RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Ikaika Alama-Francis sacked Louisiana Tech's Zac Champion in the third quarter.
Bulldogs on the other side of the rout
Next year's Louisiana Tech media guide won't be quite as graphic as this year's when it comes to describing the Bulldogs' game against Hawaii.
Words such as "dominated," "pounded mercilessly" and "smashed" were used to convey what the Bulldogs did to the Warriors in a 46-14 victory on Oct. 8, 2005, in Ruston, La.
Last night, all of those words could easily describe what Hawaii did to LaTech in the 61-17 rout at Aloha Stadium.
The reversal was partly expected since the Warriors had already proved they're a much better team than a year ago, and the Bulldogs, unlike last season's 7-4 campaign, have struggled.
"College football is cyclical," LaTech coach Jack Bicknell said. "For a couple of years, we had a lot of returning guys. This year, we're young.
"I looked at the tape of last year's game and I thought, 'How did we do that?' In my opinion, that quarterback (UH's Colt Brennan) is a totally different player who's just amazing right now. They've learned their lessons, they've gained confidence and they've become dangerous."
Bicknell wishes the Warriors well as they advance through the rest of their schedule.
"I hope they end up playing a real strong team (in the Hawaii Bowl). I would love to see it. And I know they've got some big games coming up against Purdue and Oregon State, and they've got San Jose State, (which) is playing pretty well right now.
"They'd give any top team some really big problems, and I promise you this, if they get it going, they're going to be so scary and I'd be surprised if anyone could shut them down."
Mark Dillard, who rushed for 155 yards in LaTech's win over Hawaii last year, played safety last night and agrees with Bicknell.
"The way that offense is playing, I don't think anybody can stop 'em," Dillard said. "I'm very disappointed, but it's football and football games turn out in lots of different ways. They had a good game plan and showed it. Everything was working for them."
The Bulldogs played well early and led 10-9 in the second quarter, which is an accomplishment compared to other teams visiting Aloha Stadium this season.
"We came out ready," said LaTech cornerback Shalamar Walker, who intercepted a Brennan pass in the second quarter when the game was still close. "But we couldn't drive. They played good defense and good team football. It (a big loss) happens. We just gotta suck it up and come back strong next week (vs. Nevada)."
Bicknell was a believer when the Bulldogs led by a point.
"I felt like we had chance, I really did," he said. "But then we started not stopping them. And (on offense) as the game wore on, we didn't protect (quarterback Zac Champion) well. And (Hawaii) was bringing the house on defense -- well, not always the house -- but pressure, right until the last minute."
Champion, who was the victim of three of Hawaii's five sacks, gave the UH defense high marks.
"They're definitely not the best defense we've played," he said. "We went up against Clemson, Texas A&M and Boise. But they're definitely a good defense. They hit hard and that's what Hawaii's known for. They play hard-nosed ball."