Warhawk Inside Slant

All season, ULM has struggled trying to run the
ball. And the Warhawks finally found the answer
against Troy, rushing for 191 yards in their
upset of the Trojans. Part of improvement
was because the Warhawks had been emphasizing
their passing game in recent outings, but there
was another factor, coach Todd Berry said.
"I think we're just growing up a little bit,
too," Berry said as the Warhawks began
preparations for their trip to South Florida to
take on Florida International. "I've been kind
of waiting for our guys to have more comfort
level in what we're doing and become a little
bit more physical."
Berry also credited offensive coordinator
Steve Farmer for keeping the Trojans off-balance
with his play-calling. The Warhawks ran the ball
49 times, second only to the 52 runs they had
against Southeastern Louisiana, and threw 31
The Warhawks also have been working hard on
their running game over the last three weeks,
and that was part of the payoff, too.
"It wasn't an epiphany this week-OK, we're
going to run the football," Berry said. "It was
just a combination of spending more time on it
and growing up."
Whatever the case, the improvement came at
good time. The victory kept the Warhawks in the
Sun Belt race and put them at 4-4 overall. They
are 3-2 in the conference going to Florida
International, which is 2-5, 2-1.
ULM is last in the Sun Belt
Conference in red-zone offense, scoring on only
13 of 19 trips inside opponents' 20-yard line.
Only 10 of the scores have been touchdowns.
Against Florida International, the Warhawks will
be up against a defense that is holding
opponents at a 71.4 percent success rate in
red-zone defense, third-best in the league.
The Warhawks will take a four-game
winning streak in the series into their game at
Florida International. Their only loss to the
Panthers was in 2005 by a 31-29 score in Monroe,
La. The Warhawks are 2-0 against the Panthers in
games played in Miami.
ULM coach Todd Berry and Florida
International's Mario Cristobal served on the
same staff at Miami in 2006. "We knew each other
before getting together, but when we were down
there we were very close," Berry said. "My wife
is close with his wife and really considered to
be very, very dear friends."
Series History: ULM
leads Florida International, 5-1 (last meeting,
2009, ULM, 48-35).
Scouting The Offense: ULM's rushing
game came alive against Troy, compiling 191
yards spread out among six ball carriers. That
was nearly double their previous average
production of 98.8 yards per game. QB
Browning is the third-most productive passer in
the league at 217.6 yards per game, and WR
Luther Ambrose is fourth in both receptions at
5.5 per game and receiving yards at 61.9 per
Scouting The Defense: ULM's defense
ranks fifth overall and sixth against the pass,
but did a great job against Troy, the league
leader in passing yards per game. The Warhawks
held the Trojans to 167 yards through the air,
more than 120 yards below their usual
production. LBs
Jason Edwards and
Cameron Blakes
have combined for 112 tackles to lead the unit.
Quote To Note:
"This is generally the time
period when you start seeing a
bunch of upsets nation-wide."
-Coach Todd Berry, on the
significance of his team's victory over
defending league champion Troy.
This Week's Game: ULM at Florida
International, Nov. 6-The Warhawks have put
themselves very much into the Sun Belt race with
their victory over Troy. Now they face a Florida
International team that is smarting from a loss
to is neighbor, Florida Atlantic. Florida
International is only 2-5 this season, but is
2-1 in the league and hoping to stay in the
conference race.
Keys To The Game: Shut down Florida
International's running game. The Panthers have
improved their rushing game over the dismal
attack they had a year ago, but forcing QB
Wesley Carroll to beat them looks to be the way
for the Warhawks to go. By the same measure, the
Warhawks need to keep their running game going.
Players To Watch:
Frank Goodin-Goodin is coming off his best
game so far this season, having run for 66 yards
against Troy. He's capable of a 100-yard day if
he gets untracked.
QB Kolton Browning-Browning has been a
difference-maker in ULM's spread
offense, leading the team with 236 yards
rushing. He's also completing passes at a 62.4
percent clip, with nine touchdown passes against
seven interceptions in 236 throws.
Ken Dorsey-Dorsey leads the Warhawks in
tackles for losses with nine and is tied for the
team lead in sacks with three. He also has been
credited with five quarterback hurries and has
forced and recovered a fumble.
Roster Report:
QB Kolton Browning has had some
nagging issues with a knee problem that dates to
high school but he is "fine," coach Todd Berry
RB Frank Goodin is fourth on the
career rushing list at ULM with 2,733 yards.
Ahead are Joe Profit 2,818 yards, Roosevelt
Potts at 3,061 and Calvin Dawson with 3,378.
Freshman RB
Jyruss Edwards is 13th
in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 28.2
yard per return. His long is 37 yards.