#103 Louisiana-Monroe Football 2014 Preview

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Overall Rank: #103
#5 Sun Belt

ULM Team Page#103 Louisiana-Monroe Football 2014 PreviewBuy ULM Football Tickets

Coach Todd Berry led Louisiana-Monroe to their first bowl appearance in 2012, but they failed to follow it up with another winning season. The Warhawks did end up bowl eligible at 6-6 thanks to a nice season ending win against Louisiana in Lafayette, but their season ended there. With some big names moving on, this team has some rebuilding to do.

2013 Record: (6-6, 4-3)
2013 Bowl: None
Coach: Todd Berry (23-26 at Louisiana-Monroe, 28-61 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Steve Farmer
Defensive Coordinator: Troy Reffett

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Centarius Donald, RB, 433 yards
Passing: Brayle Brown, QB, 645 yards
Receiving: Rashon Ceaser, WR, 964 yards
Tackles: Hunter Kissinger, LB, 73
Sacks: Joey Gautney, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Hunter Kissinger, LB, 3

Other Key Returnees: K Justin Manton, S Cordero Smith, DL Gerrand Johnson, S Mitch Lane, LB Ray Stovall, OL Joseph Treadwell

Key Losses: RB Jyruss Edwards, QB Kolton Browning, LB Cameron Blakes, S Isaiah Newsome, WR Tavarese Maye, OL Josh Allen, OL Jon Fisher

Despite the loss of big playmakers like Cameron Blakes, who led the team with 4.0 sacks, and Isaiah Newsome, who led the way with four interceptions, ULM should put a better defensive unit on the field in 2014. Junior Hunter Kissinger is ready to step into a starring role in the linebacker corps after tallying 73 tackles and three interceptions as a sophomore. Ray Stovall, who started 11 games in 2013, and Cody Robinson, a promising junior, will join Kissinger. The secondary, led by upperclassmen Cordero Smith and Mitch Lane, is full of young talent. That talent never came together last season, but a year in the system should help. If the defense is going to live up to their potential, the front line will need to get more pressure on the opposing quarterback. Much of that pressure will fall on Joey Gautney and Darius Lively.

Quarterback Kolton Browning had an amazing career. While the 2013 campaign was disappointing and the 2,179 passing yards and 21 touchdowns were disappointing, he still leaves behind big shoes to fill. The hope is Pete Thomas, a graduate transfer from North Carolina State, can do the job. He started six games in Raleigh, but threw four touchdowns and nine interceptions. But he should beat Brayle Brown and Earnest Carrington for the starting job. Rashon Ceaser will be the go-to-receiver again, but ULM needs a couple of other consistent options for Thomas if their passing attack is going to be anywhere near as productive as it was in 2012. The rushing offense may not help get the passing attack moving. Jyruss Edwards is gone and the Warhawks are going to have to rely on Centarius Donald. The bruising senior rushed for 433 yards and a team high four touchdowns despite starting just four contests.

The Bottom Line:
Louisiana-Monroe has the potential to get back to a bowl game. The schedule is pretty tough again with games against Wake Forest, LSU, Kentucky and Texas A&M. But the new look Sun Belt is littered with winnable games and Coach Berry can certainly get his team to play above expectations.

Projected Bowl: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 122.8 (105th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 237.5 (58, 4)
Total Offense: 360.3 (98, 6)
Scoring Offense: 22.3 (100, 7)
Rushing Defense: 189.3 (87, 7)
Pass Defense: 237.6 (74, 4)
Total Defense: 426.8 (90, 6)
Scoring Defense: 30.2 (83, 6)
Turnover Margin: -0.3 (86, 5)
Sacks: 1.33 (107, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (77, 7)


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