The ULM football team will return home for its annual homecoming festivities as the Warhawks host Georgia Southern in the first of eight Sun Belt Conference games this season. Kickoff at JPS Field at Malone Stadium is slated for 6 p.m and the game will air on ESPN3.
The game will also air on KJLO 104.1 FM in Monroe with pre-game slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. (CT). Frank Hoffmann will handle play-by-play duties and will be joined on the broadcast by Scott McDonald (analyst) and Nick White (sideline).
First and Ten...
• ULM and Georgia Southern played a tight one in Statesboro in the 2014 finale, the first meeting between the schools since each were FCS members in 1991. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns gave the Eagles the lead, and they never looked back.
• Warhawk history was made in that first contest in 23 years, as Pete Thomas’ 36-yard touchdown pass to Ajalen Holley allowed Thomas to set the school record for most passing yards in a single season.
• Georgia Southern enters the matchup with a nation-best 358 rushing yards per game. The Warhawks held No. 9 Georgia and No. 12 Alabama, ranked 14th and 40th in that category, respectively, to below their season average.
• The Alabama game marked ULM’s fifth in the last two years against an SEC foe. The Warhawks had played just two in the three seasons prior.
• The Warhawks held Alabama to 303 yards of total offense after the No. 12 Crimson Tide entered the game averaging 512.3 per game, including two games against ranked teams. It was the fewest Alabama was held to in a contest since Oct. 11, 2014 (12 games).
• Alabama had just 166 yards passing. The Warhawks have not yielded 200 yards to a team through the air since the Nov. 8, 2014 game against Appalachian State.
• ULM forced Alabama to go three and out on its opening drive of the game… It marks the third consecutive game this season that the Warhawks have forced its opponent to go three-and-out on the opening drive.
• Holley had nine grabs against the Crimson Tide on the heels of having eight for 155 yards against Nicholls State, all in the first half. Holley had more than twice the amount of catches as the next-closest player on either team in the Alabama game.
• Rashon Ceaser hauled in a pass during the first quarter to extend his streak to 34 consecutive games with a reception (ranked fourth in FBS entering Saturday).
• Tre’ Hunter intercepted a Jake Coker pass in the second quarter and returned it 12 yards. The interception by Hunter was the first of his career.
• Midway through the second quarter, ULM ran a fake punt as Chris Qualls completed a five-yard pass to Harley Scioneaux to give the Warhawks a first down (ULM faced fourth down and three yards).
• LB Hunter Kissinger, a second-team All-Sun Belt performer in 2014, made his first start (and appearance) of the season on Saturday.
• In the opening half, the Warhawks limited the Crimson Tide to a mark of 2-for-9 on third down attempts. ULM also held Alabama to just 175 yards of total offense in those first 30 minutes.
• The successful field goal by Alabama’s Adam Griffith in the third quarter was the first made field goal of the season by a Warhawk opponent.
• Trey Caldwell’s seven tackles tied for a game-high. Mitch Lane also had six stops.
ULM VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
ULM and Georgia Southern will battle on the gridiron for the sixth time when the two squads meet at JPS Field at Malone Stadium on Saturday night... The Warhawks and Eagles met for the first time as FBS programs and Sun Belt Conference members last season in Statesboro, Ga... Georgia Southern came away with a 22-16 in the 2014 regular season finale for both teams (November 29)... The Eagles lead the all-time series, 3-2, but the home team has won in each of the five prior meetings.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Georgia Southern enters this weekend’s contest on a three-game winning streak as the Eagles sit 3-1 overall and 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play... The Eagles picked up a 44-20 win over Idaho in Moscow, Idaho last Saturday night... Georgia Southern also has wins over The Citadel (W, 48-13, Sept. 19) and Western Michigan (W, 43-17, Sept. 12)... The squad dropped their season opener at West Virginia, 44-0, on Sept. 5.
Georgia Southern, utilzing their option offense, has rushed for 1,432 yards during their first four games and it is averaging 358 yards per game on the ground... Matt Breida leads the way with 589 rushing yards (147.2 ypg) on 53 attempts and eight rushing scores... Kevin Ellison (four TDs), Wesley Fields (two TDs) and L.A. Ramsby (two TDs) have found the endzone this season... Quarterbacks Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw have combined for just 52 pass attempts through four games... They have combined for 22 completions for 264 yards with five interceptions and zero touchdowns... BJ Johnson leads the team in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (133).
Antwione Williams is the team’s leader in total tackles as he has registered 33 (15 ua - 18 a) on the season... Williams also has 1.5 tackles for loss and has assisted on a sack... Bernard Dawson is the team’s leader in both tackles for loss and sacks as he has registered three for 29 yards through the team’s first four games... The Eagles have intercepted a total of seven passes on the season, highlighted by Antonio Glover’s three picks... Georgia Southern has also forced and recovered four fumbles this season.
Kicker Alex Hanks is a perfect 23-for-23 on his kick attempts this season as he has connected on all 16 PATs and all seven FGs... Hanks’ season long field goal of 40 yards came in the win over The Citadel... Matt Flynn and Ryan Nowicki have combined to punt 11 times for 482 yards (43.8 avg) with one touchback and two fair catches... Just one of their 11 punts have landed inside the opponent 20 yard line.
AT A GLANCE: GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Conference: Sun Belt
Location: Statesboro, Ga.
Bowl Appearances: None (19 FCS playoff appearances)
• Luke Bryan, country music artist
• Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A
• Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s founder
• Adrian Peterson, longtime Chicago Bears running back and kick returner
Notes of Interest:
• The original name was First District Agricultural & Mechanical School.
• The tradition of arriving to home games in yellow school buses has existed since the early 1980s, when the program began was reinstated after a long hiatus.
• Georgia Southern’s 1989 game with Middle Tennessee State was a Thursday night ESPN broadcast, played as Category 4 Hurricane Hugo approached the Georgia/South Carolina coast.