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Bitter taste during bye week motivates LA Tech vs rival USM

October 18, 2017 GMT

There may not be more motivation for a football team than entering your bye week after a heart-breaking defeat. UAB blocked Jonathan Barnes’ potential game winner and the Bulldogs had a bitter taste in their mouths for an extra week. Not that they need much motivation going into a Conference USA match-up with Southern Miss, who has quickly become a real rival for the Dogs.

They’ve had time to reflect on what they’ve been doing right and what they’ve been doing wrong as they prepare to host a team that is 2-1 in conference play. These two teams have split over the last four meetings, with the Golden Eagles taking the last two in a row so head coach Skip Holtz and company understand what’s on the line this weekend.

“This is a rivalry game. It is one of our most historical rivalry games. It is a geographical rivalry game. They are three hours away in a neighboring state. We are in the same division in the same league. Southern Miss or Louisiana Tech has won the division the last three years in a row. I think we are all frustrated with the way we finished up two weeks ago and the way that game finished up with a range of emotions. With the frustration from how we have played this team the last two years, I think this football team is really excited about having the opportunity to go play,” said Holtz.

“The fans and the media love this game because of what it’s built on and they know they’re going to get a good game out of us. We want to go 1-0, no matter how big the game is, no matter how big the situation is,” added receiver Marlon Watts.

In the previous two seasons, Tech had their bye week after the 10th and 11th week of the season and Holtz said he likes the mid-season break to give his players some rest. He expects them to come out swinging Saturday when they kick off against the USM from Joe Aillet stadium at six o’clock.