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LaTech preview: slap some lipstick on that pig!

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Previewing the WAC seems like a good job for an intern. Unfortunately, we do not have an intern. Ugh. Previously: San Jose State. Today: Louisiana Tech







 Louisiana Tech

  Motto: Just Dooley it



The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are the trendy pick to surprise people in the WAC this season. But does anyone know why?



The Bulldogs certainly don't instill confidence with their outstanding offense. They are not revolutionary in their approach to special teams. Their defense is not suddenly good. No, most people are basing their sudden optimism on two things.

  1. Derek Dooley.

  2. Not sucking as much as usual last year.

Sadly, the WAC has come to this.



Five questions



Taylor Bennett. Thoughts?

If the Bulldogs were going for mediocre, semi-competent, vanilla quarterbacks with so-so arm strength and accuracy, then they hit the nail on the head. In fact, Bennett and last year's starter Zac Champion could very well be the same person, right down to the yuppy first names. But is Bennett ordinary enough?

Not yet, apparently. The Georgia Tech transfer is currently sitting at No. 2 on the depth chart to sophomore Ross Jenkins. Bennett will have to start misreading routes and throwing behind receivers pretty soon if he wants to get the job.



Are you drinking Derek Dooley's Kool-Aid?

Derek Dooley's Kool-Aid is more like a mojito of energy and positivity, and there is plenty for everyone. The head coach/athletic director/campus tour coordinator has Ruston buzzing with the anticipation of a .500 season and a berth in an obscure bowl game. Isn't college football great?

But as far as we're concerned, Dooley's shtick isn't doing it for us. We can't help but get this vibe when we hear his name:







No matter how he spins things, Louisiana Tech will always be Louisiana Tech--that is to say, they will always be mostly above average. So if Dooley has that flavor of Kool-Aid, then we'd be more than happy to drink it.





Describe the LaTech defense using only adverbs.

Disjointedly. Awfully. Tragically. Unwittingly. Openly. Unfortunately.





Will Patrick Jackson matter in three months?

LaTech's senior running back will have to matter for the Bulldogs to be successful. Though he has never rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season, he is always good for about four yards a carry, especially when Idaho is in town, and he and his fellow running backs will be the best part of the offense for the foreseeable future.

The good news is that the LaTech offensive line returns three starters from a year ago. The bad news is that both tackles are gone. Hope you like dive plays. We get the feeling that Jackson will find the going pretty tough this year, and he'll be forgotten about once backup Daniel Porter breaks a few 70-yard touchdown runs. Also, we doubt that will take three months.





What's going to happen when LaTech comes to town?

We don't usually get nervous about Louisiana Tech visiting Boise. That's kind of like the U.S. worrying about border safety with Canada. But this year might be different. Rather than the traditional Saturday kickoff, the Bulldogs will be in Boise on a Wednesday night. And the game is practically in September.

We worry that the Broncos will still be working out the kinks when LaTech comes on October 1st. We worry that Derek Dooley will look into our eyes and see straight to our souls. We worry that the Broncos may only win by four touchdowns.

And then we wake up and realize it was all just a dream. There's really nothing to worry about.



Over/Unders

+/-5, the number of times we fall asleep watching LaTech games this year

+/-0, Derek Dooley's Q rating

+/-450, rushing yards given up to Nevada

+/-11, times Taylor Bennett tries one of these, only with much less success and many more turnovers:







Jumping on the LaTech bandwagon is the new black. "They're cool! They're hip! They are geographically indifferent to their own conference!" Well, we're not buying it.



The reign of Derek Dooley might have gotten off to a good start, but let's look at the facts. In 2006, the Bulldogs finished 1-7 in the conference with losses to Idaho, NMSU, and San Jose State. In 2007, the Bulldogs were 4-4 in the WAC with wins over the same schools. There is a big difference between beating bad teams and being a good team. Basically, all LaTech did last year was win against four of the worst teams in the country, and we have a hard time placing our trust in a program that has, to this point, only proven their lack of awfulness. Beat Fresno State or Hawaii and then we can talk.



Perfect situation:

Taylor Bennett wins the starting quarterback job, the offense finds balance, the defense is allowed a "three-mississippi" head start on all pass plays, the Bulldogs win the WAC and go to the Hawaii Bowl, and Derek Dooley names himself King of Louisiana



Reality:

Taylor Bennett wins the starting quarterback job, proceeds to be not all that good, the defensive line forgets to show up for multiple games, Bulldogs somehow finish 5-3 in the WAC, media members write articles about how right they were in picking LaTech as a sleeper, Derek Dooley gives himself a promotion



Final record:

7-5 overall, 5-3 conference