MONROE, La. - Brent Leonard caught four touchdown passes, which tied a program record, from Kolton Browning as ULM (6-2, 4-0) defeated South Alabama (2-6, 1-3), 38-24, for a Homecoming victory on Saturday night.
The Warhawks are now bowl eligible for third time in the FBS era and looking for its first bowl bid in program history. ULM extends its winning streak to five-games, matching the third longest in program history. ULM won five in a row from Oct. 16 to Nov. 13 in 1993, their last as a I-AA program. The longest winning streak in ULM's history was right games fro, Oct. 3 to Nov. 21 in 1992. In addition, it is the first 4-0 start in Sun Belt play ever.
Browning finished 23-for-35 passing for 250 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and also rushed for 41 yards. Leonard finished his career night with nine garbs for 126 yards and four touchdowns. Monterrell Washington led the team in rushing with 59 yards. Gerrand Johnson led the defense with eight total tackles.
Browning was picked off by Terrell Brigham on a deep pass to stop ULM's second drive of the night but the Jaguars were unable to capitalize on the turnover. ULM turned the ball over again it next drive, this time on downs after a failed fourth down attempt.
Demetre Baker broke free for a 61-yard run, the longest play from scrimmage this season for South Alabama, before Ross Metheny found Jereme Jones in the corner for a 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Jags a 7-0 lead with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
ULM answered with 15-play, 81-yard, 6:28 capped with a three-yard touchdown pass from Browning to Leonard to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:49 left in the first half.
The Jaguars used a 32-yard pass to Gabe Loper on 3rd & 10 to move into the red zone before Jones caught his second touchdown of the night to give South Alabama a 14-7 advantage with 8:24 left in the half.
Leonard caught his second touchdown of the night on a 15-yard pass from Browning to tie the game at 14-14 with 1:27 left in the half. The play capped a 6-play, 25-yard 2:46 drive.
Preston Coleman blocked a Jaguar punt to give possession back to the Warhawks with under a minute to play in the half. Leonard broke free again for his third score, this one for 16 yards; of the night to give ULM a 21-14 lead with six seconds left in the half. That would be the score at the break.
ULM outgained South Alabama 227 to 175 in the first half while the Warhawks collected 14 first downs to the Jaguars' nine.
A pass interference penalty on ULM gave South Alabama a new set of downs from the Warhawks two-yard line. Trey Fetner carried it in from two yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.
Mitchell Bailey checked into the backfield and sprinted down the sideline for a career-long 32-yard touchdown run to give ULM a 28-21 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter.
DaCorris Ford caught a tipped pass for an interception to slow the Jaguars ensuing drive. Two plays and 22 seconds later, Browning found Leonard for the fourth time, tying a career record, to give ULM a 35-21 lead, with 13:49 left in the game.
ULM added three more points with a 35-yard field goal from Justin Manton to extend the home lead to 38-21 with 7:55 left in the game.
The Jaguars connected on a 27-yard field goal from Michael Chapuseaux to bring the score 38-24 with 5:18 left in the game.
The Warhawks will stay at home next weekend as UL-Lafayette visits Malone Stadium on Nov. 3 for a 3 p.m. kickoff.