Courtesy: LA Tech Athletics
Army rushed for 414 yards and five touchdowns as the Black Knights defeated Louisiana Tech 35-16 before 31,278 fans at the Cotton Bowl in the inaugural Heart of Dallas Classic Saturday.
"I want to compliment army and what they did tonight offensively and how they executed on offense tonight," said Tech head coach Skip Holtz. "Bottom line, we got our tails kicked defensively tonight. Offensively, we are making some strides. We challenged our offense to make plays down field. They scored more points than us.
"It was a turnover free game until the fourth quarter. They were able to line up and drive the field, and we were not. I am proud of the way a couple of the guys on our team are competing. We are excited to get back into conference play next week, and I am glad I do not have to see that offense again."
The game, which started an hour late due to an hour-long lightning delay, saw Army (2-3) take their opening two possessions, marched down the field via the ground attack and grab an early 14-0 lead.
The first touchdown came on Terry Baggett's 9-yard run with 8:08 to play in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 85-yard drive that ate up 5 minutes and 4 seconds off the clock. After the Bulldogs were forced to punt on their next possession, Army once again mounted its ground attack.
With the Black Knights facing a first down and 10 on the Bulldogs 24-yard line, the second lightning delay of the game came – this one lasting 45 minutes. However, when the two teams returned, the Black Knights offense didn't show signs of the delay. Five plays after resuming play, Baggett scored his second TD of the game from 14-yards out as Army led 14-0.
Tech mounted its first real drive of the day early in the second quarter. After the Bulldogs defense forced an Army punt, Ryan Higgins turned to the air, connecting three times with Andrew Guillot, including a highlight reel catch on a 29-yard TD with 7:29 to play in the half. Guillot also snared passes for 33 yards and 18 yards on the drive.
Kyle Fisher's extra point was no good as Army led 14-6.
The Black Knights took their next possession, overcame a second down and 21 from their own 10 yard line, and methodically marched 90 yards on 14 plays to up the advantage to 21-6. Aaron Kemper covered the final three yards of the drive for a TD with 59 seconds to play in the half.
Higgins, who finished the day 20-of-36 for 320 yards and one TD, hit Jacarri Jackson for a 23-yard strike, found Hunter Lee for 11 yards and then connected with Eddie Johnson for 20 more to drive the Bulldogs inside the Army 20 yard line. Fisher hit a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half to cut the deficit to 21-9.
After Army opened the second half with a 10-play, 77-yard drive capped by Angel Santiago's one-yard plunge, the Bulldogs mounted their second scoring drive of the day. The big play was a 39-yard hookup between Higgins and Guillot as Kenneth Dixon finished the drive off with a seven-yard run through the heart of the Army defense as Tech pulled within 28-16.
The Bulldogs defense then came through with a stop, forcing an Army punt as Tech took over on its own 30-yard line. Higgins connected with DJ Banks for a 29-yard pickup down to the Army 43-yard line, but then the Black Knights defense came up with back-to-back sacks by Colin Linkul, forcing the Bulldogs to give the ball back.
Army then scored its final touchdown of the game by driving 61 yards on 12 plays as Kelvin White scored on a 1-yard run with 8:52 to play to up the advantage to 35-16.
In addition to Higgins solid performance under center, Guillot finished the game with five catches for 123 yards and one score. Dixon rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown.
Baggett led the Army ground attack with 143 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries while Trenton Turrentine added 81 yards, Santiago 77 yards and Larry Dixon 70 yards.
Daniel Cobb led Tech defensively with nine tackles while Lloyd Grogan and Shakeil Lucas each added eight tackles. Grogan recorded the Bulldogs lone sack of the game.
Tech returns to action next Saturday when it travels to face UTEP in a Conference USA match.
|AUG 30||TBA||at Oklahoma|
|SEP 6||TBA||at Louisiana-Lafayette|
|SEP 13||TBA||at North Texas|
|SEP 20||TBA||Northwestern State|
|SEP 27||TBA||at Auburn|
|OCT 25||TBA||at Southern Miss|
|NOV 1||TBA||Western Kentucky|
|NOV 8||TBA||at UAB|
|NOV 22||TBA||at Old Dominion|