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2009 CFN ULM Preview
ULMLB Cardia Jackson
ULMLB Cardia Jackson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 29, 2009


CollegeFootballNews.com 2009 Preview - ULM Warhawks

ULM Warhawks

Preview 2009

By Pete Fiutak

- 2009 ULM Preview | 2009 ULM Offense 
- 2009 ULM Defense | 2009 ULM Depth Chart
-
2008 ULM Preview | 2007 ULM Preview | 2006 ULM Preview 

Head coach: Charlie Weatherbie
7th year: 25-45
17th year overall: 70-109
Returning Lettermen
Off, 20, Def, 17, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best ULM Players
1. LB Cardia Jackson, Sr.
2. S Greg James, Sr.
3. Rover Josh Thompson, Sr.
4. RB Frank Goodin, Jr.
5. DE Aaron Morgan, Sr.
6. QB Trey Revell, Jr.
7. CB Nate Brown, Soph.
8. S James Truxillo, Sr.
9. WR Darrell McNeal, Sr.
10. WR Anthony McCall, Soph.

2009 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
3-9
CFN Record: 0-0

9/5 at Texas
9/12 Texas Southern
9/12 at Arizona State
9/26 at Florida Atlantic
10/3 FIU
10/13 Arkansas State
10/24 at Kentucky
10/31 at Troy
11/7 at North Texas
11/14 Western Kentucky
11/21 at UL Lafayette
11/28 Middle Tenn.

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
5-7
CFN Record: 4-8

8/30 at Auburn L 34-0
9/6 at Arkansas L 28-27
9/13 Alabama A&M W 37-15
9/20 at Tulane L 24-10
9/27 OPEN DATE
10/4 UL Lafayette L 44-35
10/11 at Arkansas St L 37-29
10/18 North Texas W 35-23
10/25 Florida Atlantic L 29-28
11/1 Troy  W 31-30
11/8 at Middle Tenn L 24-21
11/15 at Ole Miss L 59-0
11/22 at FIU W 31-27
11/29 OPEN DATE

ULM was on a roll at the end of 2007 having won five of its final six games, highlighted by an upset over Alabama, and a loaded team was coming back for 2008.

Clunk.

The defense was awful and the offense wildly inconsistent, but there were still chances to come up with big wins and come up with a nice season. Instead, ULM lost a one-point heartbreaker to Arkansas, a one-point killer against Florida Atlantic, and a three-point battle against Middle Tennessee when there were three missed field goals. While it’s not fair to think about what would’ve happened had UL won those three games, especially considering there was a shocking 31-30 win over Troy and a 31-27 win over FIU to close things out, the time needs to be now to win those games to get over the Sun Belt hump.

ULM simply won’t be good enough this year to give away any winnable games. Troy, Middle Tennessee, and Florida Atlantic are just three of the league’s stars, and ULM isn’t in their category. That doesn’t mean there can’t be wins over everyone and anyone in the Sun Belt, but it does mean that all the close games have to go the team’s way to get the first winning season at the D-I level since 1980.

This year’s team will have issues. It needs to find a pass rush, the offensive line has to be far better, the defense has to come up with a stop or two, and the offense has to be more consistent. However, there’s tons of speed on both sides of the ball, the receiving corps should be excellent, and the linebacking corps will be among the best in the Sun Belt. Will it be enough to finally make ULM a major factor in the conference race? Maybe.

No one will pick the Warhawks to win the Sun Belt title, and expectations will be kept relatively low. With as much potential explosion as this year’s team has, and with the experience on defense, this could be a sleeper team in the chance … again. ULM would rather be good enough to become the hunted, but there must be more wins to get to that level.  

What to watch for on offense: An interesting quarterback battle. Trey Revell should be ready after serving as the understudy to Kinsmon Lancaster, but junior Zach Rhodes is speedy fast and has the upside to become a dangerous playmaker with a little more time to work. Revell can run, too, and he has a live arm who can push the ball deep, but Rhodes might still be too good a prospect to keep on the sidelines. 

What to watch for on defense: A change in alignment. ULM ran a 4-2-5 over the last few years with some semblance of success. Now things will change to a 3-3-5 set, and that’s a big positive considering the Warhawks are thin at tackle and have an abundance of good linebackers. However, the front three will now have to show it can get into the backfield on a regular basis.

The team will be far better if … more plays are made in the backfield … again. ULM hasn’t come up with steady sacks over the last few years, and now there will have to be more from the linebackers and even the safeties to generate pressure. Aaron Morgan is a tremendous pass rusher who has to all but do it all by himself while all-star linebacker Cardia Jackson provides a little bit of help, but that’s it. Those two came up with ten of the team’s 13 sacks. Obviously, those two will be keyed on by every blocking scheme.

The Schedule: It’s tricky, but there are moments of manageability. Forget about the season-opener at Texas, that’s just a game to get everyone’s feet wet, but Texas Southern is a winnable game the following week. The rest of the non-conference schedule is against Arizona State and Kentucky, but those two will have their heads focused on games ahead and could be ripe for the picking. Starting out the Sun Belt slate at Florida Atlantic isn’t a plus, but FIU and Arkansas State will be a decent back-to-back home stand before going on the road for four times in a five week run. Going to Troy, along with the early date at FAU, will all but kill Sun Belt title hopes, but getting Middle Tennessee at home to close things out is a plus.

Best Offensive Player: Junior RB Frank Goodin. He has the speed and surprising power for a 5-9, 200-pound back. While he had a bit of a disappointing season running for 783 yards and five touchdowns, he led the team in rushing and was fourth in receiving with 25 catches for 277 yards and two scores. He did all of that while trying to get through an ankle injury, and now he’s 100% and should be ready for a breakout year.

Best Defensive Player:
Senior LB Cardia Jackson. The star of the defense for the last three years, Jackson is coming off a 127-tackle season and should do even more with more responsibility. He got bigger and is now up to 240 yards, so the potential is there that he can be an even bigger hitter after already being known as one of the most intimidating poppers in the Sun Belt.

Key player to a successful season:
Senior NT Aaron Williams. In the new 3-3-5 set, the tackle has to be a true anchor for everyone to work around. The 296-pound Williams had a good season making 29 tackles, but he has to do more this season. More stats isn’t a must, but he has to gum up the works to allow the rest of the back six to roam around and make plays.

The season will be a success if ... ULM comes up with a winning season. It’ll take a win at North Texas, at least one other road upset somewhere else, perhaps against FIU or UL Lafayette, and there can’t be any slips at home. There aren’t any home dates against anyone who came up with a winning record last year. In the end, 6-6 would be acceptable, but 7-5 would be tremendous.

Key game:
Sept. 26 at Florida Atlantic. The Warhawks lost to the Owls in a 29-28 heartbreaker last season. It might be tough to come up with the upset in the Sun Belt opener, but it would be a tremendous tone-setter for the rest of the season if they can do it considering there are two home games to follow. A win means a winning season quickly becomes a truly attainable goal.

2008 Fun Stats: 

- Sacks: Opponents 31 for 176 yards – ULM 13 for 87 yards
- Field goals: Opponents 20-of-28 – ULM 8-of-17
- Punt return average: Opponents 11 yards per try – ULM 6.5 yards per try

- 2009 ULM Preview | 2009 ULM Offense 
- 2009 ULM Defense | 2009 ULM Depth Chart
-
2008 ULM Preview | 2007 ULM Preview | 2006 ULM Preview