ULM's mastery over four-time Sun Belt champion Troy in Monroe's Malone Stadium continues. Coming off a lackluster performance on the road that saw them lose big to Middle Tennessee, the Warhawks shook off an early turnover that led to a Trojan touchdown to post a 28-14 victory over the defending Sun Belt champions.
It was their third straight victory on their home field for the Warhawks over the Trojans, the other two coming in 2005 (27-3) and 2008 (31-30). Of the eight losses Troy has in league play since 2005, three of them have come to the Warhawks in Monroe.
"The offense kind of got on track right in the beginning," coach Todd Berry said. "We adjusted, which was great to see also. "As I have said before with a young team, it is sometimes hard to make adjustments and get them functional, but we were able to do that.
Defense came up with some big stops against a very explosive Troy team. I think we are getting better and this was a good step for us." Only a week after being held to minus-four yards rushing in the loss at Middle Tennessee, the Warhawks rushed for a season-high 191 yards against Troy.
"I'm obviously extremely proud of the football team," Berry said. "We challenged them this last week. We scrimmaged them on Sunday and other kinds of things. "This group continues to respond. I've said this before -- there is a difference in responding and reacting. Responding is when you know that things are going to happen and you are prepared to handle what happens good or bad. "I thought we did a great job of that today."
Louisiana-Monroe evened its overall record at 4-4 and advanced to 3-2 in the Sun Belt race. Next up for the Warhawks, though, are back-to-back road games starting at Florida International. After that they are at LSU on Nov. 13 before finishing at home against North Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette.
--Louisiana-Monroe went into the game against Troy having scored only six points, on two field goals, in the first quarter this season. But after losing the ball on a fumble on their first possession, the Warhawks corrected that deficiency by scoring on their second series. WR Tavarese Mayes hauled in QB Kolton Browning's pass around the Troy's 25-yard line and took it to the end zone to complete a 48-yard scoring play. The Trojans added another touchdown later in the quarter on a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by Browning's one-yard run.
--QB Kolton Browning's 1,741 passing yards this season are the most over an eight-game span by a Louisiana-Monroe quarterback since Raymond Philyaw had 1,762 in 1996.
--With their two interceptions against Troy, Louisiana-Monroe has had at least one interception in seven of eight games this season. S Darius Prelow and CB Robert Nelson had the interceptions against Troy.
GAME BALL GOES TO: WR Tavarese Mayes -- Mayes scored two touchdowns, one on a 48-yard reception to tie the score, 7-7, the other on a 43-yard run to put the Warhawks ahead 21-14 in the second quarter. For the game, the redshirt freshman had two carries for 44 yards and four receptions for 77. The latter figure was a game-high, the 43-yard run was a season long run and the 48-yard touchdown reception was the longest scoring play for the Warhawks this season.
KEEP AN EYE ON: S Isaiah Newsome -- Newsome, a redshirt freshman making his second consecutive start and third of the season, led the Warhawks with seven tackles and was credited with breaking up a pass.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "When people are open you have to get them the ball, and that's what I do. If the stats add up, then that's what I get, but I don't really look at that too much." -- QB Kolton Browning, who has passed for at least 200 yards in seven consecutive games, longest such streak for a Warhawks quarterback in 17 seasons.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
LOOKING GOOD: The Warhawks got their running game in gear -- finally -- with a net of 191 yards. Senior TB Frank Goodin had his biggest game of the season with 66 yards on 15 carries, and his backup, freshman Jyruss Edwards, added 39 on 11 runs. But the big key was the defensive work on Troy QB Corey Robinson. The league's most productive passer passed for only 167 yards, had two passes intercepted (by S Darius Prelow and CB Robert Nelson) and was sacked twice (by LB Jason Edwards and DE Jordan Landry). Robinson completed only 16-of-38 passes.
STILL NEEDS WORK: The Warhawks fumbled four times and though they lost only one, that turnover led to Troy's first touchdown. QB Kolton Browning was sacked three times, and the Warhawks were penalized eight times for 70 yards.
--Junior S Darius Prelow came up with his first career interception in the second quarter.
--Junior TE Ty Kittle caught a short kickoff at his 26-yard line in the first quarter and returned it 20 yards, the first return of his career.
--Sophomore CB Robert Nelson's interception was the second of his career.
--Junior WR Luther Ambrose had seven catches for 73 yards against Troy.