TU's Kragthorpe familiar with what La Tech quarterback brings

Friday, November 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Steve Kragthorpe knows a bit about what Louisiana Tech quarterback Luke McCown is made of. And it's costing him sleep this week.

Kragthorpe knew McCown long before his 282 yards a game made him 14th in the nation in total offense.

He coached McCown's older brother, Randy, at Texas A&M in 1998 and 1999 and came to know another brother, Josh, who quarterbacked at Southern Methodist and Sam Houston State.

Randy, he said, was a ``warrior'' who ``battled his butt off every time he went out on the field.''

``I know what kind of family background he (Luke) has. I know what kind of work ethic that family has displayed all the time,'' Kragthorpe said. ``In terms of having a leg up, if anything I will probably sleep a little less this week knowing the things that I do know about him.''

His Golden Hurricane (6-4, 4-2 Western Athletic Conference) plays its last home game Saturday against the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-3 WAC).

McCown has 12,263 career passing yards, the second most by any active player in the nation and sixth in NCAA history.

The three brothers own a career 11-3 record against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Luke McCown is 2-1 against the Golden Hurricane, including a 53-9 victory last year.

Tulsa's pass efficiency defense ranks 13th in the nation, but Kragthorpe isn't sure that will stop McCown's passing game.

``We are going to have to try to contain him because he has thrown the football well whether he is playing against Miami or whether he is playing against Michigan State this year,'' he said.

Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell predicts a difficult game against a team in position to have its first winning season since 1991 and a potential bowl berth.

``You could never convince me that this was the same team we played last year,'' Bicknell said. ``They have changed their defense around which suits their personnel better. They have a quarterback that makes plays. It is going to be a huge challenge.''

Tulsa's pass defense is as good ``as anybody in the league,'' he said.

``They just have good players, good coaching and a good scheme,'' he said. ``You put that all together and they're a very tough defense right now.''