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ULM (2-4) at Texas State (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 12, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bobcat Stadium (30,000) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 1-2, Texas State 2-0. Away Record: ULM 1-2, Texas State 1-2. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 0-1, Texas State 0-1. Series Record: ULM leads, 7-2.
GAME NOTES: The ULM Warhawks will attempt to put an end to their three-game losing streak on Saturday night, as they take on the Texas State Bobcats in Sun Belt Conference action from Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.
ULM opened up Sun Belt play on Oct. 3 with a home clash against Western Kentucky, but fell flat in a 31-10 setback as it suffered its third consecutive loss to fall to 2-4. The Warhawks have had a very challenging road schedule so far, losing to nationally-ranked Big 12 Conference opponents Oklahoma (34-0) and Baylor (70-7), while also capturing an impressive 21-19 win at Wake Forest.
Texas State opened the season in fine fashion with wins in three of its first four games, but in its first-ever Sun Belt contest last weekend against Louisiana, the team was thoroughly outplayed in a 48-24 loss. The good news for the Bobcats is that they've won three straight at home dating back to last season.
ULM has won seven of the nine meetings in the series with Texas State, but the last meeting came more than a decade ago when the Bobcats won in September of 2000, 27-7.
The Warhawks' offensive attack has been grounded through six games this season, as they muster up a meager 16.7 ppg and 356.7 ypg, scoring points on only 52 percent of their trips to the red zone.
With Kolton Browning (967 yards, seven TDs, six INTs) slated to miss the remainder of the season with a leg injury, the keys to the offense have been handed over to Brayle Brown. The sophomore has done little to impress so far, however, as he has completed just 51.5 percent of his passes with a touchdown and four interceptions.
Rashon Ceaser has been ULM's most productive receiver with 36 catches for 407 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone. Tavarese Maye has 28 grabs for 247 yards and a score.
Jyruss Edwards has amassed 305 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on 64 carries, but the rushing attack a whole has been sub-standard, gaining just 121.8 ypg.
The ULM defense has done little to pick up the slack for its underachieving offense, allowing 32.5 ppg and 436.7 ypg while forcing just six turnovers.
Cameron Blakes has a team-high 42 tackles and 2.5 sacks, while Ray Stovall has 6.5 TFL. Isaiah Newsome has a pair of interceptions to go with four passes defended.
Texas State doesn't wow anyone with its offensive attack, as it puts up a modest 24.6 ppg, and its 300.6 ypg ranks last in the Sun Belt.
The Bobcats offense is predicated on the run, and Robert Lowe earns the most work out of the backfield with 54 carries for 302 yards and five touchdowns, while Chris Nutall has also been effective with 237 yards and four scores.
Tyler Arndt (39-of-62, 366 yards, zero TDs, one INT) started the season at quarterback but proved to be ineffective. He was recently replaced by Tyler Jones, who has completed 72.7 percent of his throws for 262 yards with a touchdown and a pick to go with 114 rushing yards.
No Texas State receiver averages more than 30 yards per game. Isaiah Battle has 15 receptions and Andy Erickson has hauled in 14 passes, but neither has scored.
The Bobcats' strength is undoubtedly their defense, which allows just 24.0 ppg. The unit had been one of the nation's best against the run heading into last week's game before Louisiana hammered out 212 rushing yards.
David Mayo has a team-best 42 tackles to go along with 2.0 TFL, a sack and two interceptions. Michael Orakpo makes plenty of plays behind the line of scrimmage with 6.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
While Texas State's inconsistent and one-dimensional offense may hinder its long-term chances in the Sun Belt, its talented defense will allow it to defeat its share of inferior opponents, which ULM definitely qualifies as without its starting quarterback. The Bobcats should have little issue getting back on track in front of the home crowd.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas State 27, ULM 17
10/09 10:38:55 ET