Browning, who beat out returning starter Trey Revell in the spring, accounted for 350 yards of total offense, 83 of it on a game-high 18 rushes, in a 34-20 loss to the Red Wolves.
He had touchdown passes that covered 34 and 10 yards.
"We've got a quarterback," coach Todd Berry said. "I'm really excited about watching him continue to mature, because I felt like he grew up an awful lot tonight. That will be good for our football team."
The problem against the Red Wolves was the defense.
The Warhawks gave up 234 yards rushing, 240 passing in the loss. Arkansas State jumped out to a 21-6 halftime lead and answered with a touchdown and field goal after the Warhawks cut the deficit to 21-14 early in the third quarter.
"I think we felt a little too good about ourselves from Arkansas," Berry said, referring to the previous week when the Warhawks gave up only 14 points to the Razorbacks through three quarters.
"I think the offense felt really bad about themselves, so consequentially what ends up happening-the offense practiced its butt off this week to get better. I think the defense didn't have great practices, and that's what shows up."
The loss dropped the Warhawks to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt. They are home for the first time this season when they host Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday.
• Senior RB Frank Goodin was thought to be a lock to end his career with the school rushing record, but he is going to have to pick up the pace. He ran for only 14 yards against Arkansas State after netting 44 in the loss at Arkansas. That gives him 2,563 in his career. Calvin Dawson has the record at 3,378.
• Junior LB Jason Edwards is off to a good start. His game-high 13 tackles against Arkansas State marked his second game in double digits in tackles.
• Junior WR Luther Ambrose has caught a touchdown pass in each of ULM's two games.
Game Ball Goes To: QB Kolton Browning-The redshirt freshman was 19-of-32 passing for 267 yards and two touchdowns. He had two interceptions, but also led his team in rushing with 83 net yards on 18 carries. He was sacked only once. His 350 yards total offense were the most for a ULM player since Kinsmon Lancaster had 402 against Middle Tennessee in 2007.
Keep An Eye On: CB Otis Peterson-The redshirt freshman made his first career start and was credited with eight tackles, half of them solo stops.
Quote To Note: "We've got to grow up. The offense practiced well this week. The defense didn't. There it is. I hate to break it down to be that simple, but that's how simple it is, and hopefully they'll learn their lesson."-Coach Todd Berry.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Looking Good: WR Luther Ambrose tied a career single-game high with seven catches that were good for 84 yards. Ambrose and sophomore WR Brent Leonard, who caught three passes for 67 yards, had touchdown catches. Ambrose also had six kickoff returns for 115 yards. QB Kolton Browning ran for 83 yards and threw for 267. LBs Jason Edwards (13) and Cameron Blakes (10) were in double digits in tackles.
Still Needs Work: The defense gave up 234 yards rushing to the Red Wolves after holding Arkansas to 99 the previous week. Browning had two interceptions to go along with his two touchdown passes. RB Frank Goodin managed only 14 yards on six rushes.
• True freshman C Josh Allen and redshirt freshman CB Otis Peterson made their first career starts.
• Sophomore WR Brent Leonard had a career-high three catches for 67 yards, including his first touchdown reception.
• Senior QB Zach Rhodes scored his first college touchdown on a four-yard run in the third quarter.