Louisiana Tech (@11.0) vs Texas (@1.04)

Our Prediction:

Texas will win

Louisiana Tech – Texas Match Prediction | 20-08-2019

S&P+ in 2016), then one hole gets filled and is replaced by another (56th on defense and 111th on offense in 2018). And for all the upside, there are also duds a narrow win over hapless UTEP and a 15-point loss to 3-9 WKU last year, for instance. They finished 45th in S&P+ in 2015 but slipped to 60th in 2016, then 93rd and 94th. S&P+ and 112th in Def. After winning nine games each year from 2014-16 and serving as official C-USA bridesmaid, the Bulldogs slipped to seven in 2017 and eight last year. The offense dominates and the defense craters (16th in Off.

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One other problem: red zone stalls. Tech ranked 97th in points per scoring opportunity (first downs inside the opponents 40), 100th in inside-the-10 success rate, and 87th in goal line success rate. WKU scored 28 in five. These failures were of direct importance in the loss to WKU the Bulldogs created two more scoring opportunities than the Hilltoppers but scored just 13 points in seven chances.

Appalachian State

They have run 333 plays this year for 2,044 yards, which ranks them 9th in Division 1 in total offense. Mason Fine has passed for 1,328 yards this year. As a team they have accumulated a total of 109 1st downs this season, ranking them 10th overall as an offensive unit. He averages 9.2 adjusted yards per throw and 8.2 yards per pass attempt. The North Texas Mean Green average 6.1 yards per play, which is 54th in the nation. On the ground North Texas has run for 663 yards as a unit, which ranks 71st in college football. North Texas has been penalized on offense 23 times for 248 yards so far this year, which has them 71st in the country in penalties. The Mean Green are 10th in the country in points scored with 195. They've run 160 times, averaging 4.1 yards per rush as a unit. He's completed 105 throws while attempting 162 passes for a completion percentage of 64.8%. His quarterback rating this season is 152.8.

The potential remains obvious, though. Hardy blossomed as a sophomore, with four games of at least nine catches (he had 10 for 181 and two scores against LSU), and Bonnette had 19 for 272 yards in the first four games but missed the second half of the season with an ankle injury. Plus, a lot of Techs most-touted recent recruits are in the skill corps: juniors Hardy and Alfred Smith, redshirt freshmen Smoke Harris and Tahj Magee, etc.

In turn, La. The Fighting Irish finished the year second in points allowed per game (12.8) and went to the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Kelly took Diaco with him when he moved to Notre Dame. 27 in total defense, allowing 23.0 points, 191.6 passing yards, and 149.7 rushing yards per game. The programs defensive success did not go unnoticed. Cincinnati finished the season ranking 44th in points allowed per game (23.1) and 23rd in sacks (37.0). Tech hired Bob Diaco to fill the spot. For example, the Miami Hurricanes were impressed enough to snatch defensive coordinator Blake Baker away. Diaco was the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2009 under head coach Brian Kelly. The Bulldogs ranked No. Diaco had since receded into obscurity.

And the way it happens, with high-level athleticism and giant chips on shoulders, feels natural. When Louisiana Tech looks good, Louisiana Tech looks great. Watch the Bulldogs beat nine-win North Texas, trail LSU by three points midway through the fourth quarter, and pummel Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl, as they did in 2018, and you view them as the program with the highest upside in Conference USA.

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Texas starting QB Sam Ehlinger may be good enough to led the Longhorns to the straight-up win. As are running backs Jaqwis Dancy and Israel Tucker (who combined for 1,044 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 219 carries). But, as far as covering the spread goes well, to quote Terry Bradshaw, he aint that good. All things considered, I would say theres a bridging of the gap between the two programs. Including cornerback Amik Robertson (four interceptions and 12 passes defended), LJarius Sneed (three picks, broke up eight passes), linebacker Collin Scott (87 tackles), and safety James Jackson (74). Unlike Texas, La. There is, mind you, still a chasm in between, but it may not be, you know, 21-point wide. And on offense, quarterback JMar Smith is also returning. And wide receiver Adrian Hardy (75 receptions for 1,145 yards and six TDs). Techs defense is returning several 2018 standouts.

And it currently does not appear to be very deep either. What was left was one of the worst Texas defenses in recent memory. The Longhorns lost eight defensive starters who had previously combined for 233 starts and 366 games. Texas defense was nowhere near as good as that of Louisiana Techs. By way of comparison, the 2015 Longhorns defense lost 200 combined starts. Quandre Diggs, Cedric Reed, Mykkele Thompson, Steve Edmond, Malcom Brown and Jordan Hicks all exited stage left. Lowlights included 452.6 total yards and 219.2 rushing yards allowed per game, and 30.3 points allowed per game.

Mahomes is at the top of the nation in passing and total offense. He has thrown for more than200 yards in the first half in each of hisfirst two games. Kliff Kingsbury said the blocking has also improved, so the Red Raiders will look to get into the end zone on big plays coming off of screens and viathe run game. So, like always, look for him to put up the stats quick.