Bulldogs aim to extend streaks, snap one at North Texas

TRE FOR SIX:  Sophomore receiver Tre Harris was part of an explosive offense last week as the Bulldogs opened Conference USA play with a 41-31 win over UTEP. Today’s game at North Texas shapes up as another high scoring battle. (Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech Athletics).

By MALCOLM BUTLER, Lincoln Parish Journal

DENTON, Texas — A number of streaks will be on the line when Louisiana Tech kicks off at 3 p.m. today at Apogee Stadium to face North Texas.

Some of them good. One of them not good if you are a Bulldog fan.

Tech (2-3, 1-0 C-USA) has won four straight in the series against North Texas (3-3, 1-0). Tech has also been the victor in four games in a row at Apogee Stadium.

That’s the good news.

The Bulldogs have not won a game away from Joe Aillet Stadium since the last time they defeated North Texas in Denton way back in December of 2020. That’s 11 straight losses away from The Joe.

That’s the not-good news.

“I brought it up, and I will bring it up again in pregame,” said Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie. “I brought it up Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I always want to keep the focus on how our team is preparing on practice days. How are we advancing our team in that moment because that’s all you have is that day to get better.

“But there is an awareness that they need to have of what’s going on. That you have won the last four times that you have been there. And that the last time you won a road game was in 2020. That’s a long time to go without winning a road game. Why is that? And how do we go about snapping out of that. It’s by our preparation and our execution.”

In order for Tech to keep the good streaks alive and snap the bad streak, the Bulldogs will have to beat a North Texas team that is clicking on all cylinders offensively. The Mean Green are averaging 34.3 points per game while totaling 214 yards on the ground and 262 through the air.

“They can score a lot,” said Cumbie. “They do it in the run game. They do it in the pass game. Austin Aune is really good at creating plays with his feet if it is not there in the play action game. Their run game attack is vertical and comes right at you. We are going to have to be able to stop the run because that is what they like to do. They like to run the football and they have some talented running backs back there. It will be a big challenge for us.”

Aune has thrown for 1,496 yards and 15 TDs while tailback Oscar Adaway has rushed for 415 yards and four scores.

As productive as North Texas has been on the offensive front, they have been that unproductive on the defensive front – allowing 36.3 points per game.  The Bulldogs should have opportunities to make plays and fans could be in for an up-tempo, high-scoring affair.

Despite what the stat sheet reads, Cumbie does believe the Mean Green defense is starting to find its comfort zone.

“I think early on in the season they played a lot more aggressive,” said Cumbie. “I think they have scaled back some of the things they were doing schematically over the last few weeks. They are just allowing their kids to play fast and to react. They are playing better these last few weeks. For us it’s a matter of going out and executing offensively.”

The contest can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on Shreveport’s 92.1 KSYR FM with the pregame show starting at 5:30 p.m. CT. It can also be heard on the LA Tech Athletics app with the pregame show starting at 1:30 p.m. as Malcolm Butler and Teddy Allen provide descriptions, insight and rapport.

The game will also be available on ESPN+.