Game Preview: Who will Remain Unbeaten, BYU or LA Tech?
BYU and Louisiana Tech both seek to keep their unbeaten seasons alive in a first ever matchup at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Friday. Both programs finished their second week of play with home victories over Troy and Houston Baptist respectively. The Cougars held the Trojans to seven points in their 41-point victory over the Trojans while the LA Tech Bulldogs rolled Houston Baptist by a score of 66 to 38.
Several Cougars had record breaking nights in the victory over their Sun Belt foe. Zach Wilson threw for a career high 392 passing yards before being pulled in the third quarter while wide-outs Dax Milne and Gunner Romney both passed the century mark for receiving yards. The two receivers combined for the most receiving yards in the Kalani Sitake era.
“Me and Gunner and all the other receivers and Zach all had great games,” junior wide-receiver Dax Milne said after his career night. “It felt good to be clicking like that.”
BYU has had two very different opponents in Navy and Troy in weeks one and two respectively, giving them the ability to display their offensive efforts both in the air and on the ground. “(BYU’s offense is) one heck of a challenge for our defense.” LA Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. “When you have an offense that is as multiple and can be successful on the ground as well as through the air, it makes them very difficult to stop.”
The BYU offensive line, who continue to prove their worth, will be a big part of the “challenge” for LA Tech defensive coordinator Bob Diaco on Friday afternoon. “The presence up front was felt, and that’s what we wanted,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “On offense and defense we want the big guys to lead the way.” BYU’s “big guys” have certainly led the way for the Cougars through two weeks and will continue to try and lead through four quarters against LA tech.
LA Tech quarterback Luke Anthony, who split reps with Aaron Allen in week one, saw most of the snaps in week two leading the Bulldogs to victory over HBU. Anthony passed for 314 yards including five touchdowns and one interception. The senior quarterback also rushed for one touchdown on the night. The Bulldog defense didn’t look at its best allowing the FCS program, who have lost all three games in their 2020 campaign, to score 38 points.
The Cougar defense held Troy to 181 total yards of offense – 65 percent less than Troy’s total yardage in their season opener. BYU’s secondary will need to show up in similar fashion on Friday night to slow Luke Anthony and the Bulldogs.
BYU linebacker Keenan Pili said that the key to the defense’s success is everyone’s knowledge of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and each player’s ability to stick to their role on the field.
Kickoff for this first ever matchup on the gridiron is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN 2.