Louisiana Tech’s impromptu non-conference matchup with TCU began in ugly fashion, yet ended in a solemn manner. While the Bulldogs suffered a 52-10 loss in Fort Worth, the toughest moment of the night for both teams was watching quarterback Luke Anthony endure a gruesome leg injury as under 3 minutes remained in Louisiana Tech’s regular season.
TCU defensive end Dylan Horton sacked Anthony on a 3rd and 10, and Anthony’s lower right leg twisted out of place while heading toward the ground. During an extended hiatus in the action, Louisiana Tech teammates and coaches surrounded Anthony as he was carried onto the injury cart to exit Amon G. Carter Stadium. According to The News Star, Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz expected Anthony to remain in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and receive surgery.
Anthony, a graduate transfer from the FCS level, finished his final game of his senior season with Louisiana Tech. Prior to the injury, Anthony completed 15/25 passes for 161 yards, and he was responsible for the Bulldogs’ lone touchdown of the night — a 13-yard pass to Griffin Hebert in the early fourth quarter. Anthony split time at quarterback with sophomore Aaron Allen, who finished 5/11 with a pair of interceptions.
The pain of the 6-touchdown loss seemed to dissolve in significance after the frightening injury to Anthony. Prior to the incident, it was a forgettable night on the gridiron for Louisiana Tech. Until a successful Jacob Barnes field goal in the middle of the third quarter, TCU was heading toward shutout territory, leading by as wide of a margin as 45-0.
The Horned Frogs churned out 333 yards on the ground, and freshman running back Zach Evans — a recent 5-star recruit — piled a season-best 130 yards on the Bulldog defense. Evans rushed for two touchdowns including a 75-yarder to open the second half. Evans produces his impressive stats on seven carries, but another freshman tailback, Kendre Miller, attained 136 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries.
TCU’s remarkable skill player performances weren’t limited to the running back position. Wide receiver Quentin Johnson put together a dominant outing when countering the Louisiana Tech cornerbacks. The freshman wideout was responsible for 133 of TCU’s 160 yards through the air, and he shed man coverage on a streak pattern to score a 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Louisiana Tech’s offense was stuffed by a feisty Horned Frog defense in all facets of the game. The Bulldogs, entering the game with a bottom 10 rushing offense in the country, were limited to 1.4 yards per carry. The physical TCU defense, headlined by outside linebacker Garret Wallow dominated the line of scrimmage, collectively wrapping up for 11 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Operating with two rotating quarterbacks, Louisiana Tech generated 192 yards of passing offense, nearly 40 yards below the season average, sitting at a 55.6 completion rate. Former Horned Frog receiver Isaiah Graham, stepping in place of the opted-out Adrian Hardy, shined in his former stomping grounds with Louisiana Tech team-bests in receptions (3) and yards (44). However, TCU cornerback C.J. Ceasar II served as a major roadblock to the aerial attack and picked off two passes in Louisiana Tech territory. The Frogs’ offense cashed in for quick touchdowns after both interceptions.
Louisiana Tech’s regular season, which launched Sept. 19, ends on a sour note after suffering its second blowout non-conference loss of the season. The Bulldogs (5-4, 4-2 C-USA) will move forward without their starting quarterback and now await a potential bowl invitation, aiming to capture a bowl victory for the seventh consecutive season.