After surrendering 248 yards rushing to Texas State Saturday, stopping the run does not get easier for the Cougars. Louisiana Tech is the Cougars’ next opponent.
Leading Louisiana Tech’s run game is Hunter Lee, who was named to the Doak Walker Award watchlist in the pre-season. Lee finished the 2011 season with 650 yards and five touchdowns.
Also returning is senior running back Ray Holley, who was a part of the two-headed attack that rushed for 233 yards on the ground against UH last season. The Bulldogs put a premium on the ground game by rushing more than twice as much as they passed in that contest. Louisiana Tech had 66 rushes, compared to 32 pass attempts.
For Louisiana Tech, Saturday is their first game of the season. A match-up with Texas A&M was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac.
Holley said not playing a game last week gives Louisiana Tech an advantage.
“It was a great opportunity for us, really. We got to see how the first week games were being played and we got to see how teams were coming out and how they prepared for their games and it gave us a chance to really see that we have to focus this week. We’ve got our first week coming up and the first week is never an easy one.”
In concert with a veteran rushing attack, the Bulldogs are attempting to obtain balance in the passing game. Louisiana Tech returned redshirt senior starter Colby Cameron who helped lead a turnaround in the second half of last season. Louisiana Tech began the year 1-4, but finished the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
Levine said containing Cameron and Louisiana Tech’s passing game is a priority.
“Their quarterback does a great job, and he’s not the one we played against last season. They made the switch at quarterback and won seven straight. He gets the ball out quickly, he’s efficient and it’s going to be a challenge to play against him.”
A loss can bring a team together and senior linebacker Everett Daniels said the team has bonded after the loss.
“Since practice yesterday, we have gotten closer as a team. It’s us against the world; that’s how we put it.”
Senior safety Chris Cermin said the Cougars are putting last week behind them.
“You have to learn and burn. You watch the film and see your mistakes, correct them and then you get back at it; that’s the good thing about football.”