Following their 44-0 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies to clinch a Western Athletic Conference Championship in Ruston, Louisiana today, Louisiana Tech Head Coach Sonny Dykes and the Bulldog football team accepted an invitation to play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21st at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.
“It is a great honor to represent the Western Athletic Conference in the Poinsettia Bowl,” said Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. “San Diego is one of the premier cities in the U.S. Our players and fans will have a great experience there. I have been to two Holiday Bowls and know that the city and the stadium are great and the hotels in San Diego are fantastic. I am excited about the opportunity to play a very good Mountain West team.”
“The entire San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl family can’t wait to welcome the Bulldogs football team and their fans to San Diego next month,” said Chuck Wasker, president of the 2011 game. “Coach Dykes has put together a team that makes for some exciting, high-scoring football. We expect they will put on quite a show.”
With today’s win the Bulldogs clinched at least a share of the WAC championship. Their overall record improved to 8-4 for the season, 6-1 in conference. Today’s victory also marks the first time Louisiana Tech has won seven consecutive games since they won ten straight during the 1974 campaign.
A fast-paced attack that continuously keeps opponents on its heels, Louisiana Tech’s offense has the ability to drive down the field behind a powerful rushing attack led by Doak Walker Award candidate Lennon Creer or strike quickly with the big play ability of Quinton Patton. Led by two-time Manning Award Star of the Week Colby Cameron, Tech’s balanced offense has multiple weapons in its arsenal to strike with.
Tech’s stingy, opportunistic defense has forced opposing teams to make mistakes and then capitalized on them. This “GATA” squad has scored five touchdowns this year off the miscues of others and held every opponent below their rushing average each game.
A Ray Guy Award Finalist, Ryan Allen has consistently been one of the nation’s top punters this year with an NCAA best 36 punts inside the 20-yard line and 17 punts inside the 10-yard line this season entering today’s game. Allen, ranking fourth in the nation with over 46 yards per punt, has been a steady force in flipping the field and pinning opposing teams deep in their own territory throughout the year.
This will mark the sixth bowl appearance in the program’s history. Louisiana Tech is 2-2-1 in bowl games, most recently beating Northern Illinois in the 2008 Independence Bowl. This year’s Bulldog senior class is just the second senior class to play in multiple bowl games in LA Tech history.
Tech won the WAC Championship with the win Saturday after being projected to finish fourth in a vote by the league’s coaches and media. It is the second WAC title Louisiana Tech has won since joining the league in 2001.
Louisiana Tech’s opponent will be a team from the Mountain West. The Poinsettia Bowl gets the second selection of bowl eligible teams from the conference. The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas gets the first pick.
“Louisiana Tech is honored to be WAC Champions and to accept an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl,” said Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde. “With great anticipation we look forward to traveling to San Diego with our football team, alumni, family and friends and playing on a national stage against a nationally ranked opponent.”
Tickets for the 2011 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl can be purchased by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000, or visiting www.poinsettiabowl.com.