November 1, 2010

Breaking down the teams: the Fresno game

LOUISIANA TECH VS. FRESNO STATE MATCHUP BREAKDOWN
LOUISIANA TECH PASS OFFENSE VS. FRESNO STATE PASS DEFENSE
EDGE:

Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech proved last week that they could pass on just about anyone after moving the ball up and down the field on one of the nation's best defenses in Boise State. This week, the challenge is should be a little easier. This season, Fresno State is 34th in pass defense and 20th in pass efficiency defense.

Even without the services of Tim Molton and now Ahmad Paige it appears Tech still has the advantage when it comes to passing on the western bulldogs. The Louisiana Tech wide receiving corps is still loaded with talent, just young and inexperienced talent. Phillip Livas seems to be settling into this offense after two weeks in a row he had long touchdown catches.
LOUISIANA TECH RUN OFFENSE VS. FRESNO STATE RUN DEFENSE
EDGE:

Louisiana Tech
Much like the pass offense for Louisiana Tech, the rush offense for Tech was able to have their way mostly against Boise State, except in the red zone. Lennon Creer is running the ball right now as well as anyone in the country and is getting some love from the Doak Walker award committee.

Speaking of Creer, over the last 3 games, he has rushed 76 times for 448 yards for an average of 5.89 yards per carry. Against Boise, he had more yards than all the other Doak Walker award watch list participants combined. Behind Creer, Tech has talent at running back too. Senior Myke Compton and junior Ray Holley have had their fair share of good moments this year as well.
LOUISIANA TECH OFFENSIVE LINE VS. FRESNO STATE DEFENSIVE LINE
EDGE:

Fresno State
Although Louisiana Tech's offensive line has played well so far this season, it cannot be overlooked that Fresno State ranks 3rd in the country in sacks. Also, with the loss of senior offensive tackle Cudahy Harmon it is unknown how either Kris Cavitt or Jordan Mills will play in his absence. Harmon is out for the year. He is rumored to have torn both his ACL and MCL in the Boise State game.

The Fresno State defense is predicated upon getting to the passer and that all starts up front. Defensive end Chris Carter and defensive tackle Logan Harrell are particularly good at getting after the quarterback. Carter ranks first in the nation in sacks while Harrell ranks 6th. Look for the Fresno defensive line to try and do some damage.
LOUISIANA TECH RUN DEFENSE VS. FRESNO STATE RUN OFFENSE
EDGE:

Louisiana Tech
When looking purely at the statistical rankings of either team, it appears glaringly obvious that Tech should struggle immensely against the run as they give up on average about 150 yards per game on the ground. But, against Utah State Tech really stymied the run. The Tech defense plays much differently at home than on the road.

Fresno State does like to play a power game, but given Tech's ability to play at home well and how they match up with Fresno Tech gets the nod here.
LOUISIANA TECH PASS DEFENSE VS. FRESNO STATE PASS OFFENSE
EDGE:

Fresno State
Until Louisiana Tech stops a team with a true quarterback (no disrespect to Borel from Utah State) it is hard to give them the advantage when it comes to stopping a passing attack. The Tech secondary is really a tale of the two different positions, corner back and safety. Tech safeties, Chad Boyd, CJ Broades and Javontay Crowe have been burned often by quarterbacks attacking the middle of the field. Last week against Boise, the Broncos tight end, Tyler Shoemaker, went off for 6 catches for 124 yards against Tech.

The corner backs for Tech on the other hand are having good years. Seniors Josh Victorian and Olajwan Paige are particularly having good years. The backups for Tech at corner are quality as well. Junior college transfers Ryan Williams and Dave Clark both are SEC talented athletes that will likely be pushed into the starting roles next season.
LOUISIANA TECH DEFENSIVE LINE VS. FRESNO STATE OFFENSIVE LINE
EDGE:

Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech has been surprisingly good at defensive line this season. After losing D'Anthony Smith after last season to the NFL draft most thought it would be a serious rebuilding year for the bulldogs. However, with the continued progression of junior defensive end Matt Broha and the play of redshirt freshman IK Enemkpali the defensive line has been a pleasant surprise.

After an injury to defensive end Randy Grigsby against Texas A&M Tech fans thought it might be an even longer year than originally thought at defensive line but Enemkpali stepped right in and excelled. Now, defensive line coach Stan Eggen has moved Grigsby inside to tackle where the bulldogs are the most thin. Mason Hitt is a consistent threat in the middle of the defensive line as well for Tech. Fresno State ranks 88th in the country in sacks allowed. Look for the Tech defensive line to get consistent pressure on Fresno's backfield.
LOUISIANA TECH SPECIAL TEAMS VS. FRESNO STATE SPECIAL TEAMS
EDGE:

Louisiana Tech
Fresno State has pretty impressive national rankings in the special teams department, but Tech excels where Fresno excels in special teams. Fresno ranks 21st in punt returns and 47 in kickoff returns. Tech's coverage teams have been good this season. Last week against Boise, kicker Matt Nelson was blocked on a kickoff and got a concussion on the play. He missed his next extra point and it could probably be attributed to the concussion. He has been cleared by the doctors to play this week.

Punter Ryan Allen struggled a bit against Boise while be closer to his home in Salem, Or. but look for Allen to get back on track as he punts consistently at home. Allen's ability to have good hang time on punts could really stop Fresno's punt return game in its tracks.





 

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