate after their first win over a top-10 opponent since beating No. 3 Florida State 17-16 in 2012.

Quarterback Devin Leary completed 32 of 44 passes for 238 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Devin Carter had two touchdown catches and Emeka Emezie had a career-high 14 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.

The Wolfpack converted 11 of 21 third downs, but there are issues to correct. N.C. State was penalized 11 times for 105 yards and kicker Christopher Dunn missed three field goals, including one at the end of regulation.

The N.C. State defense held Clemson to 10 first downs on the day and just 14 points in regulation.

“They have some great players on the defensive side of the ball. They have a very solid scheme in what they do,” Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said. “They’re a 3-4 defense in what they do, and they run it very, very well. They’re very gap-sound in what they do and they’re not giving up a lot of yards.”

The Bulldogs enter off a 24-17 Conference USA win over North Texas.

Quarterback Austin Kendall, who started the first three games, was scratched before the game and Aaron Allen started in his place, leading a pair of first-quarter scoring drives. JD Head also saw action and threw his first touchdown pass but left with hip soreness.

Holtz said early in the week he hopes to have Kendall back on Saturday, while it looks like Head is out.

Marcus Williams Jr. ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 42-yard dash to make it 14-0. He finished with 73 yards on 17 carries.

“You look at Marcus Williams, he’s running hard, he’s running tough, and I think if we gave him the ball 25 times a game, he would eclipse the 100-yard mark every week,” Holtz said, “and I think he would be one of the better backs in this league statistically.”

Meanwhile, wide receiver/punt returner Smoke Harris had seven receptions and returned a punt a career-long 67 yards.

“They really should be 4-0,” Doeren said of the Bulldogs. “They lost on the last play of the game to SMU on a pretty freak-show ricochet play on a Hail Mary. They had a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter against Mississippi State and lost.”

Saturday was the best defensive showing of the young season by the Bulldogs, who are giving up 33.3 points per game and 6.0 yards per play.

“The defense played a really solid football game for us in only giving up 17 points,” Holtz said. “Even with that, they were stuck with a couple short fields with a blocked punt and a fumble at our end of the field.”

The teams are meeting for the second time. The Wolfpack posted a 40-13 win to open the 2013 season.

Louisiana Tech is 4-47 against ranked competition, with the last win coming over No. 25 Navy in the 2016 Armed Forces Bowl.

–Field Level Media

ACU quarterback Stone Earle (3) gets hit by SMU's Gary Wiley (55) just after throwing a pass during Saturday's game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas on Sept. 4, 2021. The Mustangs won 56-9.

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SMU looks to stay unbeaten against host Louisiana Tech

SMU will look to improve to 3-0 for the third straight season when the Mustangs visit Louisiana Tech in a nonconference game on Saturday in Ruston, La.

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 35-12 win over the visiting North Texas Mean Green last week in a game in which the Mustangs’ defense gave up plenty of yards but not a lot of points.

SMU allowed the Mean Green to amass 506 yards of total offense, but just 12 points. After North Texas took a 6-0 lead with 13:52 left in the second quarter, the Mustangs (2-0) took the lead for good on Mordecai’s 62-yard touchdown pass to Rashee Rice with 3:50 left in the first half.

Mordecai extended the lead to 14-6 with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Danny Gray before North Texas pulled to within 14-12 on Jace Ruder’s 23-yard strike to Isaiah Johnson midway through the third quarter, but Ruder’s two-point conversion pass was incomplete.

The Mustangs, who play in the American Athletic Conference, put the game away when Mordecai, who completed 21 of 33 passes with two interceptions, threw touchdown passes to tight end Grant Calcaterra and running back Ulysses Bentley IV for a 28-12 lead with 11:17 remaining. Bentley (10 carries, 141 yards) provided the exclamation point with an 85-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring on SMU’s next possession.

“I believe that I still am one of the better guys at my position playing college football,” said Calcaterra, who has five catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns this season after having to miss last year and the end of the 2019 season after suffering a series of concussions. “I want to play in the NFL, and I want to be the best at my position.”

Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech (1-1), a member of Conference USA, rebounded from a demoralizing season-opening loss at Mississippi State with a 45-42 win over the visiting Southeast Louisiana Lions.

Bulldogs quarterback Austin Kendall went 19-of-27 passing for 217 yards with a touchdown and ran for another as the Bulldogs rolled up 448 yards of total offense.

Louisiana Tech never trailed, but it wasn’t until its defense forced a turnover in the final minute to secure the win, as Ezekiel Barnett stripped quarterback Cole Kelley during a third-down run, with Cedric Woods making the recovery.

Louisiana Tech rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 43 rushes, led by Marcus Williams Jr., who ran for 99 yards on 18 carries.

“We’ve been going,” running back Greg Garner, who scored three touchdowns (two rushing) against the Lions, told reporters. “When your number is called, that’s what we’ve had to do. A lot of players and running backs make plays when their number is called.”
The Bulldogs opened the season with a 35-34 loss at Mississippi State in a game in which they squandered a 34-14 lead with 13:11 remaining by giving up three touchdowns in less than 10 minutes during the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Starkville, Mississippi, USA;  Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers (2) runs the ball against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Will Rogers helps Mississippi St. escape La. Tech

Will Rogers went 39-of-47 passing for 370 yards and three touchdowns to lead Mississippi State to a 35-34 comeback home win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

Mississippi State trailed 34-14 in the fourth quarter, but scored three unanswered touchdowns and sweated through a 46-yard field goal attempt by Jacob Barnes with two seconds left in the game that would’ve won it for Louisiana Tech.

But Barnes didn’t connect with the kick properly and the ball fell well short of the crossbar.

After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Jo’quavious Marks and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Johnathan Calvin, Louisiana Tech scored 34 unanswered points.

Louisiana Tech cut its deficit to 14-7 on the final play of the first quarter when Austin Kendall hit Bub Means for a 72-yard touchdown pass.

Kendall tied the game at 14-14 on a 59-yard touchdown run with 11:55 left in the second quarter, then gave Louisiana Tech a 21-14 with 3:06 remaining in the second quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Smoke Harris.

After Barnes kicked a 20-yard field goal with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter, Trey Baldwin of Louisiana Tech picked off a pass from Rogers along the sideline and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to give the Louisiana Tech a 31-14 lead with 1:50 left in the third.

Barnes hit a 33-yard field goal with 13:11 to give Louisiana Tech a 34-14 lead, but Mississippi State started its comeback, cutting its deficit to 34-21 with 12:01 left on a 1-yard touchdown run by Marks.

Mississippi State then made it a 34-28 game with 7:24 left when Marks scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, capping off a 7-play, 77-yard drive.

Mississippi State then regained the lead, going up 35-34 with 3:37 remaining on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Jaden Walley.

–Field Level Media

Jul 21, 2021; Hoover, Alabama, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at Hyatt Regency Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State seeking another strong start vs. Louisiana Tech

Mississippi State sent the first shockwaves through 2020’s strange season and is looking for more of those good moments starting this weekend.

Coming off a 4-7 campaign — 3-7 in SEC play, which tied Arkansas for the worst mark in the West Division — the Bulldogs will host Louisiana Tech on Saturday to start head coach Mike Leach’s second season in Starkville, Miss.

His tenure certainly opened with a high-flying assault.

Transfer K.J. Costello and the Bulldogs passed their way to a 44-34 road victory over defending national champion LSU on Sept. 26 as the former Stanford quarterback set an SEC passing record with 623 yards to go along with five touchdowns in the stunner.

MSU soon was grounded, though, dropping seven of 10 contests before wrapping it up with a 28-26 win over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl, which was marred by a post-game brawl.

On Saturday, Leach will likely go with quarterback Will Rogers, who took over the job when Costello committed a number of turnovers and was also injured against Alabama on Oct. 31.

South Alabama transfer Chance Lovertich also is in the QB mix, but Leach gave an indication last week that he was leaning toward Rogers, a native of Brandon, Miss., two hours south of Starkville.

