Home Sports-Free College football: Louisiana Tech falls to Old Dominion on late field goal

College football: Louisiana Tech falls to Old Dominion on late field goal

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Louisiana Tech Strategic Communications 

NORFOLK, Va. – After Louisiana Tech was stopped on a fourth down late in the game, Old Dominion got within field goal range and kicked the game-winner from 46 yards out to come away with the 23-20 victory on Saturday night at S. S. Ballard Stadium.

J.D. Head came into the contest early in the fourth quarter for Austin Kendall.  The starting QB went down after completing a 33-yard pass to Smoke Harris to get LA Tech (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) into the red zone.

Head coach Skip Holtz called Marcus Williams, Jr.’s number on back-to-back plays and the running back punched it in on the second rush, getting stuffed up the middle before bouncing it outside for the 7-yard score to give the Bulldogs a 20-17 advantage.

Old Dominion (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) proceeded to go on a 20-play, 58-yard drive (converted four third downs and one fourth down play) that ate up 10 minutes of clock and resulted in a game-tying field goal by Nick Rice.

With 1:52 to go, Head completed three straight passes to get the ‘Dogs into ODU territory.  On the ensuing drive, the team gained seven yards on an offside penalty and a 2-yard run by Williams, Jr. to set up a 4th-and-3 from the 45-yard line.  After a timeout, Holtz elected to go for it and Head threw a deep ball down the sideline to Bub Means, but the ball carried out of bounds.

A 10-yard completion by Hayden Wolff and three straight carries by Blake Watson got the ball to the LA Tech 29-yard line with two seconds to go.  Rice followed by making a 46-yarder to hand the Bulldogs their fourth loss of the season on the last play of the game.

There was not much offense generated in the early going as the game remained scoreless through the first 26 minutes of play.  Each team managed to tack on 10 points in the final four minutes of the first half though.  LA Tech got a 32-yard pass from Austin Kendall to Isaiah Graham and a 30-yard field goal by Jacob Barnes. 

The Bulldogs outgained the Monarchs, 335-311.  Kendall finished 22-of-36 for 253 yards with his main target being S. Harris who had a team-high seven catches for 63 yards.  Williams, Jr. added 42 yards on the ground with one score.

ODU was anchored by Watson who ran the ball 25 times for 108 rushing yards.  The Monarchs got 162 of their yards on the ground and only 149 through the air.

QUOTABLES

Head coach Skip Holtz

“With a young quarterback and playing on the road, we were trying to play for the win.  Unfortunately, we were not able to execute it.  I thought defensively, we did some really good things.  We had some big stops, had two turnovers.  This is the fourth last play of the game loss of the season.  We are going to have to get over it.  We are going to have to pick ourselves up.  We have four more games.”

NOTABLES

·        With the loss, Old Dominion now leads the all-time series, 2-0.  Both losses by LA Tech have come by three points to ODU.

·        This marked the sixth time (out of eight) this season that the game was decided by one possession.  LA Tech is 2-4 in those games.

·        Austin Kendall eclipsed 20 completions for the fifth time this season.

·        Smoke Harris tied his season-high with seven completions.  The wide receiver has recorded at least six catches in five of his last six games.

·        Marcus Williams, Jr. tallied his third rushing touchdown of the season.

·        Trey Baldwin and Tyler Grubbs tied for the team-high in tackles with 11 apiece.  For Baldwin, it was the third time in the last four games he has recorded 10+ tackles.  For Grubbs, it was the second time this season with 10+.

·        The LA Tech defense forced two turnovers – a fumble and recovery by Khalil Ladler (both firsts of his Bulldog career) and an interception by Kody Fulp (first of his career).

UP NEXT

Louisiana Tech will head to Birmingham, Alabama to face West Division foe UAB on Saturday, Nov. 6.  The matchup will kickoff at 11 a.m. on CBS Sports Network.

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