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CFN Take: ULM Stuns Louisiana-Lafayette

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 30, 2013


2013 ULM Warhawks ... Head Coach: Todd Berry


ULM Warhawks

2013 Record: 6-6
8/31 at Oklahoma L 34-0
9/7 Grambling State W 48-10
9/14 at Wake Forest W 21-19
9/21 at Baylor L 70-7
9/28 Tulane L 31-14
10/3 WKU L 31-10
10/12 at Texas State W 21-14
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 Georgia State W 38-10
10/31 at Troy W 49-37
11/9 Arkansas St L 42-14
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at South Alabama L 36-14
11/30 at Louisiana W 38-31
ULM 38, at Louisiana-Lafayette 31
Basically … ULM stunned ULL in the rivalry game, getting two touchdown passes from Kolton Browning and a 77-yard DeVontae McNeal touchdown run. The Warhawks owned the second half with 17 straight points to pull ahead for good. The Ragin’ Cajuns got up 14-0 early but three picks proved costly and it was too little too late with Jamal Robinson catching a 25-yard touchdown pass in the final minute.
- ULM QB Kolton Browning completed 18-of-28 passes for 247 yards and two scores, and he ran seven times for 36 yards.
- ULL QB Terrance Broadway completed 13-of-27 passes for 178 yards and a score with three picks, and he ran ten times for 43 yards and a score. Brooks Haack completed 10-of-14 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown.
- ULM WR Rashon Ceaser caught six passes for 110 yards and a score.
- ULL RB Elijah McGuire ran 14 times for 119 yards and a score.

Utah State 28 at UNLV 24
Basically … Bruce Natson ran for a 12-yard score in the final four minutes for a four point Aggie lead. UNLV marched down to the Utah State 12 but Caleb Herring’s fourth down pass to Devante Davis was incomplete and Utah State survived. Herring threw two touchdown passes and Tim Cornett ran for a touchdown, but Utah State always had an answer as Darrell Garretson found Shaan Johnson for a five-yard score and Natson and Joey DeMartino each ran for short scores.
- Utah State WR Travis Reynolds caught seven passes for 129 yards and Travis Van Leeuwen added four catches for 112 yards.
- UNLV QB Caleb Herring completed 17-of-39 passes for 252 yards and two scores with a pick, and he ran nine times for 27 yards.
- UNLV RB Tim Cornett ran 29 times for 115 yards and a score.
- Utah State QB Darrel Garretson completed 16-of-28 passes for 288 yards and a score.

Utah State 28 at UNLV 24
Basically … Bruce Natson ran for a 12-yard score in the final four minutes for a four point Aggie lead. UNLV marched down to the Utah State 12 but Caleb Herring’s fourth down pass to Devante Davis was incomplete and Utah State survived. Herring threw two touchdown passes and Tim Cornett ran for a touchdown, but Utah State always had an answer as Darrell Garretson found Shaan Johnson for a five-yard score and Natson and Joey DeMartino each ran for short scores.
- Utah State WR Travis Reynolds caught seven passes for 129 yards and Travis Van Leeuwen added four catches for 112 yards.
- UNLV QB Caleb Herring completed 17-of-39 passes for 252 yards and two scores with a pick, and he ran nine times for 27 yards.
- UNLV RB Tim Cornett ran 29 times for 115 yards and a score.
- Utah State QB Darrel Garretson completed 16-of-28 passes for 288 yards and a score.

