football

Warhawk Inside Slant

Playing football for dollars, i.e., taking on
big-time opponents in their lairs, is almost a
must for Sun Belt Conference teams.
But ULM
might be taking things a bit far.
When the Warhawks visit LSU, they will be
taking on a team from the SEC for the third time
this season, and the Tigers are not just any SEC
opponent. The Warhawks have already played
and lost to Arkansas, 31-7, and Auburn, 52-3,
facing some of the powerhouse from the nation's
premier college football conference.
"When I first took the job, I wondered if we
were going to at least petition to be members of
the SEC West," said coach Todd Berry, who was
hired last December.
Kidding aside, Berry sees games such as this
important not only because of the payday it
brings to his program but also because of the
impact on recruiting. Having an LSU an
Auburn or an Arkansas on the schedule might sway
a player who was either missed or was recruited
by an SEC program but didn't make the final cut
into choosing ULM. That kind of player
historically has played with a little extra
incentive when given an opportunity to play a
school he perceives "snubbed" him.
Being in the same state as the Warhawks, LSU
carries extra meaning, too.
"With so many Louisiana kids on our football
team and with LSU, it builds in a little bit of
a rivalry for our kids in terms of what goes
on," Berry said. "I've gotten more calls outside
of this venue about who's the best between LSU,
Arkansas and Auburn because I may be the only
one that can answer that question."
The game will be the last non-conference game
and last road contest for the Warhawks, who need
two victories to become bowl eligible with six.
The Warhawks (4-5) finish with home games
against North Texas and UL-Lafayette.
NOTES, QUOTES
ULM is 0-2 against members of the
SEC this season, but the Warhawks have not
always come away empty handed from their games
against SEC teams. The Warhawks are 3-35-1
all-time against the conference and are the last
team to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 21-14, on
Nov. 17, 2007.
ULM's struggles in the running game
do not augur well for the Warhawks against LSU.
The Warhawks are averaging only 100.7 yards per
game rushing, and the Tigers are holding their
opponents to 125.2. The Warhawks rank 108th in
rushing among FBS teams and the Tigers are 32nd
against the run.
Red zone offense has been a problem
for the Warhawks. They have scored on only
18-of-25 opportunities after reach opponents'
20-yard line, or 72 percent. Only 13 of the
scores have been touchdowns. Among Sun Belt
teams, only Florida Atlantic, which has only
eight, has fewer red zone touchdowns, and the
Owls have had only 19 opportunities.
Series History: LSU leads 1-0 (last
meeting, 2003, 49-7, LSU).
Scouting The Offense: An
inconsistent running game keeps ULM from being
an effective offense. A week after rushing for
191 yards in a victory over Troy, the Warhawks
managed only 116 in a loss to Florida
International. For the season, they are running
for only 100.7 yards per game, seventh in the
Sun Belt. Behind QB
Kolton Browning, however, they are throwing
for 249.1 yards per game, third in the league.
Browning is averaging 265.1 yards of total
offense and leads the Warhawks with 306 yards
rushing.
Scouting The Defense: ULM is giving
up more than 398 yards per game in total
offense, and only two teams in the league are
getting hit for more points than the 30.9 the
Warhawks are giving up. The Warhawks do have 10
interceptions, tied for second-most in the
league with Arkansas State, behind
UL-Lafayette's 13. ULM is tied for third in the
league with 20 sacks.
Quote To Note:
"It's all about our standard
of performance and preparation. LSU's
got a fine, fine football team, and we're
certainly going to respect every team that we
play. But I don't think our players are
necessarily fearful because we've already played
Arkansas and Auburn, and certainly those teams
were fine football teams also."
- Coach Todd
Berry.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week's Game: at LSU, Nov. 13-The Warhawks take on one of the
hottest teams in the SEC when they go to Baton
Rouge. LSU is 8-1 after defeating Alabama in its
last game to climb to No. 5 in the AP rankings.
This is the last non-conference game of the
season for the Warhawks, who earlier lost to
Arkansas and Auburn, but beat Southeastern
Louisiana.
Keys To The Game: Keep the faith.
The Warhawks are terribly out-manned and need
monumental breaks to keep the game respectable.
One thing in their favor is that LSU's offense
doesn't exactly light up the scoreboard.
Players To Watch:
WR
Luther Ambrose-Ambrose leads the Warhawks
with 52 catches, tied for second in the Sun
Belt, for 562 yards, which is sixth. He has four
touchdown receptions.
QB Kolton Browning-A bull-like rusher and
left-handed thrower, Browning leads the Warhawks
in rushing with 306 yards and is tied for the
team lead with three rushing touchdowns. He is
throwing for better than 231 yards per game,
with 12 touchdown passes against eight
interceptions.
DE
Ken Dorsey-Dorsey is a force up front with
41 tackles to lead the Warhawk linemen. He has
11.0 tackles for-losses, with three sacks. His
56-yard interception return in the final minute
gave the Warhawks an opportunity to win at
Florida International, but the Warhawks
squandered the opportunity with an interception.
Roster Report:
Senior RB
Frank Goodin is fourth
among the schools all-time leading
rushers with 2,761 yards. He began the season
with hopes of catching all-time rushing leader
Calvin Dawson, who had 3,378 yards, but those
hopes seem pretty much dashed with three
regular-season games remaining. No. 3 Joe Profit
(2,818) is well within reach, but No. 2
Roosevelt Potts (3,061) will be difficult to
catch.
WR
Tavarese Maye, a redshirt
freshman, is becoming a big-play man. He has
four touchdowns, three receiving, that have
averaged 41 yards. His 82-yard reception is the
sixth-longest in school history.
K
Radi Jabour is only 23-of-40 on
field goals in his career, but is 7-of-10 from
40 yards or longer. He is only 15-of-28 from
20-39 yards.
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