The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will host the Massachusetts Minutemen in non-conference action Saturday night from Joe Aillet Stadium. The Minutemen were crushed 44-0 by FIU last week, and the Bulldogs came through with a 23-20 overtime road win against Rice in their previous action. These clubs last met in 2016 in a game Louisiana Tech won 56-28.
UMass Destroyed by FIU, Plummet to 1-5
The Massachusetts Minutemen enter this one hungry for a win. They were handed their worst defeat of the season last week, losing 44-0 at FIU in a clash that had the Minutemen labeled as 28 point dogs. UMass has used four different quarterbacks this season as they look for a clear #1 to surface. Michael Curtis saw a majority of the action last week and only completed 5 of 19 passes. Randall West has the best numbers, registering 362 passing yards with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio. Andrew Brito sat out last week with a concussion, and he remains questionable. The junior QB has recorded two touchdown passes against four picks.
The Minutemen will run the ball more than they pass. The rushing offense isn’t experiencing any significant success either. Bilal Ally has been one of the few bright spots, rushing for 377 yards on an average of five yards per attempt, and he should see plenty of carries this week.
UMass has four receivers with at least 100 receiving yards. They are led by Zak Simon with 183 yards which included a season-best 74 yards in week four. The UMass offense was productive in weeks three and four which included a 37-29 win against Akron of the MAC.
The Minutemen’ defense has been a glaring weakness all season. They have no answer for both the pass and run. Their rush defense ranks down at 127th and their pass defense 116. UMass is only averaging 20.5 points, ranking them 112th in the country. They are squandering an average of 46.7 points, pegging them down at 130th overall.
L.A. Tech Eyes Fifth Straight Win
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs enter this one well-rested after enjoying their bye last week. L.A. Tech has rebounded from their 45-14 loss to Texas in their season opener by winning four consecutive games including their first two conference games. They defeated FIU, followed by a 23-20 overtime road win against Rice in their latest action in a contest that had the Bulldogs as nine-point favorites. J’Mar Smith wasn’t sharp in the win against Rice, although overall he is having a solid season. The senior QB has accumulated 1318 passing yards with a 6:2 TD to INT ratio on the season.
The Bulldogs' rushing offense hasn’t been as productive as their passing game, but they still feature a threat in Justin Henderson. The junior RB rushed for 141 yards against FIU, and he is averaging a dazzling 7.3 yards per attempt for a season total of 341 rushing yards.
L.A. Tech’s greatest strength is their depth in their receiving core. They have five receivers with at least 157 receiving yards led by Adrian Hardy. The junior WR has made 17 catches in his last three games, and he has accrued 291 receiving yards. The L.A. Tech offense features the 36th ranked passing offense in the FBS, and they should feast against a weak UMass pass defense.
The Bulldogs' defense has played well for the most part. They don’t particularly stand out in any area, and they will give up yards in the air as seen in their 92nd ranked pass defense. L.A. Tech is averaging 27 points, ranking them 85th overall. They are conceding an average of 23.4 points, placing them 48th in the FBS.
The Massachusetts Minutemen are:
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are:
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS loss.