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By ERIN BASS emb023@latech

By ERIN BASS

emb023@latech.edu

 

After a tough 37-27 loss at Nevada (4-2, 3-0 WAC) this past Saturday, the ’Dawgs are looking to come back in full force for this year’s Homecoming battle against the University of North Texas (2-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Joe Aillet Stadium.

For last Saturday’s game, with only 161 yards passing and 68 rushing, head coach Jack Bicknell said the Wolf Pack’s defense was a hand full.

“[Nevada] did a good job defensively against us,” Bicknell said.

“We couldn’t run the ball like we had in the past and we got in too many long yardage situations; second and ten, third and eight the whole day.

“We had some drops, some protection breakdowns, and it seemed like we were missing execution on offense.”

Nevada started the scoring early in the first quarter when wide receiver Nichiren Flowers caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Rowe. Then, just six minutes later, he scored seven more points with a three-yard reception from running back Tommy Haug.

But the Bulldogs proved they could run with the Wolf Pack as they made the next three scoring drives.

Wide receiver Johnathan Holland caught the first touchdown pass when Matt Kubik and he connected with a 41-yard pass, making the score 7-14.

Then, Rowe fumbled the ball in the end zone and Tech defensive lineman Eddie White recovered it for a second touchdown with 9:14 left in the second quarter.

Running back Freddie Franklin brought the rushing game back to life as he made it through Nevada’s defensive line right on the goal line and put Tech on top 21-14 with 2:32 left in the half.

The ’Dawgs only held their seven-point edge briefly as the Wolf Pack scored a touchdown when Rowe made a 31-yard run into the end zone with 9:12 left in the third quarter.

With the score tied at 21, Nevada’s Brett Jaekle kicked a 36-yard field goal and put Nevada above by three.

Tech got on top for the second and final time in the fourth quarter thanks to running back Patrick Jackson, who turned a three-yard run into a scoring drive.

Danny Horwedel’s extra point kick was blocked and the score sat at 27-24 until Nevada scored two field goals and one touchdown in the last nine minutes of the game, finalizing the score 37-27. Tech’s offensive line was hurting last Saturday and Bicknell said it showed.

“The offensive line kind of struggled protecting, and we didn’t run as well,” Bicknell said.

“We’ve got three guys banged up, which isn’t an excuse either, but was one of the factors in the offensive performance last week.”

Kubik, who had 13 pass completions with 39 attempts, had the same sentiments as Bicknell.

“To be honest, I think Nevada played well. We obviously didn’t play our best and offensively we just couldn’t get into the rhythm. A big part of our offense is being able to run the ball first and when we can establish the run, we aren’t able to get into the rhythm.”

This Saturday for Homecoming, the Bulldogs will take on the North Texas Eagles.

“Being able to run the ball, being balanced like we were against Hawaii and then defensively just being able to stop the run is going to help us this weekend,” Bicknell said.

“In 2003, one of [North Texas’] rushers led in the country and in 2004 another guy led the country and now they are both back for 2005. So they’ve got two very good running backs which we have to be able to contain.”

Kubik said it was a tough loss, but that the team will be able to bounce back. “I think we have learned what we do best; we just need to be able to execute it.”


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