It’s hard to say who was happier to have Carlos Henderson back in action for Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Maybe his quarterback Ryan Higgins, who threw for 454 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 55-52 victory against Western Kentucky. Henderson was on the receiving end of more than half Higgins’ totals — a career-high 232 yards and three touchdowns.
“That’s a special player right there,” Higgins said. “I mean, like — he’s awesome, man. It’s hard to explain. It’s just nice to have him out there. I mean, at first, they just weren’t making the adjustments they needed to stop him and we just kept burning him.”
“He makes me look good, so I’m happy.”
So was Bulldogs head coach head coach Skip Holtz, whose team ended Western Kentucky’s 13-game Conference USA winning streak. Holtz was especially happy for Trent Taylor, his other star receiver.
“You look at what Trent has had to do carrying the load all by himself,” Holtz said of the No. 2 receiver in FBS. “They rolled everything to Trent, and that left Carlos one-on-one. And pretty much the whole first half, we were able to take advantage of it and exploit it a little bit.
“But Carlos was healthy. We haven’t had him for the last two weeks and so to get him back out there really made a huge difference. … It was good to have him back.”
And really, no one was happier than Henderson, who showed what he can do when healthy. He sat out the Bulldogs’ previous six quarters with an ankle injury. Last season, he battled through injuries to play 11 games and totaled 1,291 all-purpose yards, third on the team.
His 232 yards against WKU were the eighth highest total in school history and the most since Quinton Patton’s 233 yards against Texas A&M in 2012. It was Henderson’s sixth career 100-yard game, tied for ninth in school history.
“It feels great. It feels great. It feels great,” said the C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week. “I’ve missed it. I’ve missed it. I love this team, I love this game. It felt wonderful, great, to be back on the field with my team and to get the W like we did, it’s a great feeling. No feeling like it.”
While Taylor leads C-USA with 861 yards and eight TDs, Henderson is third with 558 yards and has five TDs among his 30 receptions. The redshirt junior is averaging 111.6 yards in five games this season.
The Bulldogs, 3-3 overall, are tied for first in C-USA’s West Division at 2-1. They’ve won two in a row heading into a non-conference game at UMass Saturday on ASN.
And nothing would make Henderson happier then helping the Bulldogs keep winning.
“Got some great teammates,” he said. “Coach called my number — you got to make a play, and so I just saw the ball in the air and caught it and made a play for my team.
“That’s the move, making a play for the team. Did it for the team.”
Photos courtesy Louisiana Tech Athletics