Senior running back Frank Goodin entered the season chasing ULM's career rushing record. But through three games, Goodin is having a hard time making a significant contribution to the offense. The West Monroe product has rushed for just 101 yards on 37 attempts so far and is averaging 2.7 yards per carry. In what could have been a get-off game for Goodin, he gained 43 yards on 19 carries Saturday night in ULM's 21-20 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
A number of factors have worked against Goodin's pursuit of program history. ULM coach Todd Berry said a mismatch up front hurt ULM in the loss to Arkansas. The matchup with Arkansas State dictated using quarterback Kolton Browning more as a runner.
And Saturday's performance vs. Southeastern?
"We actually planned on running Frank more," Berry said. "I didn't (think) he was having necessarily a great game. Jyruss (Edwards) ended up getting more snaps than Frank did."
Berry laid some of that blame on an offensive line that isn't performing well.
"We're struggling up front," Berry said. "We kind of knew going in that it was going to be a little more difficult for us this year because of the number of guys who had any game experience. We're a little bit banged up in the offensive line, and that's created some other issues for us."
Offensive coordinator Steve Farmer said in a postgame radio interview that he will continue to work toward keeping Goodin involved despite his slow start.
"That's not necessarily completely him," Farmer said. "We've got to do a better job up front and at the tight end position. We've got to create creases for him to run through." Farmer said Goodin needs more time working with the revamped offensive line.
"A great running back trains his offensive line," Farmer said. "Frank is a great running back. He trains his offensive line. You do that during fall practice and fall camp. … We missed some extremely valuable reps those last 10 practices of fall camp. That's showing its ugly head this season."
ULM's career leader Calvin Dawson gained 3,378 yards on the ground. Goodin needs 772 yards to surpass his former teammate.
A bad taste: Berry earned his first win as ULM's head coach against the FCS Lions, but it's not a game he'll recall fondly.
"There's no such thing as a bad win, but I don't know that I've ever been around an uglier win in my life," Berry said. "We didn't really play that well on either side of the ball. Again, we've just got to continue to grow our guys up. We're playing hard, but not very smart."
Home opener: The announced attendance for ULM's home opener at Malone Stadium was 15,285. The crowd was actually the biggest for a home opener since 22,022 saw the Warhawks open the 2007 campaign against Tulsa on Sept. 12 of that year.
ULM drew 9,330 to its 2009 home opener against Texas Southern. The first home game of 2008 against Alabama A&M had an announced crowd of 9,717.
ULM has won three straight home openers and four of its last five. ULM lost five straight home openers from 2001 to 2005.
Tail feathers: ULM visits Auburn on Saturday. The 11 a.m. game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. … ULM wide receiver Anthony McCall caught a career-high eight passes for 69 yards against Southeastern. … The Warhawks have been outscored 28-0 in the first quarter but have a 20-7 edge in the second quarter. … Luther Ambrose, McCall and Brent Leonard lead ULM with 10 receptions each.