Coach Todd Berry prepared his ULM team all week hoping that junior
quarterback Kolton Browning would be ready to play after missing the
last game-and-a-half because of a foot injury.
His wish was granted.
With Browning back in the lineup and throwing for 324 yards, the Warhawks
rolled past North Texas 42-16 and assured themselves of their best record since
moving up to the FBS level.
"Well, I knew he was going to play well," Berry said of Browning, who is the
Sun Belt Conference's total offense leader. "He was very focused on doing the
things he could do, and he did a nice job of playing within himself. Is
there some pain? Sure, but I don't think he was in a lot of pain. It's painful,
but winning helps that."
In fact, Browning rated the pain level "about a 3" on a 1-10 scale.
"I felt good out there," he said. "Just getting in the training room, doing
rehab to get right and be at full speed. The trainers did a really good job of
getting me back out there, and it felt good tonight. The foot didn't even
cross my mind, I was going off of instinct, and it didn't even bother me out
The victory ended a two-game losing streak and improved the Warhawks to 7-4
on the season. They are 5-2 in the Sun Belt and still can get a share of their
first league title if things fall right.
Arkansas State is 6-1, Middle Tennessee 5-1 in league play, and they meet on
Dec 1. Middle Tennessee also has a game against dangerous Troy.
What's Ahead: ULM finishes its regular season with a visit to Florida
International on Thanksgiving weekend. The Panthers were preseason conference
favorites and have won their last two games after losing seven in a row.
• With a 7-4 record, ULM is assured of its first winning season since
moving to the FBS level in 1994. At 5-2 in the conference, the Warhawks also
have a shot at their first six-win season in the Sun Belt.
• ULM had 518 yards in total offense (161 rushing, 367 passing)
against North Texas, the fifth time this season that the Warhawks have hit or
topped the 500-yard mark.
• The Warhawks gave up 467 yards to the Mean Green, which is a lot but
still an improvement over the previous two games when they yielded 534 to
Arkansas State and 607 to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Keep An Eye On: True freshman WR Tony Cook entered the game
with only two catches on the season for 11 yards, but he added three receptions
for 18 yards in the win over North Texas.
Looking Good: Junior QB Kolton Browning led the air assault against
North Texas by going 25-of-34 passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns. He was
sacked only once and netted 13 yards on eight rushes. He scored on a one-yard
Still Needs Work: ULM's pass defense needs work. The Warhawks gave
up 323 yards and two touchdowns through the air. They had two interceptions but
Quote To Note: "I think we had a plan in place from day one about
what we were going to do in our first recruiting meeting. We stuck the course. I
thought we had a pretty decent team last year if we had stayed healthy, but I
felt really good coming into this season. The idea was to kind of build the
program to where next year would be the year with the senior dominated
class."-Coach Todd Berry, on delivering the first winning season for ULM since
1993, when the program was on the FCS level.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
• Redshirt freshman RB DeVontae McNeal logged only one carry,
but that was all he needed to lead ULM in rushing for the game. He scored on a
54-yard run to complete the scoring against North Texas.
• Senior WR Brent Leonard had eight receptions but missed
getting into triple digits in yards, settling for 93.
• Junior WR Je'Ron Hamm hit a career high in receiving yards
with 119 on seven catches, one a 61-yard touchdown reception. He also scored on
a 24-yard catch.
• Senior LB R.J. Young maintained his team tackle lead with a
game-high 18 stops against North Texas. He has an even 80 tackles for the
• Sophomore P-PK Justin Manton was 6-of-6 on PATs, booted two
of his seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, and punted twice but for
only a 30.5 average.