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Road Warriors; LA Tech new football schedule out

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RUSTON, La -

Louisiana Tech and Conference USA announced the 2014 football schedule for the Bulldogs Monday with a challenging slate with nine opponents recording at least six wins last season.

The 2014 Conference USA alignment will feature seven teams in the East Division and six teams in the West Division. FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, UAB and Western Kentucky (WKU) comprise the East Division, while Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UTEP and UTSA make up the West Division.

Each school in the West Division will play every team in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Three schools in the East Division will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Four schools in the East Division will play five opponents in its division once for five games, while playing three cross-over opponents from the opposite division. East Division schools playing five division games were randomly selected by a computer scheduling application and two intra-division matchups in the East will not take place this season.

The 2013 schedule has 14 playing weeks, which provides for two open dates for each team.  The schedule is a one-year model, meaning that as the conference lineup changes for the 2015 season with the addition of Charlotte, opponents may change and locations of games for that season are not yet determined.

Louisiana Tech will be challenged early with four road games in the first five weeks, all against teams that were bowl bound a year ago.

The season for the Bulldogs opens on Aug. 30 when Louisiana Tech will play at Oklahoma. The game, which will mark the first time the two programs have faced each other, will mark the second consecutive year LA Tech will face an opponent from the Big 12 Conference after playing at Kansas in 2013.

An intra-state rivalry that has been dormant for a decade will be renewed on Sept. 6 when LA Tech travels to Cajun Field to play Louisiana-Lafayette. The 2014 game will be the 86th meeting in the series, which began in 1910 with a 75-0 Bulldog win in Ruston. The Bulldogs will travel to Lafayette riding a six-game win streak in the series.

Tech's second season in Conference USA play will start on Sept. 13 with a game at North Texas, a team that won nine games last year and won the Heart of Dallas Bowl with a 36-14 decision over UNLV. A win over the Mean Green would allow LA Tech to reclaim a lead in an all-time series that is currently tied, 6-6.

An old State Fair Rivalry will be renewed 71 miles to the east on Sept. 27 when Louisiana Tech hosts Northwestern State at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston. This will be the first time in 20 years the two teams have played and the Bulldogs have a 53-19-5 record over Northwestern State including a nine-game non-losing streak.

LA Tech will complete its non-conference schedule on Sept. 27 when the Bulldogs play at Jordan-Hare Stadium against an Auburn team that played in the BCS National Championship game last season.

The Bulldogs return to C-USA action on Oct. 4 as LA Tech hosts UTEP at Joe Aillet Stadium. LA Tech has claimed wins over the Miners in six of the last seven games in the series including a 38-35 win last season in El Paso. In all, Louisiana Tech has a 7-2-1 advantage in the all-time series.

After the first of two bye weeks, the Bulldogs will host a UTSA team that won seven games last season on Oct. 18 at Joe Aillet Stadium. The Roadrunners enter their fourth season as a football program this fall and have split the short series against the Bulldogs, 1-1, with each team having won on its home field.

The Rivalry in Dixie will be renewed on Oct. 25 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Miss. when the Bulldogs will face Southern Miss. LA Tech claimed the most recent installment of the Rivalry in Dixie with a 36-13 win. The longstanding rivalry, which first began in 1935, has seen four of the last six games decided by one possession.

New Conference USA member WKU will visit the Bulldogs and Joe Aillet Stadium on Nov. 1. While LA Tech has a 2-1 overall lead in the all-time series, the 2014 game will mark the first since both schools moved up to the Division I level. The last time the two teams faced was in the 1973 Division II National Championship game where an unstoppable Bulldog squad shutout the Hilltoppers, 34-0, in Sacramento, Calif. WKU was one of a handful of teams to become bowl eligible last season with an 8-4 record but did not receive an invitation to a bowl game.

Louisiana Tech will play at UAB on Nov. 8 before the team's second bye week on Nov. 15. The Bulldogs and the Blazers played each other over four consecutive seasons from 1996 to 1999 with LA Tech winning all four. The 2014 game will mark LA Tech's first return to Legion Field since 1999 when a Bulldog squad led by Tim Rattay recorded wins over No. 18 Alabama (29-28 on Sept. 18) and over UAB (41-20 on Nov. 13).

After the Nov. 15 bye week, Louisiana Tech will play at Old Dominion against squad that went 8-4 last season and will be competing as a full Football Bowl Subdivision member for the first time this fall. The game against the Monarchs will be the first time the two schools have faced each other on the gridiron. The regular season will conclude on Nov. 29 when LA Tech hosts a Rice team that won 10 games last season.

All game dates are subject to change based upon broadcast selections with the Conference USA television partners.

A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date.  Conference USA's national television partners are Fox Sports Media Group and CBS Sports Network for regular season games. The league's 10th annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, December 6 and will be televised by ESPN or ESPN 2.

 

Louisiana Tech 2014 Football Schedule
All game times are TBA. All game dates are subject to change.

Date                Opponent                                                  Location
Aug. 30             at Oklahoma (11-2)                               Norman, Okla.
Sept. 6              at Louisiana-Lafayette (9-4)                  Lafayette, La.
Sept. 13            at North Texas* (9-4)                            Denton, Texas
Sept. 20            Northwestern State (6-6)                      Ruston, La.
Sept. 27            at Auburn (12-2)                                    Auburn, Ala.
Oct. 4                UTEP* (2-10)                                          Ruston, La.
Oct. 11               BYE                                            
Oct. 18               UTSA* (7-5)                                          Ruston, La.
Oct. 25              at Southern Miss* (1-11)                     Hattiesburg, Miss.
Nov. 1               Western Kentucky* (8-4)                       Ruston, La.
Nov. 8               at UAB* (2-10)                                     Birmingham, Ala.
Nov. 15             BYE                                      

Nov. 22             at Old Dominion* (8-4)                           Norfolk, Va.

Nov. 29             Rice* (10-4)                                           Ruston, La.
Dec. 6               C-USA Championship Game                         TBA

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