Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sun Belt 2010-Louisiana Monroe WarHawks
2009 Record: 6-6 (5-3)
Head Coach: Todd Berry (1st season, 0-0...5-42 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Steve Farmer (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Troy Reffett (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: One more win may have done it
Offense: 5th year senior Trey Revell may very well have lost his job to redshirt freshman Kolton Browning during spring ball. Luckily for ULM, QB is not going to be the focal point of the offense. That will be RB Frank Goodin, who rushed for 1126 yards last season with 13 scores. The main issue with having your RB as a focal pint is that he needs a solid line to run behind, and that may be problematic as the line is being rebuilt from center right. That means that LT Justin Roberts and LG Jonathon Gill will have to handle a ton of responsibility. There is very little starting experience in the receiving corps as only Luther Ambrose and WR Tim Taylor have at least 4 starts in their career.
Defense: The line is thin, with DE Troy Evans being the lone starter returning. The other bad news is that Theo Smith is the lone returnee at LB. ULM runs a 3-3-5 set on D, so experience is a must in the secondary, but, that too is an issue, as only CB Nate Brown and S Darius Prelow return, meaning 3 new starters in a complex, new set. Bad news, as it looks like ULM will have a very difficult time in matching their 31st ranking against the run last season.
Special Teams: Radi Jabour returns as the PK, but that's not exactly good news when he has only connected on 60% of his kicks. Thomas Giddens is the new punter.
Wins: 9/25 Southeast Louisiana, 10/16 Western Kentucky, 11/20 North Texas
Toss Up Games: 9/18 Arkansas State, 10/9 Florida Atlantic, 11/6 @ Florida International, 11/27 Louisiana-Lafayette
Losses: 9/11 Arkansas, 10/2 @ Auburn, 10/23 @ Middle Tennessee, 10/30 Troy, 11/13 @ LSU
It's a very good thing that the Sun Belt is rather week outside of Troy and MTSU. That gives ULM a chance to make something out of their season, but don't count on miracles here. They are still playing 3 SEC teams, and still have to play Troy and MTSU, guaranteeing 5 losses right off of the top. We'll probably be adding to that total throughout the season as the season progresses.
Outlook: The hiring of Berry as HC is very curious, as he hardly qualifies to be a head coach with a 5-42 record, and coming off of an unsuccesful tenure as DC at UNLV as well. Don't expect a ringing endorsement here. What confounds the situation even more is that ULM had finally busted a 5-3 record in conference play and had won 6 games. Progress derailed is what this is.