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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2023 Football Preview

While Louisiana Tech’s offense likely won’t be as explosive as the Tim Rattay/Troy Edwards group that nearly torched Memorial Stadium 25 years ago, Nebraska’s best strategy might be to play keep away, pounding a defense that gave up 6+ yds/carry in 22.

Louisiana Tech v Clemson Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Well, check it out... another 3-9 non-conference opponent for Nebraska. Louisiana Tech has had back-to-back nine-loss seasons under second year head coach Sonny Cumbie, perhaps best known around here as Texas Tech’s quarterback in 2004. In that infamous 70-10 disaster for Nebraska, Cumbie completed 44 of 56 passes for 436 yards and half of the Red Raiders’ ten touchdowns that sad evening.

Last season, Louisiana Tech went through quarterback injuries, and like Northern Illinois, had to depend on a walk-on quarterback to finish the season. For 2023, Cumbie added Boise State transfer Hank Bachmeier (6’1” 210 lbs.) to take over. Over four seasons, Bachmeier started 29 games with the Broncos, completing 62% of his passes for 6,605 yards and 41 touchdowns with 19 interceptions. “Hurricane Hank” might be a great fit for Cumbie’s “Air Raid” attack. However, depth behind Bachmeier is limited to that walk-on, junior Jack Turner (6’5” 213 lbs.) who completed 55% of his passes in his career for 176 yards and a touchdown.

At the receiving end of those passes will be senior Smoke Harris (5’7” 188 lbs.) and sophomore Cyrus Allen (6’0” 177 lbs.). Harris caught 66 passes last season for 640 yards and five touchdowns; Allen caught 22 passes for 500 yards and four touchdowns. Louisiana Tech lost their top receiver Tre Harris to Oklahoma via the transfer portal but added former Husker Decoldest Crawford (6’0” 180 lbs.), who missed last season due to injury. You no doubt remember Crawford for his commercial for an Omaha air conditioning company last fall.

Louisiana Tech doesn’t HAVE to throw the ball; they have a pretty good running back room led by sophomore Marquis Crosby (5’10” 201 lbs.) who earned third-team All-CUSA honors by rushing for 918 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Junior Charvis Thornton (5’10” 206 lbs.) rushed for 464 yards and three touchdowns, including a 132 yard effort filling in for Crosby in the season finale. Also added to the mix is Miami-Ohio transfer Tyre Shelton (5’11” 182 lbs.), who has 1,153 career yards and seven touchdowns.

The Bulldogs have three returning starters on the offensive line and get senior center Abraham Delfin (6’1” 312 lbs.) back after missing nearly all of 2022 with an injury. Junior left guard Bert Hale (6’5” 320 lbs.) filled in for Delfin the second half of last season, earning honorable mention All-CUSA honors along side sophomore right tackle Carson Bruno (6’4” 307 lbs.) who also was honorable mention. Junior left tackle Dakota White (6’4” 313 lbs.) also returns, giving Louisiana Tech a solid foundation in the second year with the Air Raid.

The defense will be in a definite rebuilding mode in 2023 after being the fourth worst defense in scoring defense (37.9 pts./game) last season and sixth worst in total defense (468.8 yds./game). Senior defensive tackle Deshon Hall (6’3” 280 lbs.) is the most experienced Bulldog on defense as a three-year starter; last season he had 29 tackles, four for a loss. Junior defensive end Mykol Clark (6’4” 266 lbs.) has 17 career starts over the last two seasons with 64 career tackles. Considering they lost their best defensive lineman (Kelvie Rose, first team All-CUSA who transferred to Arkansas) from a defense that allowed 6.1 yards per carry, expect Louisiana Tech to be vulnerable to a pounding ground game.

At linebacker, only senior weakside linebacker Hugh Davis (6’0” 225 lbs.) returns. His 76 tackles led the Bulldogs in 2022. Stephen F. Austin transfer Brevin Randle (5’11” 227 lbs.) had 161 career tackles at SFA. Yep, another reason to run the dang ball.

Senior cornerback Willie Roberts (5’11” 190 lbs.) should be LT’s best defensive player this season; Roberts earned honorable mention All-CUSA honors with 29 tackles, seven pass breakups and four interceptions in 2022. Senior safety Cecil SIngleton (6’2” 207 lbs.) had 56 tackles and four quarterback hurries last seasons. Junior cornerback Cedric Woods (5’11” 184 lbs.) missed nearly the entire 2022 season due to injury, but had 61 career tackles as a fulltime starter in 2020 and 2021.

Nebraska’s game plan for Louisiana Tech would seem to be pretty straightforward: run the ball and keep a potentially explosive Bulldog offense off the field. While Hank Bachmeier and Smoke Harris probably won’t be confused with Tim Rattay and Troy Edwards, there’s little point in enabling the 56-27 shootout from 25 years ago. Especially with the Michigan Wolverines coming to visit the next week.


What happens with Louisiana Tech visits Lincoln yet again?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Troy Edwards is avenged as the Bulldogs pull off the upset
    (11 votes)
  • 29%
    Hank Bachmeier makes Husker fans sweat like Tim Rattay did 25 years ago, but the Huskers get the win
    (57 votes)
  • 65%
    It’s over early so the Huskers can start focusing on the Weasels the following week.
    (127 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now