Southern travels to Ruston to open season vs La Tech
RUSTON, La. - Saturday looks to be a weekend of firsts for Louisiana Tech’s football team. It will be the first game in the newly-expanded Joe Aillet Stadium, the first time Jeff Driskel and several other newcomers dress for the Bulldogs and it will mark the first time LA Tech will face in-state foe Southern on the gridiron.
And with tickets selling at a breakneck speed, a full house is expected to watch it all unfold on the new playing surface at Joe Aillet Stadium.
In the likely event of no tickets being available to fans, the game will be televised by the American Sports Network (ASN) with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Michael Young (analyst) calling the action.
Additionally, the LA Tech Sports Network will broadcast all of the Bulldogs games this fall across the state of Louisiana through eight radio stations carrying the action while the radio broadcast will be simulcast on LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com with Dave Nitz (play-by-play), Teddy Allen (color) and Malcolm Butler calling the game.
New is also prevalent on the sideline for the Bulldogs with a new defensive coordinator (Blake Baker) and three new assistant coaches (Robert McFarland, Rick Petri and Karl Scott).
But for the Bulldogs, the focus is not on the glitz and glamour of the new but to improve upon the old. Particularly the old record of 9-5 a year ago with three losses decided by three points, something the team has focused on improving this season.
That desire to improve comes as Louisiana Tech looks to defend its Conference USA West Division title. This year, LA Tech must attempt to win the title as the preseason favorite.
In Southern, the Bulldogs face a team that has been in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game the last few years. A team with a fan base that travels far and wide to see their school play, nobody knows that fact better than Tech running backs coach Jabbar Juluke who led Southern to a Black College National Championship as a player for the Jaguars in 1993.
“I am excited.” Juluke said of facing his alma mater. “I have a lot of friends who I played ball with, students and females I went to school with, that are very excited about the opportunity to come up north because they have never played up north before. It is going to be a great time. I know that the Jaguar nation travels extremely well. I remember when I was a ball player, we would drive over to Jackson and to the Bayou Classic and we knew we would always have our faithful fans who were going to be there. It is just an exciting time.”
For Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz the Jaguars’ recent success highlights the fact that LA Tech is not facing a doormat this weekend, but a formidable opponent instead.
“We are talking about a team that has been very successful,” Holtz said of Southern. “They won seven of their last eight last year. They score a lot of points. They are very explosive offensively. They are tough and physical. I think it will be a great challenge for us in the opener. They have played for a couple of SWAC Championships over the past few years. I think coach Odums is building something special down there.”
KXKZ 107.5 FM will serve as the flagship station for the LA Tech Sports Network for the 17th straight year as the 100,000 watt station will carry all of the Bulldog football games in 2015.
Additional affiliates carrying Bulldog Football games this fall on the LA Tech Sports Network include WUBR-AM 910 (Baton Rouge/Zachary), KJVC-FM 92.7 (Shreveport/Mansfield), KTKC-FM 92.9 (Shreveport/Spring Hill), KRMD-AM 1340 and KRMD-FM 100.7 (Shreveport), KVCL-FM 92.1 (Winnfield) and KDBS-AM ESPN Radio 1410 (Alexandria/Pineville).
All Bulldog football games can also be accessed online (audio for all games) by purchasing a subscription to LA Tech All-Access on LATechSports.com. Cost of a subscription to LA Tech All-Access is only $9.95 per month or $79.95 for the entire year (which includes all live broadcasts for all of Tech's athletic teams).
Fans can also choose to purchase the C-USA Digital Network subscription for $14.95 per month or $119.95 per year which includes all of the above content as well as audio and video for all road C-USA games along with additional video content throughout the year.
This fall all of the Tech football broadcasts can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network as Dave Nitz, Teddy Allen, Malcolm Butler and Bennie Thornell comprise the broadcast team. Nitz - one of the longest-tenured broadcasters in college football - is entering his 41st year of broadcasting Bulldog Football games.