, Port Arthur, Texas


September 7, 2013

Little LU takes on big ’Dogs today

Whether or not they have a chance tonight, Lamar will arrive in Ruston today as a very well-informed college football team.

Before the Redbirds enter Louisiana Tech’s Joe Aillet Stadium for the 6 o’clock kickoff, they know their current events to a tee.

Their head coach, their press releases and the Southland Conference weekly update all have been quick to inform Lamar’s players that small school underdogs can knock off big school favorites.

“It happens every week,” LU boss Ray Woodard chirped at Monday’s press conference.

Ahh, but last Saturday was a bit extraordinary. The Southland Conference was one of six FCS conferences that had at least one of its teams pull an upset against an FBS team.

Let us check on the most noteworthy shockers. Eastern Washington became the third FCS team to knock off a ranked FBS team when it beat No. 25 Oregon State. North Dakota State beat defending Big 12 champion Kansas State. McNeese State surprised South Florida.

A near-capacity crowd of 30,000-plus is expected to Louisiana Tech’s home opener. The Bulldogs (0-1) of first-year head coach Skip Holtz are 28-point favorites against Woodard’s unheralded Lamar team (0-1), according to Las Vegas-based betting lines.

A win in this one clearly would constitute the most prestigious victory of Ray’s four-year tenure in Cardinal Country.

"I believe our team is up to that task. They have done a good job of taking what the coaching staff has said and applying it to their preparation. We have a lot of `want to' on this them, and I fully expect to see us play well this week," Woodard said.

The 49-year-old son of ESPN commentator and legendary coach Lou Holtz, Skip Holtz refuses to overlook Lamar this week but it would be fine with Woodard if Holtz’s players choose to do so.

“I don’t think it’s a game we can take lightly,” Holtz said. “I’m very impressed with Lamar’s quarterback (Caleb Berry). They don’t ask him to hold the ball long and he has a good quick release.”

Holtz never admitted it but Skip and his staff devoted more time focusing on his Bulldogs this week than their opponents. The Techsters finished a minus three in turnovers at last week’s 40-14 loss at North Carolina State. Pre-snap penalties caused Tech to face 1st and 15 in that game on four occasions.

“I don’t think we played very smart,” the Tech coach said. “I take ownership of that. It’s our responsibility to educate our players on mistakes that are going to cost us football games. The turnovers were the difference. Not only did we turn it over, but we weren’t as productive as we need to be on third down (2 of 10).”

Lamar would love to keep Louisiana Tech at that low-efficiency level this week but LU’s coach says he can expect a different looking Louisiana Tech tonight.

“I think you’ll see them much-improved,” Woodard said. “They lost over 30 players from last year’s senior class and they’re kinda putting the pieces of their puzzle together.”

Holtz starts two sophomores and a freshman in Tech’s five-man secondary (4-2-5). The Bulldogs confront a Lamar passer coming off a very hot night.

Berry threw for a career-high 256 yards, tying an old school record with six touchdown passes in the 75-0 slaughter of Panhandle State. Ironically, the previous LU record holder (Tommy Tomlin) threw for six scoring tosses in 1969 against Louisiana Tech.

But FCS schools (formerly Division I-AA) are not supposed to beat their big brothers in the FBS (bowl eligible teams). The Lamar players are well-schooled about current events, though. They know it happened last week at six different venues.

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

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  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

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From the Fieldhouse blog