ULM 21, at Texas State 14
Basically … Centarius Donald ran for a ten-yard score with 18 seconds to play to break a 14-14 tie and give ULM the win. The Warhawks took a 14-0 lead on two Isaiah Newsome interception returns for scores from 71 and 75 yards out, but Texas State came back with two Jason Dann field goals in the third quarter and a six-yard Robert Lowe touchdown run with just over six minutes to play set up by an interception from Aaron Matthews.
- ULM’s offense might not be working all that well, and Brayle Brown only hit half of his passes for 112 yards with two big picks, but a road win is a road win. Isaiah Newsome was the ULM offense with his two interception returns for scores, bailing out an O that finished with just 192 yards. The defense held Texas State on key down after key down, and only succumbed late after the O screwed up on a pick. Get used to it; ULM is going to have to win ugly.
- Texas State gave this away. With two interception returns for touchdowns and 15 penalties, the Bobcats did everything possible to lose this game. The offense outplayed ULM, even if the passing game was a disaster with the quarterbacks combining to complete 12-of-34 passes for 148 yards and two picks. Robert Lowe was everything for the attack with 140 rushing yards and a score on 22 carries, but the defense couldn’t hold on late as ULM’s woeful offense went 75 yards in the final few minutes.

WKU 31, at ULM 10
Basically … WKU got up 14-0 on two Brandon Doughty touchdown passes with a 33-yarder to Willie McNeal and a 17-yard play to Leon Allen, but ULM fought back with a one-yard Jyruss Edwards scoring run and a 34-yard Justin Manton field goal to get within four. And then it was all WKU, scoring 17 unanswered points with a six-yard Antonio Andrews run and a five-yard score from Allen.
- There was one interception. For a team that has struggled so much with turnovers, WKU didn’t commit enough to blow the easy win. Brandon Doughty had his strongest game yet, completing 24-of-36 passes for 370 yards with two scores, helped by Antonio Andrews taking the pressure off with 155 rushing yards and a score.
- Brayle Brown was in for Kolton Browning, but the ULM offense didn’t hum, and went nowhere fast in the second half. He threw for 275 yards, but the running game wasn’t there to help balance things out, gaining just 116 yards and a score.
- It’s like a broken record, but every week, WKU’s Xavius Boyd is doing more than star linebacker Andrew Jackson. They’re being asked to do different things, but Boyd was a much bigger factor to keep the ULM ground game rolling.
- There was so much promise after the Wake Forest win. ULM hasn’t been able to find any of the same magic with the offense struggling just to keep the chains moving, and the defense not coming up with enough pressure. Next week’s Texas State game is vital. The season can turn around in a hurry with a win and the layup against Georgia State to follow.

Tulane 31, at ULM 14
Basically … Tulane jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the third quarter on short touchdown runs from Rob Kelley and Orleans Darkwa, and then the defense got into the act on a 33-yard fumble return for a score form Dominique Robertson. ULM’s offense didn’t go anywhere, but Rashan Ceaser returned a punt 88 yards for a score.
- Tulane is playing a little bit of defense. It held Kolton Browning in check and didn’t let him get out of the pocket, while the run defense overall gave up just 26 yards on 24 carries. The line whipped the Warhawk offensive front.
- ULM couldn’t stop making mistakes with five turnovers and seven penalties helping to turn the game into a rout. The offense couldn’t get into the end zone until it was way too late in the fourth.
- Lost in the easy win was a Tulane offense that struggled to get Nick Montana going. He only completed 7-of-20 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown with a pick, but the running game bailed him out.
- Is Brayle Brown going to get more of a shot? He stepped in for Browning and threw for 33 yards and a touchdown, but he also gave up two picks. Neither ULM quarterback option did enough.

at Baylor 70, ULM 7
Basically … Baylor turned it on early and didn’t stop, scoring 35 first quarter points helped by interception returns for scores from Joe Williams and Terrell Burt, and Bryce Petty ran for a score and hit Antwan Goodley for a 63-yard score and Tevin Reese for a 47-yarder. Petty found Goodley again for a 65-yard score early in the second, and ended the first half with a 23-yard scoring play to Clay Fuller. Lache Seastrunk started out the second half with a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. ULM’s only score came late in the second on a nine-yard Harley Scioneaux catch.
- So much for Baylor getting a fight from ULM like last year. It’s not just the offense; the defense is playing well, too. It dominated and swarmed, coming up with four takeaways and allowing the high-octane Warhawks to gain just 295 yards.
- Okay, it’s the offense. The Bears have yet to face a killer defense, but 781 yards is impressive against anyone. Bryce Petty is getting time to work, and he’s connecting on everything deep. All he did was complete 18-of-27 passes for 351 yards and four scores. Meanwhile, Lache Seastrunk ran ten times for 156 yards and a score.
- Kolton Browning tried to do it all for ULM, and it didn’t work. He led the team with 43 rushing yards, but he completed just 17-of-41 passes for 219 yards and a score with two picks. He needed more help from his running backs early, and didn’t get it.
- Baylor could’ve scored 100. If it’s possible to score 70 points and be nice about it, Baylor did it.

