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|Tech stands tall in 27-6 victory|
RUSTON — The game was promoted as a Red Out. Most of the experts expected an offensive shoot out.
But in the end, Louisiana Tech turned the lights out as it pulled away in the second half for a 27-6 win over Hawaii before 21,260 fans at Joe Aillet Stadium Wednesday night.
Tech (2-2, 1-0 WAC) used a tenacious defensive effort in the victory as the Bulldogs recorded seven sacks, held the nation's top rated passing attack to only 308 yards and held Hawaii without a touchdown for the first time in 63 games.
"The sacks were just devastating," said Tech head coach Derek Dooley. "We had seven on the night. Coach (Tommy) Spangler had a great game plan. He was changing coverages and personnel. Everybody played with heart. I saw our entire team enjoy competing."
Bulldog running back Daniel Porter broke out of an early season slump and rushed for 160 yards and two scores as he led a Tech ground game that amassed 352 yards and averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry. Freshman tailback Tyrone Duplessis added a career-high 75 yards in the win.
However, the story of the night was the Bulldog defense. Hawaii (2-2, 0-1 WAC) entered the contest averaging 32.0 points and 515.3 yards per game, but the Warriors never got a rhythm offensively thanks to the effort of the Tech defensive unit.
Hawaii managed only two Scott Enos first half field goals as the Bulldog defense came up with a couple of big plays inside their own five-yard line.
With Tech leading 10-3 late in the second quarter on the strength of a Porter 3-yard touchdown run and a Matt Nelson 28-yard field goal, Hawaii drove down to the field and had a first and goal on the Tech one-yard line. However, Tech stuffed two straight run attempts and Deon Young batted away a third down fade route to the corner of the end zone as the Warriors were forced to kick an 18-yard field goal as the Bulldogs led 10-6 at the half.
Tech's defense struck again early in the third quarter as Kwame Jordan intercepted a batted pass attempt by Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander on the Warrior 26-yard line. Six plays later, Porter scored on a one-yard burst to give Tech a 17-6 advantage.
"It was a great win," Porter said. "The entire offensive line did a great job. The entire team deserves credit tonight. I got my mojo back tonight. I'm not going to say I was in a slump, but I wasn't getting my yards. I got it back."
After the Bulldogs forced punts on Hawaii's next two offensive possessions, Ross Jenkins and the Tech offense drove 56 yards on eight plays and grabbed a 24-6 lead on a six-yard touchdown run by Myke Compton with 2:22 to play in the third quarter.
Any chance of a Hawaii comeback was doused with Alexander was injured on a collision with Bulldog linebacker Adrien Cole with less than a minute to play in the third quarter. Alexander, who completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards and two interceptions, would not return to the game as backup Bryant Moniz finished the game.
With Tech leading 27-6, Moniz drove the Warriors into Tech territory. Moniz found Greg Salas on a 40-yard completion but Salas fumbled on the Tech one-yard line and Chad Boyd recovered for the Bulldogs in the end zone for a touchback.
Defensively, Tech was led by Tank Calais (8 tackles), Antonio Baker (7 tackles, 1 FF) and D'Anthony Smith (3 tackles, 2 sacks).
Tech returns to action Oct. 9 at Nevada in a game that will be televised on ESPN.