Louisiana (4-3) at ULM (6-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Malone Stadium (30,427) -- Monroe, Louisiana. Television: Sun Belt Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Louisiana 3-1, ULM 2-1. Away Record: Louisiana 1-2, ULM 4-1. Neutral Record: Louisiana 0-0, ULM 0-0. Conference Record: Louisiana 2-2, ULM 4-0. Series Record: Louisiana leads, 24-23.
GAME NOTES: The ULM Warhawks will try to keep their place atop the Sun Belt Conference standings when they play host to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Saturday afternoon.
Louisiana's season got off to a flying start with wins in four of its first five games, with its only loss coming on the road to Oklahoma State (65-24). Since then however, the Cajuns have sputtered, dropping back-to-back conference games, at North Texas (30-23) and at home against Arkansas State (50-27). Their latest defeat was a rare occurrence in Lafayette, as they hadn't lost a game at Cajun Field since Nov. 20, 2010.
Although it got off to a bit of a sluggish start in a win over South Alabama (38-24) last week, ULM has now won five in a row and it is 4-0 in Sun Belt play for the first time in school history. The Warhawks have become bowl eligible for the third time since joining the FBS, but they have yet to actually receive a bowl invite.
These two Pelican State rivals have played a tight series in 47 all-time meetings. The Cajuns have won the last four matchups, the last two by a combined two points, to take a 24-23 series lead.
The Cajuns have one of the most potent offenses in the conference (34.3 ppg, 411 ypg), but they have cooled off in recent weeks. After scoring 37 points or more in each of their first four wins, they haven't topped 27 points in either of their last two losses.
Filling in for an injured Blaine Gautier, Terrance Broadway has played very well, completing more than 63 percent of his passes for 1,251 yards and eight touchdowns, while adding another 233 yards rushing and four scores. He's coming off a career-best 374 yards passing against Arkansas State, but he also tossed a career-worst three interceptions.
Louisiana has put together a very effective running game with multiple backs getting the job done, as Alonzo Harris (401 yards, three TDs) and Effrem Reed (297 yards, three TDs) each average five yards per carry. As a team, it has 15 rushing scores.
Daryl Surgent is coming off a 107-yard performance and now leads the team with 380 receiving yards. Javone Lawson (29 receptions, 376 yards), Harry Peoples (26 receptions, 315 yards), and Surgent each have three receiving touchdowns.
While the Cajuns can put up points in bunches, they oftentimes have difficultly stopping opposing offenses, allowing 28.9 ppg and 437 ypg, and the unit is fresh of its worst conference performance of the season (50 points, 526 yards).
Rodney Gillis has three of the team's seven interceptions and he's also recorded 40 tackles and a fumble recovery. Christian Ringo (3.5 sacks) and Cordian Hagans (three sacks) are the team's best at getting after the quarterback.
While Louisiana's offense has played great, it pales in comparison to what ULM has done this season as it's No. 1 in the conference in scoring (39.2 ppg) and yardage (464.9).
The Warhawks can thank their star quarterback for most of their offensive success, as Kolton Browning has racked up more than 320 yards of offense per game while leading the Sun Belt in total touchdowns with 27, as he is well on his way to being named the conference Player of the Year.
Brent Leonard set a school-record with four touchdown receptions against South Alabama, and he now leads the team in all major receiving categories (51 receptions, 549 yards, seven TDs). Browning has a great group of receivers at his disposal with Tavarese Maye (35 receptions, 353 yards, two TDs), Je'Ron Hamm (32 receptions, 534 yards, thee TDs), and Colby Harper (29 receptions, 303 yards, two TDs) also having fine seasons.
Jyruss Edwards leads the team in rushing (438 yards, six TDs) but Monterrell Washington (222 yards, five TDs) has emerged in recent weeks, earning 19 carries against South Alabama.
The defense has been suspect at times (27 ppg, 364.8 ypg), but paired with the high-power offense, the unit has played plenty well enough to win.
DaCorris Ford (31 tackles) has been a factor behind the line of scrimmage with five tackles for loss and two sacks, but he's also a difference maker in the turnover battle with a team-high three interceptions. R.J. Young leads the team in both tackles (51) and tackles for loss (six).
Louisiana is clearly a better team than it showed in its last game against Arkansas State, but it is in for an even tougher matchup here going on the road to play the league's first place team. ULM has had no stumbling blocks yet in Sun Belt play and don't expect that to change.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: ULM 41, Louisiana 28
10/31 10:37:33 ET