ULM 21, at Wake Forest 19, Sept. 14
Basically … Wake Forest came up with the touchdown it needed in the final seconds on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Orville Reynolds with four seconds to play to pull within two, but QB Tanner Price’s two-point conversion pass went low and ULM came away with the win. Reynolds also caught a 65-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, but ULM got three short touchdown passes from Kolton Browning to get up 21-13, and despite the late touchdown, the defense held on.
- The Wake Forest defense came up with its share of key stops, but Kolton Browning led the way to three long scoring drives including a grinding 17 play march to start the game. ULM only had three really good drives, but that’s all it needed. The Warhawks owned the clock, keeping the ball for almost 39 minutes.
- Wake Forest settled for field goals when it could’ve taken control with touchdowns. The march at the end of the first half for a 38-yard field goal with no time left on the clock was fine, but an earlier drive that settled for a field goal turned out to be a big deal.
- Kolton Browning was Kolton Browning again, throwing 68 times for 315 yards and three touchdowns and two picks, and while he didn’t run well, he didn’t need to.
- Uhhhhhh, Wake Forest? Running game? The Demon Deacons didn’t even try, letting Tanner Price throw and throw some more. They ran just 15 times for 15 yards.

at ULM 48, Grambling State 10, Sept. 7
Basically … The ULM offense exploded with three Kolton Browning touchdown passes and long touchdown runs from DeVontae McNeal and Jyruss Edwards, but the special teams set the tone with Cortney Davis returning the opening kickoff for a score. Grambling State tied it at seven on a 17-yard Anthony McGhee touchdown catch, but ULM followed it up with a 41-point run.
- Is it concerning at all that Kolton Browning only hit half his passes? He threw a pick, but he also tossed three touchdown passes and threw for 171 yards.
- It sure helped that Grambling State committed 15 penalties, but ULM wasn’t exactly sharp with three turnovers and five penalties. It didn’t matter; the offense did whatever it wanted.
- The offensive line opened up huge holes. Jyruss Edwards averaged 15.4 yards per try and the ground game averaged close to ten yards per pop.

at Oklahoma 34, ULM 0, Aug. 31
Basically … Trevor Knight might have struggled throwing the ball against ULM, but he found Jalen Saunders for a 12-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and on an 18-yard scoring pass in the third. He also hooked up with Trey Metoyer on a 13-yard touchdown to put the game well out of reach. ULM managed just 166 yards of total offense and nine first downs.
- The coaching staff didn’t pick Trevor Knight for his arm, and while he only completed 11-of-28 passes he threw for three scores to go along with his 13 carries for 103 yards. He has the dynamic potential the coaching staff was looking for.
- Sun Belt star quarterback Kolton Browning was never able to get free. He wasn’t bad throwing the ball, but he only ran four times for three yards. The Sooners didn’t give up a thing on the ground.
- If Knight can be merely adequate, he can make the offense shine through the air. Jalen Saunders had the big day, but all the key receivers got into the act.
- Rushing yards: Oklahoma 6.1 – ULM 1.7. The Sooner defensive front didn’t let the Warhawks breathe.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited As good as the 2012 season was – throwing aside the clunker of a bowl loss – 2013 could be even better with 18 starters coming back including quarterback Kolton Browning and four starters off the line. The scoring could come in bunches like it did at times last season, while there should be a little bit of an improvement on the other side of the ball. The defense struggled with its consistency, but nine starters are back including the entire front three and all five starters in the secondary for nickel packages.

