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October 4, 2013The 2013 season was one that was entered with the expectations of continuing where 2012 left off. Instead the Warhawks find themselves below .500 with a 204 record and having started Sun Belt Conference play with a 31-10 loss to Western Kentucky. Additionally the post-Kolton Browning era came sooner than expected, as his leg injury has ended his football career at ULM.
Despite these issues, the Warhawks have managed to once again upset an automatic BCS qualifier, ACC member Wake Forest, and add a top-10 attendance game under their belts.
Here's a look back at the first half of the season's highs and lows.
1st quarter at season opener Oklahoma - While the scoreboard still read 0-0, the Warhawks held the Sooners in check and moved he ball fairly well down the field; all of this despite a less than full strength Browning and running attack.
Defensive Deacon stand - In the final minutes of the win over Wake Forest, the defense bent, but didn't break as the Warhawk defense stopped a late two-point conversion attempt to hold onto the 21-19 win on the road.
Special Teams - Junior kicker Justin Manton is on pace for the highest punting average since 2004 when Joel Stelly averaged 45.1 per kick.? Through the first six games, Manton is averaging 45 yards.
The Baylor game - Beyond the scoreboard, the Bears torched the ULM secondary time and time again, as the team looked mentally and physically beat down.? The game continues to be a mental factor for the team and especially the secondary.
Seeing red in the red zone - The Warhawks are 9-21 (43%) in the red zone this season, but most recently converted both attempts against WKU.? Last year ULM was 82% in the zone, while prior years under Head Coach Todd Berry have been 69% (2011) and 57% (2010).? During his 2005 tenure as offensive coordinator at ULM, the then Indians scored 87% in the red zone.
Special Teams - Five fumbled punt and kickoffs have marred special teams and erased the memory of Rashon Ceaser's 88 yard punt return.? Additionally field goals have become a risk instead of a sure three points.?