MIAMI (Oct. 26, 2013) – Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon tallied 183 all-purpose yards and Kyle Fischer hit five field goals as Louisiana Tech beat FIU, 23-7, at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium Saturday night in Miami.
Dixon’s 183 yards was only 14 yards shy of the total offensive yards put up by FIU (1-6, 1-2 C-USA) as the Bulldogs (3-5, 2-2) held FIU to only 197 yards overall.
Fischer’s five field goals in the game are the most by a single Louisiana Tech kicker in recent memory, contributing 15 of Tech’s 23 points. The other eight points came from a 39-yard touchdown catch by Dixon and a Ryan Higgins-to-Sterling Griffin two-point conversion.
Dixon marked his 10th career game with over 100 rushing yards as he tallied 119 yards on the ground and 64 yards receiving, leading all players on both teams in both categories.
FIU’s offense was stymied by a Tech defense that recorded seven tackles for a loss – five of which were sacks – and Bryson Abraham’s two interceptions. The Tech defense also registered four pass break-ups while Beau Fitte had six tackles for LA Tech including notching his first career sack.
Ryan Higgins was 20-for-31 for 192 yards and a touchdown pass for the Bulldogs but was also picked off three times. Jon Greenwalt added 46 yards receiving on four catches for Tech.
The win marked Louisiana Tech’s first victory in the state of Florida since 1999.
Kyle Fischer put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first as he connected on a 26-yard field goal attempt, capping a drive of 11 plays going 56 yards.
Near the end of the first quarter, Shakeil Lucas recovered an FIU fumble giving Tech the ball on the 16-yard line. Kenneth Dixon would run up the middle for 12 yards before two consecutive fumbles put the Bulldogs back on the 18-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Fischer would come on to hit a 35-yard field goal giving Tech a 6-0 lead.
Fischer would be called on again late in the first half, hitting a 33-yard field goal with 3:46 left in the half.
Higgins would throw an interception on the second play of the second half and the Panthers would convert that turnover into a score as Jake Medlock hit Jonnu Smith for a 38-yard touchdown pass as Smith broke a tackle and went to the end zone untouched from that point. Tech’s lead was cut to 9-7 with the one play touchdown drive for FIU.
LA Tech would drive back into the red zone two possessions later and after running for a first down to set up first and goal, Ryan Higgins would leave the game with an injury. Paul Harris would replace Higgins but the drive would stall and Fischer would come on to kick a 30-yard field goal marking the first time a Bulldog kicker has hit four field goals in a game since Brad Oestricher did so against Idaho in 2008.
In the fourth quarter, FIU would get flagged for kick catching interference on Trent Taylor letting the Bulldogs start their drive on the Tech 49-yard line. In the four-play, 51-yard drive, Dixon would account for all but eight of those yards including a 39-yard touchdown catch where he broke a tackle round the 30 yard line and went straight to the end zone. The Bulldogs then converted a two-point conversion as Higgins connected with Sterling Griffin on a diving catch in the end zone.
On Tech’s next possession, Fischer would hit a 35-yard field goal for his fifth successful field goal of the game, upping the Bulldog lead to 23-7.
Louisiana Tech will have a bye week next and will return to action on Nov. 9 to host Southern Miss in a resumption of “A Rivalry in Dixie.” Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, La.