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What to know about Louisiana Monroe

What should you know about the visitors from the Sun Belt?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 06 ULM at Ole Miss Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats open their 2021 season in the friendly confines of Kroger Field Saturday afternoon against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

The Wildcats hope to embark on a glass ceiling-shattering campaign where they are predicted to run No. 2/3 in the SEC East and to win anywhere from 8-11 games. Heady times indeed in the LEX.

But for the Cats to get where they want to be around New Year’s Eve, they have to start with a victory over the Warhawks.

Last season, the Hawks were an abysmal 0-10, which led to a coaching change.

Enter Terry Bowden, son of the late Florida State legend Bobby Bowden. Terry is an SEC coaching veteran having coached at Auburn as well as Akron from the MAC. He’s no stranger to the Cats or the conference.

Neither is his Offensive Coordinator, Rich Rodriguez. After coaching West Virginia to great heights, he turned down the job once at...Alabama. The Crimson Tide went with... Nick Saban. And the rest is history.

After tough gigs at Arizona and Michigan, Rodriguez went off the radar to return to ULM and become Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, bringing along his son Rhett, who is transferring in from Arizona to run his dad’s offense.

So what else do I need to know about ULM, other than the team is the hometown team of the Robertson Duck Dynasty family? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Best Offensive Player- Rodriguez. The Arizona transfer is pretty good, according to the ULM Press Guide. Consider the following:

Appeared in 11 games from 2017-20 … accounted for 1,154 yards total offense and four career touchdowns … connected on 51-of-100 career throws (.510) for 578 yards, three TDs, and four interceptions … earned a spot on the 2019 Pac12 Fall Academic Honor Roll … selected to the 2018 Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team … recorded back-to-back 200-yard passing games as a sophomore in 2018 … came off the bench to hit 20-of-38 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown at Utah … earned his first collegiate start the following week at UCLA and completed 15-of-34 throws for 231 yards and two scores … capped off a six-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run in his Arizona debut against Northern Arizona in the 2017 season opener …

Best Defensive Player- DE Ty Shelby. The senior end is an All-Sun Belt selection. Courtesy of the ULM Press Department...

Preseason All-Sun Belt selection by Pro Football Focus (third team) and Athlon Sports (fourth team) . . . four-year letterman has appeared in 44 career games, including 19 starts at defensive end . . . has recorded 108 career tackles, with 16.5 resulting in losses (58 yards) including 6.5 sacks (27 yards).

Offensive Starters Returning (7): WR Jonathan Hodoh, LT Blake Lodes, C Garrett Hirsch, RG Evan Henry, WR Perry Carter Jr., QB Colby Suits, WR Jahquan Bloomfield

Defensive Starters Returning (9): DE Myles Cole, DE Ty Shelby, LB Traveion Webster, LB KeyShawn Johnson, S Keilos Swinney, RCB Josh Newton, WS Jabari Johnson, FS Austin Hawley, FCB Kenderick Marbles.

Starting Specialists Returning (1): SN Trey Corley

Quick Facts:

  • Location:................................Monroe, La.
  • Founded:........................................... 1931
  • Enrollment:...................................... 8,700
  • Nickname: ...............................Warhawks
  • Colors: .............................Maroon & Gold Athletics
  • Website: ULMWarhawks.com
  • Primary Offense:............................Spread
  • Primary Defense:..................Multiple 4-3
  • All-Time Record:.......................316-438-8
  • All-Time SBC Record:......................65-83
  • 2020 Record: .....................................0-10
  • 2020 Sun Belt Record (Finish):............0-7
  • Sun Belt Championships:....................... 1
  • Bowl Appearances:................................ 1
  • Bowl Record:.......................................0-1

2021 SCHEDULE (2020 Record in Parentheses):

  • Sept. 4 at Kentucky (5-6)
  • Sept. 18 JACKSON STATE (4-3)
  • Sept. 25 TROY (5-6)
  • Oct. 2 at Coastal Carolina (11-1)
  • Oct. 9 GEORGIA STATE (6-4)
  • Oct. 16 LIBERTY (10-1)
  • Oct. 23 SOUTH ALABAMA (4-7)
  • Oct. 30 at Appalachian State (9-3)
  • Nov. 6 at Texas State (2-10)
  • Nov. 13 ARKANSAS STATE (4-7)
  • Nov. 20 at LSU (5-5)
  • Nov. 27 at Louisiana (10-1)

The ESPN Predictor says:

  • UK/ULM FPI Favorite- UK- 96.7
  • Point Spread- UK by 31
  • Points Over/Under- 55.5

Notable Alumni- Sports Broadcasting great Tim Brando, Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, and singer/acting legend Tim McGraw.

Fun Fact- The ULM water ski program is the most successful in collegiate sports. The Warhawks are 29-time National Champions.