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LA Tech 27 FIU 17

It was a defensive struggle for most of the game, but Louisiana Tech found a way to get it done on the ground and FIU couldn't get their ground game going.

Jeff Driskel got LA Tech off to a hot start against FIU.
Jeff Driskel got LA Tech off to a hot start against FIU.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Tech put Florida International's highly touted defense to the test in Ruston on Saturday. Kenneth Dixon rushed for 99 yards on 11 carries in the first half. Dixon had one touchdown run in the first half and added a 23 yard touchdown reception.

The Bulldogs rolled up 303 total yards in the first half. Jeff Driskel was 12-23 for 157 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Trent Taylor was the leading receiver in the first half with 4 catches for 44 yards.

FIU managed just 116 yards in the first half. Alex McGough was 11-18 for 90 yards. The Panthers had just 26 yards rushing in the first half.

To start the second half, the Panthers completely abandoned the run. FIU ate up over 6 minutes of game time and McGough, who was 7-7 on the drive, hit Ya'keem Griner for a touchdown to pull FIU within 7.

LA Tech went three and out and again FIU drove across the 50. This time, the Bulldogs held the Panthers on fourth down. Driskel and the Bulldogs got the ball back with the third quarter winding down. LA Tech got inside the red zone, but a couple negative plays pushed the ball back and LA Tech's field goal attempt was no good.

The Bulldogs got the ball back at their own 49 to start the fourth quarter. Kenneth Dixon rushed for his third total touchdown of the game and LA Tech went up 24-10 with 12:52 left to go in the game.

FIU couldn't answer and Tech got the ball back with 11:31 to go in the game. Again the Bulldogs marched deep into FIU territory. Jonathan Barnes hit a 28 yard field goal with 6:36 to go and Tech led 27-10.

McGough wouldn't go away and led FIU on a touchdown drive to cut the lead to 27-17 with 3:50 to play.

LA Tech was able to run the clock out from there.

Dixon finished with 25 carries for 166 yards and 2 scores. His 3 total touchdowns tied Montee Ball with an NCAA record 11 games with 3 or more touchdowns.