NYJD Staff Writer: Matt Deem
This was a matchup between two very good defensive teams who also each have young quarterbacks with a lot of potential.
Both teams have standout studs on defense. LaTech has Defensive Player of the Year in the WAC with Adrien Cole a really good linebacker and TCU has Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain West with LB Tank Carder who also won the award last season.
I was anxious to see how this game turned out with a TCU team who might not have been too excited to be there just one year after the Rose Bowl and a very enthusiastic La Tech team who was just happy to be there.
Quinton Patten Junior WR Louisiana Tech
Patten is the Bulldogs best WR, he has a good combination of speed and size at 6’2 195lbs. He was not at full strength last night coming in with a high ankle sprain that was heavily wrapped and he had not practiced much at all leading up to the game. With the injury Patton showed his true talent all night running precise routes and showing good hands on a few tough catches. He started the night out with a 9 yard reverse that showcased his speed and agility as he stretched the play out wide and made it up field before being forced out of bounds. Later in the game he was able to gain good separation over the middle with a 25 yard catch, but the highlight of the night was his toe drag in the endzone for a TD in the second quarter, he showed good body control and good hands as it was a very tough catch. Patten only a junior he is already projected as a late round pick and could move up to a mid-round pick with another good year next season.
Adrien Cole Senior LB Louisiana Tech
Cole is a really good player, at 5’11 250 he shows nice technique while making big plays with consistency. He stays low and patient as he scrapes and gets sideline to sideline with ease. He made a lot of tackles in the box against the run and showed toughness making a big tackle on the 1 yard line in a goal line stand. He had a stellar season with racking up 118 tackles including 12 for a loss. Cole will most likely be an UFA this season but could be a good backup and special teamer in the NFL.
Christian Lacey Senior DE Louisiana Tech
Lacey showed last night why he had 8.5 sacks this season, he was consistently in the back field blowing up run plays and made a really nice tackle in open field on a screen pass that went for no gain. He gets off the ball really fast and gets good penetration in the backfield specifically on the goal line where he blew up the center which led to a tackle for loss. It is pretty amazing since he is only 6’1 245 lbs. I can see Lacey switching to LB if he makes it to the next level, with his aggressive play style would make another really good special teamer as well.
Ryan Allen Senior Punter Louisiana Tech
Not too often I write about a punter in my post game report but I had to mention the Ray Guy Award Winner Ray Allen. He is an amazing punter he lead the nation with 36 punts landing inside the 20, and he added to that Wednesday night with a sky high punt with good hang time and just stuck inside the 2yard line before being downed. Allen might be one of the rare punters who might get drafted this year, he is a real weapon and look for him doing big things on the next level.
Tank Carder Senior LB TCU
Tank is a great name for a linebacker and it fits Carder to perfection. He is an undersized LB at 6’3 237lbs, but makes big play after big play every game I have watched him, including the Rose Bowl last year where he won the Defensive MVP. Watching Carder make a few flash plays each game sometimes lets us forget about the dozen or so plays he gets blown up and taken out of the play when he can’t hedge the block because of his size. While watching him run sideline to sideline he shows good hip movement in coverage and good instincts as well. His high motor and great intensity is what all coaches look for and what should get him drafted in the mid to late rounds this year.
Stansly Maponga Sophomore DE TCU
Maponga is a really talented young DE who really stands out on the D-line. He is a really good run stuffer who is pretty agile for a big guy at 6’2 265lbs. He made a few big splash plays that really showed his skill including a nice play in the backfield where he shed the block and stopped the running back on a draw play. He had 9 sacks this season and I am anxious to watch him play the next few years in the BIG 12 against some of the best O-lineman in the country and see if his numbers hold up or if he is just dominating against the Mountain West competition.