Idaho Opens SBC Play at Louisiana-Monroe

Idaho opens its 2002 Sun Belt Conference campaign this week at The University of Louisiana - Monroe. Both teams have had their struggles with rough non-conference schedules, and both will be looking at this game to open their conference seasons with a victory.

GAME TIME: 4:00 PM (PST), Monroe, Louisiana

LINE: Idaho (0-0, 1-5) by 12 over ULM (0-1, 0-5)

TV: None


The University of Louisiana at Monroe's struggles this football season have been epic. A couple weeks ago head coach Bobby Keasler quit the program, leaving defensive coordinator Mike Collins at the healm. They've been throttled all season long, losing 31-3 to Ole Miss, 68-0 to Kansas State, and 52-9 to Tulane last weekend. Their offense is averaging 10 points per game this season, while their defense is giving up 42 points per game.

Oddly enough, however, ULM was the only Sun Belt team last year to beat the SBC Champ, the University of North Texas. They haven't won many games since moving to 1-A in 1994, but they've posted victories over Kentucky, Mississippi State, Hawai'i and the University of Central Florida in that time span. Idaho holds a 2-0 record over the Indians, having beaten them in a 1-AA playoff game in 1993, and last year squeeking a fortunate 42-38 win in The Dome.

Below is a quick glimpse at the players to look for this weekend, followed by links to additional information on the ULM Indians.

Rogelio Solis / AP
#8 Bryant Jacobs, starting tailback, fighting for yards against Ole Miss.
Indian Offense

Projected starting lineup:

QB Steven Jyles, 6-1, 180, Fr
RB Bryant Jacobs, 5-7, 186, Sr
FB Jason Schule, 6-0, 223, Fr
WR Mack Vincent, 5-11, 196, Jr
WR Floyd Smith, 5-8, 180, So
TE Ben Wright, 6-3, 248, Sr
LT Bruce Hampton, 6-3, 314, So
LG Zack Sims, 6-4, 328, Sr
C Hayden Wadsworth, 6-2, 273, So
RG Kenny Ordenaeaux, 6-4, 283, Jr
RT Josh Wade, 6-5, 280, Jr

As is characteristic when always playing the Louisiana schools, one thing you can expect with ULM is some good speed. However, for the third straight season, the Indians are breaking a new offensive coordinator. New OC Tommy Condell is trying to implement a more wide-open attack to the offense, but the going has been rough this season. Although there is alot of returning experience on this team, the Indians are starting a true freshman at quarterback in Steven Jyles, making the learning curve even tougher. Through the air they are passing for 193 yards per game. Junior Mack Vincent is their leading receiver with 85 yards per game. Senior running back Bryant Jacobs has good speed, but is running behind a true freshman fullback in Jason Schule and is averaging just over 62 yards per game as the team's leading rusher.

Coming into this season the Indians had quite abit of starting experience on the line. However, there has been substantial changes over the course of the season. Most of the returning starters expected to have a major impact are now in backup positions on the team.

Rogelio Solis / AP
#2 Seneca Lee, starting right cornerback, brings down an Ole Miss back.
Indian Defense

Projected starting lineup:

DE John Tompson, 6-3, 271, Jr
NT Corey Conde, 6-3, 245, So
DE Alnecco Shine, 6-3, 255, So
CLB L.B. Jeter, 6-1, 215, Fr
MLB Carlos Hughes, 6-2, 240, Sr
WLB Darwin Roberts, 6-2, 225, Sr
LCB Cash Mouton, 6-1, 193, So
RSS A.J. Bocard, 5-10, 187, So
LSS Damien Richard, 6-0, 196, So
FS Chris Harris, 6-1, 200, So
RCB Seneca Lee, 5-11, 180, Jr

Monroe's strength the last couple of seasons has been there defense (their base defense is a 4-2-5), and although they've been blown out in several games this season, its still the side with the best athletes and most experience. They are without one of their best players from last season, linebacker Maurice Sonnier, their leading tackler and sacker of a year ago. But the linebacking corp is still very fast and with good size and athleticism.

The defensive front is small in the middle, but has good size and speed coming off the ends. Nose tackle Conde is undersized, but this is his 3rd year as a starter and is very active in the middle.

Ironically, the defensive backfield boasts the most starting experience on the defensive unit, even though most of the players in the backfield are sophomores. One of the team's most talented players is free safety Chris Harris, while the team's leading tackler is strong safety Damien Richard. Cornerback Seneca Lee is a three year starter.

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University of Louisiana - Monroe Official Athletic Site 2002 Preview

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