Louisiana Tech vs. UMass prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Bulldogs and Minutemen on Saturday in Foxboro, MA.
Louisiana Tech vs. UMass Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 15 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
TV Broadcast: ESPN3
The Bulldogs (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) are coming off of a huge home win over Western Kentucky last Thursday night, as quarterback Ryan Higgins passed for 454 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-52 win. Carlos Henderson had a monster game as well, making eight catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, the Minutemen (1-5) dropped a 36-16 matchup to Old Dominion last Friday night in a game that was moved up from Saturday because of Hurricane Matthew. Sophomore Marquis Young rushed 22 times for 163 yards and a touchdown in his best game of the season.
This is the first of two scheduled matchups between the teams. They are also slated to meet in 2019, when UMass will travel to Ruston, LA.
What To Know About Louisiana Tech
Higgins has passed for 1,869 yards and 17 touchdowns against just two interceptions while completing 65.7 percent of his throws. What’s ridiculous is that he has put up those numbers despite missing the season opener against Arkansas due to suspension. Higgins has not thrown a pick since he threw two in his first game of the season against South Carolina State. The Texas native has been impressive all season, even in road losses to Texas Tech and Middle Tennessee. Skip Holtz’s offense is clicking right now, although the defense leaves a lot to be desired—especially versus the pass.
What to Know About UMass
After playing relatively well in losses to Florida and Boston College to start the season, the Minutemen scored a victory over FIU before dropping three straight to Mississippi State, Tulane and Old Dominion. However, UMass put up 35 points against the Bulldogs in an eight-point loss and fell to the Green Wave by a touchdown. Solid efforts. Mark Whipple’s team took a step back last week, though, in the 20-point loss to the Monarchs. The quarterback situation is messy, as Ross Comis and Andrew Ford played against the Monarchs in addition to freshman Randall West. Comis was the starter heading into the season before missing time with injury, while Ford was the starter when UMass won its first game of the year. He also tossed four touchdowns against Mississippi State. Comis started against ODU before giving way to Ford, who had 189 passing yards and a touchdown but also two picks. Unfortunately, two QBs often mean none.
Offense: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are an offensive machine. Higgins gets the headlines, but Jarred Craft is averaging 6.9 yards per carry.
Defense: Even. Both units are giving up over 430 total yards per game.
Special Teams: Louisiana Tech. Jonathan Barnes has missed two field goals on the season, but he is also 5 of 5 from 40-49 yards out.
Coaching: Louisiana Tech. Whipple isn’t having great success during his second stint at UMass.
Intangibles: Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs know they are better than their 3-3 record indicates.
Matchup To Watch
Higgins vs. UMass secondary
The Minutemen are giving up 224.3 yards per game through the air, which is No. 62 in the nation. They will be going up against a Louisiana Tech passing offense that ranks No. 5 in the country at 365.0 yards per game. Higgins is playing mistake-free, and Henderson will be a matchup nightmare for the UMass defensive backs.
Spread: Louisiana Tech -17
Louisiana Tech vs. UMass Prediction
The Bulldogs have too much firepower for the Minutemen to handle. They may not have a standout defensive crew, but there are still too many questions for UMass under center. And Louisiana Tech has Higgins. Enough said.
Louisiana Tech vs. UMass Score Prediction: Louisiana Tech 41, UMass 20