No. 24 La. Tech brings powerful offense to NMSU

No. 24 La. Tech brings powerful offense to NMSU

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes knows it's one thing to make it into the Top 25 and it's quite another to stay there.

That's because twice previously, the No. 24 Bulldogs found national recognition, only to lose the next game and drop out of the poll.

He doesn't want to make it a third Saturday when Louisiana Tech faces reeling Western Athletic Conference foe New Mexico State, a squad that has lost six straight games.

``As I have said many times, you do not want to be a one-hit wonder,'' Dykes said. ``Last time we got in the polls, we did not handle it very well and did not play well against Texas A&M and got beat because of it. Hopefully, it will be a challenge for us and we will handle it better.''

The Bulldogs (6-1, 1-0) are an offensive dynamo, having scored at least 44 points in every game and are averaging 56.

``I do think this group is good,'' Dykes said. ``I think the thing that makes this different than what we have had in the past in some ways is the fact that we run the ball well and we throw it pretty well.''

That's something of an understatement. Quarterback Colby Cameron has thrown for 2,306 yards and 20 touchdowns without an interception. He's coming off consecutive games with more than 400 yards through the air.

Freshman running back Kenneth Dixon, who is coming off a six-touchdown, 232-yard day against Idaho, has 767 yards on the season with 16 scores.

Quinton Patton is the Bulldogs' go-to receiver with 59 catches for 806 yards and 10 TDs.

``Usually you have an offense that is better at throwing or a little bit better at running, and this group is pretty good at doing both,'' Dykes said. ``So I think that is what makes this group unique maybe.''

It's an offensive juggernaut that has New Mexico State coach Dwayne Walker worried.

``Pretty scary,'' said Walker, whose Aggies' defense is giving up 451 yards a game. ``These guys aren't going to allow us to get a lot of sleep this week.''

Defensively, Dykes hasn't been quite as pleased. Louisiana Tech is giving up 38 points a game and more than 500 yards of total offense.

``I think if you go and look at our defense this year compared to last year's defense, I think the biggest issue has been just giving up too many third-down conversions,'' he said. ``We have given up probably too many big plays, but the third-down conversions have been a big thing we wanted to do, so again, we are going to continue to work on that and improve that area.''

And moving the ball is one thing that New Mexico State does well, Dykes said.

``They have an explosive football team,'' he pointed out. ``That is the thing every year. They have good skill position players. Their receivers can always run well.''

Quarterback Andrew Manley has thrown for 1,807 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Austin Franklin is Manley's favorite receiver with 50 catches for 826 yards and eight touchdowns.

``I think the quarterback, Manley, and the receivers and running backs are a really good group - probably toward the upper half in the WAC, certainly,'' Dykes said. ``The quarterback has a big arm and can make a lot of throws.''

The Aggies will need the offense to be at the top of its game to have a chance, Walker said.

Louisiana Tech has ``a chance to win out and get a chance to be 11-1 and really start emerging as the top mid-level team in the country,'' he said. ``We definitely have our hands full with this group.''

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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