Could be lower, considering the 3 turnovers and scoring only one touchdown in the first 58 minutes. Rushing was mostly throttled, managing 121 yards on 35 carries. Rakeem Cato struggled mightily early on. But that winning drive looked easy, as the Herd faced one third down, a third-and-3.
90 total yards in the second half is all you need to know. Another stat: When not saddled with a short field, this unit was scary good — the Bulldogs ran for 87 of their 196 yards on those short-field TD drives.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
I’m going to deduct only one-plus letter for that blocked punt and the goofy turnover because of what else happened: Justin Haig hit 40, 46 and 40 FGs after not even trying one past 39 all season. Constantly gained field position on the punt game, had a punt downed at the 1. More positive than negative, though it could have easily gone the other way.
Cato had lot of trouble in the first half, when he was just 9 of 20, but rebounded. The interception was not his fault in the least, nor were the two turnovers. But that end-of-game drive — and completing that 9-yard pass on third-and-9 to finish the game — that was money.
Give all credit to Chuck Heater for keeping that defense together through what could have been 3 deflating touchdown runs. And give long-term credit for this team not panicking when there were plenty of chances to do so.
This may be low, considering the ultimate result. This game probably shouldn’t have been so in doubt, but Louisiana Tech does have an opportunistic defense. This team has had three straight tough games, so you can grouse about that. But remember, this program hasn’t accomplished this in 12 years.