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La Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson sets FBS career sack record in Hawaii Bowl victory

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Louisiana Tech (8-5) defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson set an FBS career record for the most career sacks as he helped the Bulldogs win the Hawaii Bowl late Saturday night. Louisiana Tech’s 31-14 victory over Hawaii (8-6) continued the program’s winning streak in bowl games with five consecutive bowl victories.

Ferguson’s record-setting sack came in the third quarter when he took down Chevan Cordeiro on the first play of a Hawaii offensive series. He had previously tied the all-time career record that had stood for 16 years previously set by Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs when he was credited with half a sack after some delay in the official scoring. There was no need to deliberate on the scoring for his record-setting sack.

Ferguson’s record-setting night was just a part of a solid defensive performance by Louisiana Tech. Hawaii’s offense was slow out of the gates, which led to Cole McDonald being replaced by Cordeiro in search for a spark. A spark Hawaii would get after a Louisiana Tech fumble as Cordeiro completed a 24-yard pass to Jason Matthew-Sharsh for the first touchdown of the game. The Rainbow Warriors held a 7-3 lead at halftime, but the Bulldogs came out with some adjustments made on offense in the third quarter. After turning the football over on three straight possessions in the first half, Louisiana Tech scored touchdowns on three straight possessions in the third quarter to change the outlook of the game. The defense also recorded a bowl record of nine sacks.

At the moment, Louisiana Tech owns the longest active winning streak in bowl games in consecutive seasons with five straight bowl victories in as many seasons. Georgia, Utah and Wisconsin will all get their chances to match that streak later this bowl season (Georgia’s loss in the national championship doesn’t count, but feel free to count Georgia out of that mix if you choose).

The Louisiana Tech win also clinched a winning bowl season for Conference USA with a record of 4-2. This was the final game for a Conference USA program this bowl season, so the conference wraps things up on a winning note. The Mountain West Conference falls to 2-2 with two more games to be played.

Hawaii forces three first-half turnovers by Louisiana Tech to lead at halftime of chippy Hawaii Bowl

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Defense has been the story of the half so far in the Hawaii Bowl, with Hawaii leading Louisiana tech 7-3 at halftime. From sacks to pass breakups, the defenses for both teams have been making some good plays.

Hawaii, playing without receiver John Ursua due to an injury, has the only touchdown so far. It came on a touchdown pass from Chevan Cordeiro, who has come in to replace Cole McDonald, to Jason-Matthew Sharsh in the second quarter. The Rainbow Warriors defense has forced three turnovers on three straight Louisiana Tech possessions to prevent the Bulldogs from establishing any offensive threat so far. The Bulldogs have fumbled twice and J’Mar Smith has thrown an interception.

Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson ended the first quarter by tracking down Chevan Cordeiro for a sack that brought him within half a sack of the FBS career sack record of 44. The second half will see Ferguson try to pass Arizona State legend Terrell Suggs for the all-time record. He nearly set the record late in the second quarter with a takedown of Cordeiro but penalties on the play waved the sack off the record book due to a facemask penalty.

The tension on the line of scrimmage has started to see some extracurricular activity as well. The officials have been busy with the flags as a result.