Louisiana Tech athletic director Eric Wood gets some advice from Curt Joiner during Tuesday's Bulldog Blitz at Shreveport's Cantina Laredo.

Reports: La. Tech LB suspended for stepping on opponent’s head

Louisiana Tech has suspended linebacker Brevin Randle indefinitely a day after cameras caught him stepping on an opponent’s head during the Bulldogs’ game against UTEP, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

According to reports, Louisiana Tech athletic director Eric Wood announced the suspension through a statement, which in part read:

“In speaking with Brevin, he acknowledges that his action was wrong and understands the consequence of that action. Our University, athletic department, and football program believe in culture, class, and competitive excellence and in no way was that displayed in that moment.”

At the end of a run by UTEP quarterback Jake McNamara, Miners lineman Steven Hubbard appears to drive Randle into the ground (Hubbard was blocking Randle on the play) while other players scrambled for the ball after McNamara fumbled. Randle then rolls over on top of Hubbard and gives him a shove as leverage as Randle gets off the ground, then stomps on the side of Hubbard’s helmet/neck area with his right foot before walking away.

No penalty was called on the play, but after the game — a 24-10 Louisiana Tech win — UTEP coach Dana Dimel did say that officials acknowledged the missed call.

“The referee, who I really admire, came over at halftime and very gentlemanly said that he missed it,” Dimel told reporters. “That’s part of the game. (The official) was a class act, I really appreciated that.”

Randle, a redshirt senior who transferred to Louisiana Tech after four seasons at Stephen F. Austin, has 46 tackles (23 solo, 23 assisted) with two sacks and three tackles for loss this season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Billy Kemp IV (1) runs against Louisiana Tech Bulldogs defensive back Cecil Singleton Jr. (2) and defensive back Willie Roberts (1) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Heinrich Haarberg, Nebraska run over Louisiana Tech

Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg ran for 157 yards and a touchdown and Nebraska held a fourth straight opponent under 100 rushing yards in a 28-14 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb.

Haarberg, a sophomore making his second career start, had the most rushing yards by a Nebraska QB since Taylor Martinez ran for 205 in a game in 2012. He added 107 passing yards and a TD through the air.

The Cornhuskers (2-2) won back-to-back home games for the first time in two years by controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides. They ran for 312 yards, their third consecutive 200-plus-yard rushing performance, and held the Bulldogs (2-3) to 46 yards on the ground.

After the teams went into halftime tied, Nebraska ran the ball on nine straight plays to open the third quarter and take the lead. Five of those carries were by Grant, who gained 34 on third-and-3 and 19 on fourth-and-1 before scoring from 2 yards out.

It was the sixth career 100-yard game for Grant, who finished with 135 yards on 22 carries.

The Cornhuskers made it 21-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 29-yard TD catch by Thomas Fidone II. Haarberg then broke off a 72-yard TD run with 11:13 left.

Louisiana Tech got 292 passing yards from Jack Turner, who completed 27 of 42 passes and threw a 20-yard TD toss to Cyrus Allen with 5:17 to go. Allen gained 102 yards on six receptions.

Nebraska used trickery to set up its first touchdown, with backup punter Timmy Bleekrode running for 10 yards on a fake field goal. That setup a 9-yard TD run by Billy Kemp IV early in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs immediately responded, tying it at 7 midway through the second on a 14-yard TD run by Jacob Fields.

Louisiana Tech heads to UTEP on Friday for a Conference USA game, while Nebraska hosts No. 2 Michigan on Sept. 30.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Jeff Sims (7) warms up before the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska coping with ‘heartbreaking’ injuries, preps for La Tech

Nebraska carries the momentum of its first win this season when it hosts Louisiana Tech in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers also carry the pain.

The Cornhuskers (1-2) beat Northern Illinois 35-11 last week in their home opener, the first victory under new coach Matt Rhule and the first at Memorial Stadium in nearly a year. But two of Nebraska’s top three running backs suffered season-ending injuries — junior Rahmir Johnson (shoulder) and sophomore Gabe Ervin Jr. (hip).

“It’s heartbreaking,” Rhule said.

Ervin was leading the team in rushing with 196 yards; Johnson had 65 yards on 12 carries.

Nebraska might see the return of starter Jeff Sims, who will practice this week and could play Saturday. Heinrich Haarberg started this past game, throwing for 158 yards and two TDs and rushing for 98 yards and a score.

Louisiana Tech (2-2) is coming off a 40-37 home loss to North Texas in which it rallied from 17 points down in the final 10 minutes, only to lose on a last-seconds field goal.

“We have to turn the page quickly,” Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie said. “That is our challenge as coaches is how do we handle this week and how are we going to get better.”

The Bulldogs are led by former Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who has thrown for 756 yards and five TDs this season, though Jack Turner threw the game-tying TD pass to Smoke Harris against North Texas. Harris has 24 catches for 288 yards and three TDs in 2023.

A Nebraska win would give the team consecutive home victories for the first time since September 2021.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2022; El Paso, Texas, USA; Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier (19) against the UTEP Miners defense in the first half at Sun Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Boise St. QB Hank Bachmeier transferring to La. Tech

After starting at quarterback for four years at Boise State, Hank Bachmeier is transferring to Louisiana Tech, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Bachmeier appeared in just four games in 2022, leaving the team ahead of the Broncos’ game against San Diego State on Sept. 30. Due to his shortened season, Bachmeier will have two full years of eligibility remaining.

The Bulldogs feature a pass-oriented offense under coach Sonny Cumbie, something that led Bachmeier to Louisiana Tech.