“If we were to play today, it would be Will,” Leach told the Clarion-Ledger. “It’s hard to tell. Difficult to say. We’ll see.”

A starter for six games, Rogers passed for 1,976 yards and 11 touchdowns with seven interceptions and became the first MSU quarterback to produce at least 30 completions in three consecutive games.

In Louisiana Tech — a Conference USA member also nicknamed the Bulldogs — Mississippi State will encounter a team coming off a 5-5 season and a 4-2 conference mark in 2020.

Head coach Skip Holtz’s squad returns 18 starters — 10 on defense, five on offense and three specialists — from last year.

On defense, linebacker Tyler Grubbs — the team’s leading tackler — started all 10 games and recorded at least nine tackles in eight of them, earning him four freshman All-American team selections.

“We don’t have the opportunity to have a rolling start with starting on the road against Mississippi State,” said Holtz, who holds a 61-41 record entering his ninth season with his Bulldogs. “We’ve got be playing at a high level early.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs quarterback Luke Anthony (9) suffers a leg injury while being sacked by TCU Horned Frogs defensive end Dylan Horton (98) during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech to battle Georgia Southern in New Orleans Bowl

A winning record and a bowl winning streak are on the line for Louisiana Tech this week.

The Bulldogs (5-4) take on Georgia Southern (7-5) in Wednesday’s New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Louisiana Tech’s six-game bowl winning streak is the longest active mark for any team in the country.

The Bulldogs’ bowl streak includes winning the 2015 New Orleans Bowl in their only previous appearance in the event.

“We were there five years ago, and our players and fans had a great experience,” coach Skip Holtz said.

This will be Georgia Southern’s fourth bowl since rising from the Football Championship Subdivision in 2014. The Eagles won postseason games in 2015 and 2018 before falling last year.

The teams will meet for the first time.

“This year has been like no other, and this bowl game is a reward for our players, staff and fans,” Georgia Southern coach Chad Lunsford said. “We look forward to playing one more game in 2020.”

Holtz goes for a milestone victory. His career record is 149-111, including 61-40 in eight seasons with the Bulldogs.

Louisiana Tech, which posted the third-best winning percentage in Conference USA’s West Division, had four games postponed or cancelled in November. After a 33-day layoff, the Bulldogs won 42-31 at North Texas and lost 52-10 at TCU in games this month.

Georgia Southern lost three of its final four games — with each setback by eight points or less. That included a 28-27 setback at Army. The Eagles also have a two-point defeat at nationally ranked Louisiana.

The Eagles tied for third place in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division. They had the league’s top rushing offense, gaining 262.5 yards per game and the second-best overall defense, allowing 333.5 yards per game.

The status of Georgia Southern quarterback Justin Tomlin could be in question because he departed the Dec. 12 regular-season finale against Appalachian State with a second-quarter injury after rushing for 76 yards in the game.

Miller Mosley, who’s considered the team’s third-string quarterback, threw for a touchdown and two interceptions after replacing Tomlin.

Shai Werts was the regular Georgia Southern quarterback for 10 games, but he missed the last two games with a shoulder injury.

Louisiana Tech has had Luke Anthony as its starting quarterback for the past eight games.

The conclusion of the regular season was also rough for Louisiana Tech with the meltdown at Texas Christian. That included a season-high 67 penalty yards.

“It was a very uncharacteristic performance, and sometimes you get into these games and think you’ll do well, but you press and you make some uncharacteristic mistakes,” Holtz said.

A Sun Belt Conference team won the New Orleans Bowl in each of the past three seasons.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) catches a pass for a touchdown against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

TCU ends season with rout of Louisiana Tech

Zach Evans ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries, including a 75-yard score on the first play of the third quarter, as TCU roared past Louisiana Tech 52-10 on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The game was not arranged until Dec. 2 and was the Horned Frogs’ only non-Big 12 Conference game. TCU was set to play SMU as its season-opener in September. but that game was first postponed and then canceled. Louisiana Tech lost four games to cancellations.

