High-tech offense represents challenge
CHAMPAIGN — Much has been made this week about Louisiana Tech's high-powered offense.
The Bulldogs have scored 56 points in each of their first two games — wins against Houston and Rice — and are ranked fifth in the country at 603.5 yards per game.
But it's the speed at which the Bulldogs line up and snap the ball on offense that causes concern for opposing defenses.
"I would say that over the past eight years or so, people started doing this at the lower levels, and it's worked its way up to major ball, and you're starting to see it in the NFL," Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks said. "If you can go fast and try to keep the defense on its heels, it really helps the offense a lot. The thing we've got to do is make sure we're doing our job, not getting caught up in the speed and just executing."
In addition to the rapid-fire pace, the Bulldogs have offensive players who make it difficult to identify their strength.
"Their running backs, their wideouts and their quarterback, and really their O-line," Banks said when asked to identify the strength of Louisiana Tech's offense. "I mean, they're good, man, they really are."
Tech quarterback Colby Cameron has thrown for 629 yards and seven touchdowns in two games. Freshman running backs Tevin King (316 yards) and Kenneth Dixon (203) have made smooth transitions to college football. And receiver Quinton Patton (11 receptions, 155 yards) is a Biletnikoff Award candidate.
"They're real quick; they get on the edges real fast," Illini defensive tackle Akeem Spence said. "One of the best (offenses) I've seen on film this year so far. They've got good running backs, guys with good vision."