Offense - Spread
Rushing Yards Per Game - 195 (21st)
Passing Yards Per Game - 200 (71st)
Total Offense Per Game - 395 (46th)
Like most smaller schools with not a lof of depth, the ULM Warhawks run out of a spread formation to slow down bigger more physical defensive line fronts. 80-90% of the time ULM will lineup in a shotgun formation with one back, one TE, and 3 WR's. The Warhawks will use a lot of motion to keep teams honest and will throw, run the dive, qb keeper, or string the play out on the option. The only other formations you will see out of ULM is a 3 TE set when they need to pick up short yardage or our Wild Warhawk package.
Quarterback - UK fans know what it means to be without their starter and unfortunalty so does ULM. Big 6'5 220 Trey Revell broke his thumb last week, had a plate inserted and will miss this weeks game. Trey had thrown for just under 1,200 yards and 8 scores and was the Warhawks second leading rusher with 3 rushing touchdowns. He will be missed.
Starting this week for ULM with be RSF Cody Wells from Spain Park, Alabama. Wells knows the playbook inside and out and is a student of the game but lacks the physical skills and big arm of Revell. Still he can be efficient as he displayed last Tuesday night leading the Warhawks on a 17 play drive and eating 8 minutes off the clock. Cody has seen action in 5 games this season and has passed for 76 yards and a score on 7/13 passing.
ULM has a tough slashing in betwen the tackles runner in Junior Frank Goodin (5'9 205). Also an excellent receiver out of the backfield Goodin has already rushed for 558 yards, scored 9 touchdowns and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Joining him will be Junior Rodney Lovett(5'9 202) and true sophomore Luther Ambrose (5'10 175). The two have added 268 rush yards and two more scores. Ambrose won't get many touches in the backfield but he is a threat to take it the distance everytime he touches it. Look for him to lineup mostly at WR. Ambrose has world class speed being clocked with a 4.29 forty yard dash. He beat Joe McKnight of the USC Trojans when they were in high school in the state 100 meter championships. He will also team up with Lovett on kick returns.
The Warhawks have a lot of depth, skill, and experience at the wide out position. Seniors LaGregory Sapp (6'3 210) and Darrell McNeal (6'0 220) will be the two main targets. Sapp will stretch the field and is the Warhawks true deep threat averaging 18.7 yards per catch. McNeal will make the tough catches over the middle and down the seems of the football field. He leads all ULM wide outs in catches (24), yards (360), and touchdowns (4). Others to see signifigant playing time will be sophomore Anthony McCall (6'0 190) and senior J.J McCoy (5'11 180). McCall can also be a matchup problem but hasnt been used much in 2009. He set a freshman record in 2008 with 6 touchdown receptions, two against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
TE'sULM has two tight ends they will use and they both are a big factor in the Warhawks offense. Junior Alvin Jordan (6'2 250) is the receiving threat with 13 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. RSF Keavon Milton (6'5 250) is the heir apparent to Jordan and is primarly used in the Warhawks run game.
ULM returns all of their starters on the offensive line and so far they have managed to stay healthy while allowing just 5 (5th Nation) sacks through six games. They have also paved the way for the ULM rushing game that is averaging 195 yards per contest, 21st in the nation.
Defense - 3-3-5 scheme
Rush Yards Allowed Per Game - 93 (12th)
Pass Yards Allowed Per Game - 262 (111th)
Total Yards Per Game - 355 (60th)
The Warhawks brought in defensive coordinator Troy Reffett and his heavy pressure 3-3-5 defense to Monroe and so far they are liking the results. ULM looks to bring pressure on every play in some way or another. To date they have registererd 16 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 7 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and 17 quarterback hurries.
The Warhawk three man front is as good as any other but the problem is depth and that is one of the big reasons for going to a 3-3-5 scheme. DE's Aaron Morgan (6'4 240) and Troy Evans (6'2 252) have to be accounted for combining for 10.5 sacks on the season. Aaron Williams (6'0 293) is a bit undersized but does a great job of clogging the middle for ULM. The Warhawks have been outstanding versus the run but are giving up chunks of yardage in the air.
Cardia Jackson, Josh Thomas, and Theo Smith are three of the Warhawks top 5 tacklers on the season to this point. Jackson (6'2 230) is all over the place and leads the team with 52 tackles on the year. Look for at least one or more of these guys to blitz on every play or drop into coverage.
The Warhawks took another big hit last week when they lost their defensive captain in Hawk defensive back James Truxillo to a hyperextended knee. "Trux" will be a gametime decision and can probably go but will be held out this week for next weeks in conference game against Troy. Greg James (13 career int's) and Darrius Prelow (38 tackles, 7 PBU's) will occupy the safety positions and are both sure tacklers. Corner backs Otis Stamps and Nate Brown do a good job of defending the short passes but have had their issues in the passing game.
Kick Return coverage is a big issue for ULM as teams have torched the Warhawks in this catergory. The Warhawks have given up two touchdowns on kick offs and several other big gains. Punter Scott Love is one of the best you will see at pinning teams inside the 20 yards line and will gets some looks from NFL scouts.
Overall Thoughts This Week
With the Warhawks top offensive and defensive players out with injury, this could be a long day for ULM. Cody Wells will get his first start and I expect to him to do a lot of handing off to the Warhawk running backs, playing for field position, and keeping the clock moving. If ULM can convert third downs and pick up some turnovers from the Wildcats, they might can make this interesting. On the other hand if Wells struggles and the Warhawks cannot move the ball, Kentucky will wear down the thin ULM defense and eventually start to pull away.
UK - 31
ULM - 20