The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs come to Lincoln to take on Matt Rhule and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Second-year Head Coach Sonny Crumbie leads the Bulldogs into Memorial Stadium for their fifth game of the season.
Here’s a preview of the Louisiana Tech matchup.
Know The Foe: Nebraska vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
What Was 2022 Like
The Bulldogs had a rough 2022 season, finishing 3-9 in Coach Crumbie’s first year in Ruston. Their only wins came against Stephen F. Austin 52-17, UTEP 41-31 and Middle Tennessee 40-24 finishing 2-6 in CUSA play.
Louisiana Tech’s were led by senior quarterback Parker McNeil who threw for 1900 yards, 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. McNeil appeared in eight games, which includes all three wins last season. Sophomore Tre Harris led the team in receiving with 935 yards on 65 catches and 10 touchdowns. The success of Harris in 2022 allowed him to transfer over to Ole Miss.
2023 So Far
The Bulldogs have started their 2023 season 2-2 with wins over FIU in Week 0 and Northwestern State in Week 2. Louisiana Tech comes to Lincoln off of a 37-40 loss to the North Texas Mean Green last week.
The Bulldogs’ trip to Lincoln will be the largest stadium and loudest crowd a lot of the players will ever experience in their college careers. Coach Crumbie has already said that Nebraska has the biggest defense that they have gone against this season and poses a great challenge for the LA Tech offense.
What Does LA Tech Pose for Nebraska
The Bulldogs have a big play-centered offense led by senior quarterback Hank Bachmeier and senior receiver Smoke Harris. Bachmeier has thrown for 756 yards on 70/106 passes, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Harris has by far been Bachmeier’s favorite target with 24 catches for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns. The offense has been averaging over 400 yards a game and should be a good challenge for the Blackshirts heading into Michigan next week.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are allowing almost 400 yards a game through their first four games. Senior defensive back Myles Heard leads the team in tackles with 44 on the season. Senior defensive lineman Deshon Hall Jr. leads the defense in sacks with 2 on the year.
LA Tech’s defense is a bit worse statistically compared to Northern Illinois, which could be a good sign for the Nebraska offense.
What Does Nebraska Need To Do
Nebraska has a tough decision at hand. If healthy, do you start Jeff Sims or Heinrich Haarberg? Coach Rhule announced Thursday at his press conference that Sims has been practicing this week but isn’t 100%. Regardless of who starts, Nebraska needs to get the offense going as they did last week. Not only running the ball but getting the passing game going will go a long way in preparing for Michigan next week.
Defensively, Nebraska needs to continue doing what they have been doing in the past few weeks. LA Tech brings an offense that is better statistically than Northern Illinois. The defense will need to slow down their pass game and keep the ball away from Harris. The Blackshirts need to keep the Bulldog offense in front of them.
Getting pressure will be something Nebraska will continue doing this week. Bachmeier has been sacked 11 times this season and the Huskers have done a great job at doing that this season.
If Nebraska does anything like they did last week, this game will go well for them.
History Between the Two
Saturday’s matchup will be the third time Nebraska has faced off with LA Tech. The last time they played was in 2006 when the Bill Callahan-led Huskers defeated the Bulldogs 49-10 in Lincoln. The first time LA Tech and Nebraska faced off was in 1998 when Nebraska won 56-27 in Lincoln.
Nebraska has a lot going for them in this game as it will be important for them to figure things out with No. 2 Michigan being in town next week. Another win on Saturday will help continue the Huskers’ improvement in year one of the Matt Rhule era.
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