“I wanted to play in the Air Raid and in a pass-friendly offense,” Bachmeier told ESPN. “I think Coach Cumbie and his track record are a great fit. It’s an offense that any quarterback would want to play in.”

In 29 career games at Boise State, Bachmeier completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 6,605 yards and 41 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. He threw just 94 passes during the 2022 season, completing 51 for 497 yards, six TDs and three interceptions.

Bachmeier will enroll in the spring and be in the running for the 2023 starting job for the Bulldogs, who went 3-9 last season with a 2-6 mark in Conference USA play.

–Field Level Media

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) during the first day of fall football practice at the Allen Reeves Complex in Clemson Friday, August 5, 2022.

Clemson Football First Day Fall Practice

Clemson DT Bryan Bresee to miss game after sister’s death

Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee won’t play Saturday for No. 5 Clemson against Louisiana Tech as he remains away from the team following the death of his sister.

Ella Bresee, 15, passed away Thursday, 17 months after being diagnosed with brain cancer. The Tigers played in her honor against Furman last Saturday, wearing “Ella Strong” T-shirts.

The Bresee family traveled from their home in Maryland to Clemson for the game, but Ella had a medical emergency and was hospitalized, missing the game.

Bresee, 20, left the team to be with his family after the Tigers’ 35-12 win.

“Never did I think I would be sitting here today saying bye to you,” Bresee shared in a message announcing his sister’s death on social media. “I want to thank you for bringing happiness to not only me but so many people. You are the best sister a brother could ask for and I know for a fact heaven has gained a beautiful angel today.”

A celebration of Ella’s life is scheduled for Tuesday in Gaithersburg, Md.

–Field Level Media

Sep 1, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) runs the ball against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Luther Burden III, Missouri run all over Louisiana Tech

Freshman Luther Burden III scored two touchdowns as host Missouri defeated Louisiana Tech 52-24 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday in Columbia, Mo.

Burden, one of the top-rated wide receiver recruits in the country, caught a 5-yard touchdown pass and ran 1 yard for another score for the Tigers, who were 6-7 a year ago.

Brady Cook, who won a four-man battle to be the starting quarterback in preseason camp, made his second career start and completed 18 of 27 for 196 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Louisiana Tech’s Matthew Downing, a transfer from TCU, completed 19 of 34 for 184 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions before being replaced. The Bulldogs, 3-9 a year ago, were playing their first game under former Texas Tech interim head coach Sonny Cumbie.

Missouri rushed for 328 yards and five Tigers had rushing touchdowns. Louisiana Tech ran for 11 yards.

Burden’s rushing touchdown started the second-half scoring midway through the third quarter and increased Missouri’s lead to 31-10.

Cook ran 20 yards for a touchdown on third-and-10 to increase the lead to 38-10 at the end of the third quarter.

Bulldogs quarterback Parker McNeil, who finished 7 of 11 for 142 yards and two touchdowns, replaced Downing and threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Cyrus Allen to pull the Bulldogs within 38-17 with 13:52 remaining.

Nathaniel Peat’s 34-yard touchdown run and B.J. Harris’ 2-yard TD carry completed the scoring for the Tigers.

McNeil and Allen teamed on a 37-yard touchdown pass for the final points with 50 seconds remaining.

Jacob Barnes’ 33-yard field goal gave Louisiana Tech a 3-0 lead the end of the first quarter.

Cody Schrader ran 5 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter, and 31 seconds later Joseph Charleston returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown to give Missouri a 14-3 lead.

Cook threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Burden before Downing answered with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Griffin Hebert to pull the Bulldogs within 21-10.

Harrison Mevis’ 31-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the second quarter increased the Tigers’ lead to 24-10 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs head coach Skip Holtz talks to his players during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech parts ways with coach Skip Holtz

Skip Holtz will coach his final game for Louisiana Tech in Saturday’s season finale at Rice.

The school announced Friday it is parting ways with Holtz after nine seasons, seven bowl appearances (6-1 record) and a 64-49 overall record.

The Bulldogs are 3-8 this season, 2-5 in Conference USA.

“Skip and I talked and agreed it was time for a change for both parties,” athletic director Eric Wood said in a news release. “Louisiana Tech owes Skip a debt of gratitude for his loyalty and dedication to our football student-athletes, our University, and our community over the past decade.

“He has been able to accomplish some things that weren’t previously done here on a consistent basis prior to his arrival. We continue to be committed to winning conference championships, and that expectation is stronger than ever.”

Hired in December 2012, Holtz guided Louisiana Tech to two appearances in the C-USA championship game (2014, 2016). The Bulldogs went 10-3 in 2019 and posted three straight nine-win seasons from 2014-16. He was named the league’s Coach of the Year in 2016.

Holtz, 57, was 38-27 at East Carolina (2005-09) and 16-21 at South Florida (2010-12) before taking over the program in Ruston, La.

“This is the right time for me to evaluate a new start in my career,” Holtz said. “I’ve had the privilege of mentoring young people and building football programs for more than 30 years, including the last nine as head coach of Louisiana Tech. The past two seasons have brought additional challenges to our program, and I simply think it is time for someone else to have the chance to lead this special group of young men.

“I am not done coaching football and have great passion and energy to continue to lead young men through this game that I love so much. It is just time for me to channel my energies elsewhere.”

Wood said the school will name an interim head coach and begin a national search for a new head coach.

Holtz is the son of former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz.

–Field Level Media

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