Need to Know: La-Monroe Recon

September 22, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Iowa hosts Louisiana-Monroe Saturday morning at Kinnick Stadium. Here are some ‘need to know’ items pertaining to the WarHawks, as well as some video highlights of recent games.

RETURNING STARTERS: According to their press notes, ULM returns 19 position starters from their 2010 team. Nine players had started at least 15 games in their career while nine different players carried a streak of at least 12 straight games started into the opener.Heading into the season, the ULM roster featured 29 players that have started at least one game (17 on offense and 12 on defense). Last year, the Warhawks had just 18 players with a collegiate start under their belt heading into the opener (11 on offense, 7 on defense). The Warhawks offensive line entered the season with a combined 94 games started in their career.

RETURNING STATS FROM 2010: ULM returns 64% of its rushing yards, 98.3% of its passing yards, 89.1% of its receiving yards, 71.5% of its tackles, 92.9% of its kick return yards and all of its field goal and punting production.

-ULM has led the Sunbelt Conference in rushing defense each of the past two seasons
-ULM lists 20 freshmen and sophomores on their depth chart for this game, nine starters

LAST WEEK: ULM led TCU 17-14 at the end of the first quarter, but the Horned Frogs scored 24-unanswered points to rally for the victory. TCU led 21-17 at the half, but broke the game
open with a kickoff return for a TD to open the second half and then a quick TD following a ULM fumble. Brent Leonard hauled in 13 receptions for the Warhawks. RECAP | BOXSCORE

WEEK ONE v FLORIDA STATE: Florida State took advantage of a short field and the passing game to defeat ULM 34-0 in the first meeting between the two schools. FSU started each of its 11 possession with an averaging field position of its own 43-yard line, while the Warhawks started their possession on their own 16. ULM held FSU to just 92 yards on the ground, but the Seminoles were finally able to break through for 280 yards through the air. The game was 10-0 late in the second quarter. RECAP | BOXSCORE

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NCAA STAT RANKINGS: Here is a link to ULM’s current NCAA stat rankings. Item’s of note:
-Have allowed just 108.33 rushing yards per game through three games, two against solid opponents. Then again, TCU gained 207 yards on the ground last week but Florida State gained just 92. Their stats are buoyed by their 26 yards allowed effort against Grambling State in week two.
-ULM is 110th in net punting
-ULM is 109th in sacks allowed
-ULM is 16th in sacks forced

QUICK TAKE: ULM is certainly ‘multiple’ but it’s led by sophomore trigger man Kolton Browning. He had a very good freshman season last year, throwing for more than 2500 yards and 18 touchdowns. When you consider the opponents Iowa has played thus far and the resumes of those quarterbacks ‘prior’ to the day Iowa played them, Browning’s is the most decorated, if you will. Now, we know Steele Jantz had a career day against Iowa, so I am not saying Browning is capable of turning in a performance like that (few can) and the game is also in Kinnick Stadium. They have plenty of returning offensive line starts, but this is the area of the offense that is most exploitable.

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On defense, they will run a system similar to what Michigan ran in 2010, which is a 3-3-5 or a hybrid. They have three down linemen and three linebacker types, with five DB/LB hybrids on the back end. They are a quick defense that can cover a lot of ground and crowd the back end of the passing game.

Iowa ran a lot of no huddle last week as we all saw. They had to do that to come back, but Ed Podolak said on Soundoff after the game that Iowa had been working on that package in practice last week and had intended to use it at some point in the game. I don’t believe we are going to see Iowa make some radical shift in who they are, but I do expect to see them use the no huddle at some point in the game, perhaps if they get up by 10 to 14 points, just to give Penn State more to plan for when Iowa comes to Happy Valley in two weeks.

The Hawkeyes will once again try to establish their offense on the ground, and against a three-man front with smaller linebackers, it’s not a bad strategy. I would expect ULM to be aggressive against Iowa’s zone blocking flow looks, slanting to the zone flow side. The Hawks will probe this part of their offense and the ULM defense early in the game and make adjustments from there.

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ULM v TCU HIGHLIGHTS

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