Skip Holtz sat at his designated Conference USA Media Day table last year in Dallas for what amounted to be a standard, ho-hum business trip.
Holtz, entering his second season as Louisiana Tech’s head coach at the time, was hardly the focus. Sure, he did a local TV segment where he playfully interviewed running back Kenneth Dixon and linebacker Tony Johnson, but other than that, not much attention was thrown the Bulldogs’ way.
Coming off a 4-8 season at the time, there wasn’t a particular reason for a spotlight. Plus, C-USA coaches predicted Tech to finish fourth in the West. They did advise Tech could be a team on the rise, but no one thought the Bulldogs’ season would play out as it did.
This time around, Tech is now the team to beat in the West and is a program that will likely draw plenty of air time Wednesday at media day with Florida transfer quarterback Jeff Driskel along for the ride.
“We felt like we had some pieces that we had a chance to be pretty good (last year) but … You had a lot of question marks and a lot of unknowns,” Holtz said Monday. “The difference between this year and last year? The players are much more comfortable with what we’re doing."
Tech (9-5) flew under the radar last year before winning the C-USA West Division championship and nearly upending Marshall for the conference title.
The success from 2014, coupled with several key returners on offense and defense, has the Bulldogs as the favorites to repeat.
“Just because you have a lot of guys returning doesn’t mean you’re going to be good,” Holtz said. “I really like where the culture of those guys are and the mindset of our football team is and the guys that have played a lot are being leaders. People aren’t sitting back and resting on ‘Hey, we won a bowl game.’”
read more: http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/sports/college/louisiana-tech/2015/07/21/year-tech-transforms-unknown-usa-favorite/30493195/
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