Sunday, March 27, 2011

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 2010 Review

2010 Record: 5-7 (4-4), Tied 4th Sun Belt
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results: Arkansas, L 31-7, @ Arkansas State, L 34-20, SE Louisiana, 21-20, @ Auburn, L 52-3, Florida Atlantic, W 20-17, @ Western Kentucky, W 35-30, @ Middle Tennessee, L 38-10, Troy, W 28-14, @ FIU, L 42-35, @ LSU, L 51-0, North Texas, W 49-37, UL-Lafayette, L 23-22


     The Warhawks ran into a season of stunted growth in 2010, and considering Todd Berry's prior lack of success at any locale that he had ever coached at, it was hardly surprising. Berry had been hired in from a staff in which he had basically been fired from at UNLV, and has never had a winning team. His overall record had been 5-27 coming into 2010, a total he matched in one season at ULM. That may be encouraging from a career standpoint, but it's hardly encouraging from a team that had already seen 5-7 seasons without him.
     ULM kept up with the Sun Belt theme of the year of the young QB with freshman Kolton Browning. Browning was solid for having played on a losing team, as he passed for 2553 yards and 18 TDs. He will have to cut back on his total of 12 picks, but that should be expected. Browning passed for 212.8 yards per game, while attempting an average of 35 passes per game. Browning also rushed for 385 yards, but was not a breakout rusher, as he failed to average 3 yards per carry.
     Frank Goodin was the leading rusher, but that was hardly saying anything, as Goodin rushed for only 437 yards in 12 games as the starter. The Hawks will have to beef up the run game to protect Browning and to allow the overall offense to develop. No run game makes for a one dimensional and predictable offense. Jyruss Edwards, a freshman in 2010, will look to take over after he rushed for 375 yards 4 TDs. He averaged 4.46 yards per carry.
     The top 5 receivers will return in 2011, which will help Browning out tremendously when it comes to development. Luther Ambrose was the leader, as he ran up a line of 65-752-6. He will be the senior leader in the corps in 2011. Tavarese Maye was the second leading receiver as a freshman, rolling up a line of 43-505-3. Anthony McCall, Brent Leonard, and Je'Ron Hamm also all come back, and they combined for a line of 83-857-6. Only TE Alvin Jordan leaves this group, but he only had 10 catches all season anyway, and so Kevin Steed, a freshman in 2010, will likely take his place.
     The defense gave up 30 or more points 8 times in 2010, explaining a losing record as best as they could. In contrast, they scored 20 points or less 7 times, again, explaining the failures of the 2010 season. Jason Edwards, Darius Prelow, and Cameron Blakes led the Warhawks in tackles in 2010, but none of them had more than 75 on the season. All three return in 2011, but productivity will have to increase if ULM wants to have a chance against some serious offensive nightmares in the conference.
     Ken Dorsey was the only ULM defender that hit double digits in TFLs with 12.5. Blakes had 9, but nobody else got close, meaning that the front seven acted as a leaking valve that allowed just short of 160 yards rushing per game in 2010. Dorsey's 5 sacks also led the team, so with no pressure on opposing QBs, The Opposition was able to pass for 219.3 yards per game against a vulnerable secondary.
     Prelow and Robert Nelson led the team with 7 passes defended. The secondary was young in 2010, and so you should be able to expect improvements, as there was only one senior in the secondary, Alex Ibe, who saw significant action all season. Ibe led the team with 3 picks.
     Radi Jabour, a junior in 2010, saw limited opportunities, but made the most of them, as he connected on 8 of 10 kicks on the season. He should see more chances if the offense improves next season as a senior. Aaron Munoz had struggles as a freshman, averaging only 38.63 yards per punt. If the defense is going to have a chance with field position, this will have to get better.


I am still not sold on the Berry hiring for ULM, as there were many other very good candidates that could have gotten it done. I am not counting him out, but his history at programs much like this one leave me asking how anyone expects him to get it done here. The Sun Belt is slowly turning into a bit of an offensive juggernaught league, and with a pourous at best defense, ULM doesn't stand a chance at competing for the league title. Browning could be another special young QB in a league full of them, but he needs a better cast around him to help him make the Warhawks a winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment