It was a weird one on Saturday night in Ruston.
Tech started out the game hot, driving down the field at will against the Jags’ defense. In the first quarter, it looked like the Dogs were outclassing USA on all sides of the ball. The Jags jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a fumble and two gashing big plays, but outside of that, it was all Tech.
Then, somehow, inexplicably, the offense dried up. Tech’s first few drives were sustained efforts that either led to points or a fumble in the red zone. After that, though, the Dogs put up five straight scoreless drives (four punts and a missed field goal). It was frustrating because it didn’t seem like USA was doing much right, but Tech just couldn’t get going.
In the end, though, Tech finished strong when it mattered. After USA pulled within one, the Dogs doubled their score and didn’t allow any more points from the other side. This game was, at best, a head-scratching win that stayed too close for too long. At worst, it may be a harbinger of the mediocrity still yet to come against conference opponents that look slightly better than expected (s/o North Texas’s top ten offense and UTSA’s undefeated record).
Player of the game
Josh: J’Mar Smith easily. He made all of the throws needed of him, along with some great ones, and played with very few mistakes.
Daniel S: Cooper two clutch interceptions with one being on the goalline to stop a touchdown is a monster game.
Nathan: Secdrick Cooper proved that there is more to Tech’s secondary than Amik Robertson.
Evan: The ice cream cone, who finally won the race against the Blizzard in 2017.
Josh: Tech did go and did not die, although we looked like a corpse for the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Daniel S: The beginning and end of the game were solid. However in quarters 2 and 3 Tech seemed to be doing everything they can to not go and also die.
Nathan: Both teams tried to die in the middle quarters, but South Alabama just wanted to die more.
gtpdd hot takes
Josh: We sort of fixed the passing game, but now the running game is a travesty!!
Daniel S: When Skip lets J’Mar use his dual threat talent, it works well.
Nathan: Tech went 2 for 11 on third down. That’s less of a take taek and more of a statement of fact.
Evan: The announcers were SO BAD yet again. USA’s QB makes a bad throw behind a receiver? “Oh, the quarterback play has really picked up here in the last few drives.” Boston Scott scores a touchdown? “Boston Scott has been doing a great job of putting it in there and pulling it out.”
Taek of the game
Moment of the game
Josh: I have two. 1) Jonathan “MONEY” Barnes setting the all-time FG record, and 2) Adrian Hardy’s TD in the 3rd that started to break USA’s defense
Daniel S: Cooper’s goal line interception to stop a touchdown.
Nathan: Cooper’s goal line interception as well. But because although it was a good thing (an INT), him going out of bounds at the one yard line was a very Tech thing to do.
Evan: The defense got us out of a real jam in the third quarter. USA had two drives that started at the 50 yard line or better, and the defense forced two three and outs to keep us ahead in the game. Great job