ULM Duo Puts On Show In Little Rock

Two players LSU might like to have now -- quarterback Steven Jyles and wide receiver Drouzon Quillen -- helped Louisiana-Monroe gain 396 yards while losing 49-20 against Arkansas on Saturday night.

"LSU was looking at me, but they wanted me to play defensive back," said Jyles, who completed 14 of 31 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown. "I only wanted to play quarterback."

Quillen, a 6-foot-6 receiver from New Orleans who caught 32 passes for 514 yards two years ago for the Indians before missing last season with an injury, grabbed three passes for 127 yards and a score against the Hogs.

"LSU recruited me, but I went to their camp and ran a slow 40 time and they signed some dudes over me," Quillen said.

At Abramson High in New Orleans, the talented Quillen blocked 3.5 shots per game for the No. 1 prep basketball team in Louisiana. He demonstrated his athletic ability on a 77-yard touchdown reception Saturday night.

"Arkansas has a whole new secondary, so we just figured we'd be aggressive with our play-calling," Quillen said. "We called our deep stuff on the fly."

Quillen got a little excited after he scored and was penalized 15 yards.

"I did a throat-cutting sign," he said. "That was a dumb mistake. (The touchdown) would have been a whole lot sweeter if we'd won. But we work as hard as any team in the country, and if we keep our eye on the prize, no one can stop us."

The Indians kept their eyes on the bottom line -- a "home" attendance figure of 55,652 at War Memorial Stadium, where they will play Arkansas four more times in the next nine years.

Bobby Staub, who came from Alabama-Birmingham to become ULM's athletic director six weeks ago, was all smiles after watching Indians fans stand and applaud their team after the game.

"This is a great series," Staub said. "We're so close, and we'll probably recruit this area a little bit. It's good for our fans, and we can grow our number of supporters over time. We appreciate Arkansas for their partnership in this game."

Charlie Weatherbie, ULM's coach, was less pleased when he finally emerged from the visitors' locker room 35 minutes after the game.

"Definitely the difference was turnovers," Weatherbie said. "That disappointed me. We got the opening onside kick and then turned the ball right back to them (on Jyles' fumbled snap). That's ridiculous. You've got to take advantage of things like that."

Louisiana-Monroe managed to stay within 35-20 at halftime, before slowing in productivity after that.

"We did some good things in the second quarter," Weatherbie said. "But we couldn't contain Matt Jones. he's a hard guy to contain. You've got to stay after him and stay after him. He's a heckuva player -- he's their offense."

Weatherbie said on a reverse pass attempted by ULM wideout Floyd Smith in the third quarter, "our guy should have run the ball."

By then, Arkansas was playing mostly zone defense, and rover Lerinezo Robinson intercepted Smith's flea-flicker pass.

"Arkansas didn't play nearly as much ‘man' in the second half," Weatherbie said. "We were beating their corners pretty good in the first half."

Jyles gave the Hogs' defense credit. however.

"They play real good defense and fly to the football," he said. "They play real hard for four quarters. With a defense like that, they're going to have some success."

Quillen echoed, "Arkansas' secondary is real talented."

ULM tailback Kevin Payne of Junction City, who was limited to 37 yards on eight carries, said, "I played all right, but it could have been better. We did well on offense, but didn't convert in the red zone. We had too many turnovers (four) against a good team."

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