There are good teams and there are good enough teams. You can decide which Tech is. With narrow wins against Rice and Grambling, it is easy to consider Tech the latter but when they handle Southern Miss and tonight, North Texas, with such ease it is tempting to think the former.
Louisiana Tech blew away North Texas in the second half on the way to a 52-17 win. The defense was suffocating when Mason Fine was on the field in the first half, holding him to just 48 yards passing and three points for an offense that threw five scores in the first half last week.
Tech still showed some signs of self-harm, blowing some opportunities to score in the first half and letting NT hang around too long. It ultimately did not matter and the defense that closed down the Golden Eagles in Ruston did the same to NT’s overmatched redshirt freshman Jason Bean.
Tech has Marshall and UAB on its schedule next and both are very good teams. To lose the division they will need to drop at least two games while Southern Miss wins out. USM, of course, dominated UAB this afternoon, essentially making it a two-team race in this division.
Southern Miss has a big road trip to newly good team and recent Arkansas slayer WKU before hosting FAU in the finale. The Golden Eagles are a completely different team at home in Hattiesburg and anything can happen in this league. With J’Mar Smith playing the best football of his career, and Justin Henderson and Adrian Hardy as weapons behind and beside him, the Dawgs can score with anyone left on the schedule. The difference is on the defense, which creates turnovers and makes things tough on even the best this league has to offer.
Thus far this season James Morgan, Mason Fine, and Jack Abraham have been shut down and harassed. The only concern is that the next two games are road matchups and playing outside the friendly confines of the Joe may mean we see a different squad.
Right now? Well, we can consider Tech the favorites. Next week against Marshall may be simply a game for home field advantage in the league’s title game.