The Horned Frogs (6-4, 5-4 in Big 12 Conference) won five of their final six games and rushed for 333 yards on Saturday. Max Duggan passed for 160 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score for TCU, and Kendre Miller racked up 136 yards and two TDs on the ground in just five carries, highlighted by an 89-yard score in the waning minutes.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Louisiana Tech (5-4, 4-2 in Conference USA). Luke Anthony passed for 161 yards and a touchdown before sustaining a horrific-looking right ankle injury late in the game. He had to be carted off the field.

TCU began the game with Griffin Kell’s 22-yard field goal at the 2:18 mark of the first quarter. Duggan scored on a 5-yard run on the Horned Frogs’ ensuing possession to move the lead to 10-0.

Duggan then hit Quentin Johnston on a 76-yard touchdown pass on TCU’s next offensive play, pushing the lead to 17-0 just 27 seconds into the second quarter.

Evans added a 4-yard scoring run at the 11:56 mark of the second period, before Johnston pushed the Horned Frogs’ halftime lead to 31-0 with a 1-yard run.

Evans opened the third quarter with his 75-yard run, racing untouched down the near sideline on the half’s first snap. Then Miller extended the lead to 45-0 with a 38-yard run at the 11:19 mark of the quarter.

Louisiana Tech finally scored on Jacob Barnes’ 34-yard field goal with 5:48 to play in the third quarter.

Anthony connected with Griffin Herbert on a 13-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Derius Davis (12) catches a pass against Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Rodarius Williams (8) in the first quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

TCU, Louisiana Tech look to add one more win to resumes

TCU will host Louisiana Tech on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, in a game that wasn’t even on the schedule until Dec. 2.

Blame it on 2020. In a season of stops and starts created by the concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the two teams were determined to get in another game.

The dustup with Louisiana Tech replaces the Horned Frogs’ originally scheduled game against SMU that was first postponed and then canceled. The Bulldogs have lost three games to cancelations and another (a potential rescheduling of a game against Rice) is still in limbo.

The Horned Frogs (5-4) have won four of their past five games, including a rousing 29-22 win last Saturday at home against then-No. 15 Oklahoma State. The week’s game will be TCU’s only regular-season nonconference contest.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan had 369 yards of total offense (265 passing, 104 rushing) last Saturday as the Horned Frogs earned their third win over Oklahoma State in the past four years. TCU totaled 501 yards of offense thanks in part to two 100-yard receivers (Derius Davis, 139, and Quentin Johnston, 114) and a 100-yard rusher (Duggan, 104).

Safety Trevon Moehrig made the game-saving defensive play against Oklahoma State, nabbing a one-handed interception in the back of the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

“These guys played a lot of football last year and this year, and they trust each other,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after the victory. “When you get your guys to where they like to play with each other and have a good time, good things happen. They’ve been having a good time the last four or five weeks. At the end of the day, you’ve got to score one more. You’ve got to hold them to one less.”

Louisiana Tech (5-3) was on the field for the first time in more than a month on Dec. 3, when it outlasted North Texas 42-31 on the road.

The win, the Bulldogs’ second in a row, came on the distant heels of a 37-34 victory in double overtime over UAB on Oct. 31, with two cancelations and two postponements coming in between.

“It had been a long time since we were out on the field,” Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said after the North Texas contest. “I know our players were excited to be back out there. It has taken a lot out of us when games kept getting canceled. I was a little worried about rust, but I wasn’t worried about the team competing. We played physical, and we played hard.”

Israel Tucker was the star for the Bulldogs against North Texas, rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries.

Tucker, who was named Conference USA co-offensive player of the week for his performance, became the first Louisiana Tech runner to carry the ball 30 or more times since Lennon Creer in 2011. His 37 carries weare the fourth most in program history and the most since 2004.

TCU and Louisiana Tech are meeting for just the second time and first since the Horned Frogs defeated the Bulldogs, 31-24, in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl at San Diego.

–Field Level Media