Why To Be Grouchy Tavarese Maye and Je’Ron Hamm are good receivers who should be able to pick up the slack, but losing a reliable safety valve like Brent Leonard will hurt. Losing a right guard usually isn’t a big deal, but Jonathan Gill was a good one for a line that needs to be a big tighter and more effective. Leading tackler R.J. Young and running mate DaCorris Ford a gone after a big year getting behind the line.

What Needs Working On The secondary has to tighten up. Usually teams with great offenses give up great pass defense numbers because teams have to bomb away to try to keep up the pace, but ULM’s secondary was just bad. A mediocre pass rush didn’t help the cause for a secondary that allowed a whopping 33 touchdown passes, giving up fewer than two scores in two games. Overall, the defense has to do a far better job of coming up with takeaways after recovering a mere four fumbles, and two of those coming early in the year against Baylor.

Non-Conference Games: at Oklahoma, Grambling State, at Wake Forest, at Baylor, Tulane
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Grambling State, Tulane, WKU, at Texas State, Georgia State, Arkansas State, at South Alabama
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Oklahoma, at Wake Forest, at Baylor, at Troy, at Louisiana

Schedule Analysis: Can ULM pull off a huge shocker by beating Oklahoma in Norman? No, but it wouldn’t be stunning if it came up with a victory over Wake Forest or Baylor on the road or Tulane at home. Most of the biggest Sun Belt games are at home, going against WKU and Arkansas State, but the showdown against the Red Wolves on November 9th is the last home date with a week off before going on the road to finish up at South Alabama and Louisiana. The season could come down to the rivalry showdown against the Ragin’ Cajuns, but there can’t be any big slips at home and beating Troy and Texas State in the middle of the season on the road could be a must.

Team Concerns For 2013: The secondary was a disaster, and it wasn't just because teams had to bomb away to try keeping up the pace. The offensive line could stand to be tougher and more consistent, and it would be nice to get more from the running backs so Kolton Browning doesn't have to carry all of the workload. The pass rush needs to generate more big plays, but it was a young front three that should mature into something special over the next few years. Offensively, finding a No. 1 target to replace Brent Leonard will be a focus in spring ball.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Quarterback Bivins Caraway is a smallish baller who could fit the Kolton Browning mode, and tight end Everett Anderson was a good signing for an offense that could use as many targets as possible for down the road, but the offensive line got the biggest boost with tackle Chase Regian the best option in the class and guards Trey Martin and Matt Oubre good interior blockers who could be big factors with a few years in the weight room. Defensive tackle David Elias will someday be a factor as an interior pass rusher.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 110. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive back. The Warhawks will be going after a huge class with a little something for everyone, but the secondary will get the most attention with a slew of safeties coming in for the 3-3-5 alignment. There’s no need to go after anyone for the offensive backfield with the shelves stocked for a few years, but a few receivers will come in to provide more options for Todd Berry’s four and five-wide sets.

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 119. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Head coach Todd Berry didn’t need to do much at receiver last year after the previous regime loaded up in 2009, but he went long this year with several solid targets. Earnest Carrington is a tall, promising quarterback, but he could be pushed in a few years by Brayle Brown, a mobile passer with a little bit of upside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 111. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linemen. The biggest instant impact should be in the secondary with JUCO transfers Montavious Hill and Dan Jackson brought in to be in the starting mix right away, but the Warhawks loaded up on the lines. Six defensive ends, two centers, two guards, and four offensive tackles make it a strength-in-numbers class, but OT Jon Fisher is a good one who should be the star of the bunch.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. This is a huge class with the major emphasis on the offense, and most specifically, the receivers. With seven prospects coming in over various shapes and sizes. JUCO transfer Cordario Calvin will be expected to play right away, but Tristan Warren might be the best of the lot, and Otis Peterson and Tavarese Maye will battle it out for who’ll be the fastest.


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