UL Monroe is having a down year at 3-7. The season started out well with the team going 3-1 early but six straight losses have eliminated the Warhawks from postseason contention. What has been the biggest reason for the six game slide? Aside from the losses at Arkansas State and Kentucky, all of the others have one-possession losses.
Football is often said to be a game of inches, and the Warhawks have fully experienced that this season. 18 points is the total point difference over the past four games. Some of the woes have been to injuries, while the bulk of the issues has just been lack of execution and bad offensive line play. All of last season saw the offensive line allow just 27 sacks; through 10 games, the line has surrendered 41. This has really made the offense one dimensional with 5th year senior Pete Thomas having to throw the ball an average of 44 times per game over the past four contest, compared to senior running back Centarius Donald rushing for just 47 yards per game over the same span.
Rashon Ceaser was tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions last year but he’ sonly got one this year even though he’s the team leader in receptions and third on the team in receiving yards. What has been the cause for the drop off in his scoring?
Some is again related to the hurried passing due to the offensive line, another part is that opponents know he's a play maker and that has resulted in him receiving double-teams. Ceaser was also shaken up earlier in the year and missed the Idaho game.
The Warhawks are last in the league in rushing yards by a pretty wide margin but the Aggie defense is the worst in the league. Do you expect ULM to change their offensive game plan and try to take it at the Aggie run defense?
Seeing the stats, I think the running game is the only way the Warhawks can effectively move the ball to win the game. Only the game vs. Troy, have the Warhawks rushed for less than 100 yards and still come out ahead.
Who are one or two players on offense and defense that the Aggies will need to be aware of?
Offense - WR Kenzee Jackson and TE Harley Scioneaux. Jackson is a senior that is shifty and speedy. He has good hands, and his routes are crisp, allowing him to get separation from opponent secondary players. Scioneaux has just five receptions on the season, but is always a sure handed receiver when called upon.
Defense - DT Gerrand Johnson and LB Hunter Kissinger. Johnson is a beast in the trenches and the anchor to the defensive line. His 71 tackles are the second most on the team, while he's tied for the lead in sacks with 5.5. Kissinger is a true play maker at the linebacker position, as shown with his 67 stops, 5 sacks and 2 interceptions.
The Aggies will win this game if… the Warhawks will win this game if…
Aggies win if they can make ULM a one dimensional threat on offense. Running or passing alone will not win the game for ULM.
ULM wins if they can move the ball offensively. Too many times this season, the defense has been winded from a barrage of offensive three and out possessions.
Your prediction: Warhawks go on the road and steal a game closer than most think. No exact score, but expect it to be another one possession game.