Bulldogs’ Brooks, McNeil earn spotlight for key roles in C-USA win

JUMPING TO JOY:  Myles Brooks had to evade tacklers on his interception return touchdown for Louisiana Tech Saturday night in a 41-31 win in Ruston over UTEP. (Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech Athletics.)


RUSTON — Performances keying a 41-31 win over UTEP Saturday night at Aillet Stadium earned recognition Monday for Louisiana Tech football players Myles Brooks and Parker McNeil.

Brooks, a junior transfer from Stephen F. Austin, was named the Blenders Eyeware Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week after returning an interception for a touchdown.

McNeil, a senior transfer who followed first-year Tech coach Sonny Crumbie from Texas Tech, won the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Offensive Player of the Week honor for throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions Saturday night.

Brooks picked off UTEP’s Gavin Hardison and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown to increase the Bulldogs’ lead to 30-10 with 2:33 left in the second quarter.

He is the first Tech player to be named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week since BeeJay Williamson achieved the honor after his own pick six, the last one by a Bulldog, last Sept. 11.

The Pfluggerville, Texas product has tallied 13 total tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and a forced fumble this season.

McNeil completed 18 of 27 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns during the Bulldogs’ victory.

The native of Austin, Texas, completed 16 of 20 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. McNeil’s first touchdown came on an eight-yard pass to Tahj Magee to cap a 6-play, 74-yard drive to open the game. McNeil then led the Bulldogs to touchdowns on their next two drives courtesy of a 38-yard pass to Tre Harris and a nine-yard pass to Smoke Harris.

The final touchdown pass came at the 8:54 mark in the fourth quarter when he connected with Harris from 15 yards out.

McNeil – who previously played at Navarro (Texas) Community College and Troy – ranks fourth nationally and second in Conference USA in passing yards per completion (14.8).

Tech hits the road as the Bulldogs travel to North Texas to take on the Mean Green Saturday at 3 p.m.