Navy Hopes to Slow La. Tech's Phillip Livas
One of Louisiana Tech's biggest weapons is Phillip Livas, a junior wide receiver and kick returner. Livas is the only player in the country who has scored in four different ways on plays of 50 yards or longer in his career:
70-yard reception vs. Idaho (2007)
72-yard run vs. Idaho (2007)
81-yard punt return vs. Fresno State (2008)
97-yard Kickoff return vs. Northern Illinois (2008).
Livas has returned two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns in his career. Last season, he ranked seventh in the nation in punt return average (15.31 yards). In the Bulldogs' 37-13 loss at Auburn on Saturday, Livas caught five passes for 43 yards and averaged 20.2 yards on kickoff returns.
Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo compared the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Livas to former standout slotback Reggie Campbell, who holds several kickoff return records at Navy.
"Some guys just have that knack," Niumatalolo said. "They can shift, they can see guys with peripheral vision, they have quickness. They make it look easy. Some guys, they got to stop and start; [Livas is] just very fluid, a smooth athlete. He's taken a few back to the house, and he could've taken a few more back last year. He's dangerous every time he touches the ball. And they try to give him the ball a ton."
Special teams play overall is "a major concern for us," Niumatalolo said. In the past two seasons, Louisiana Tech has blocked five field goal attempts and five punts.
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