ULM (2-4, 0-1) at Texas State (3-2, 0-1), Saturday, 6 p.m.
In a matchup of teams hoping to avoid an 0-2 start in Sun Belt Conference play, the ULM Warhawks face off against the Texas State Bearcats on Saturday. Starting time is 6 p.m. in San Marcos, Texas.
ULM (2-4, 0-1) is looking to snap a three-game slide after dropping its conference opener to Western Kentucky 31-10 on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Averaging just 16.7 points per game, the Warhawks are still searching for answers on offense. ULM is averaging 356.7 yards per game (234.8 passing, 121.8 rushing).
Making his first collegiate start in place of the injured Kolton Browning, sophomore quarterback Brayle Brown completed 20-of-41 passes for 275 yards with an interception. For the season, Brown has connected on 35-of-68 passes for 967 yards, seven touchdowns and four picks.
Rashon Ceasar has been a bright spot offensively for the Warhawks, hauling in a team-high 36 receptions for 967 yards and seven scores, while returning eight punts for a 15.4 yard norm and a touchdown. Taverese Maye (28-442-1) complements Ceasar in the receiving corps.
Jyruss Edwards (64 carries, 305 yards, 2 TDs) is ULM's only rusher with over 100 yards on the season.
Defensively, the Warhawks have surrendered 32.5 points and 436.7 ypg (247 passing, 189.7 rushing).
Linebackers Cameron Blakes (43 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks) and Ray Stovall (25 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 sack) head the Warhawks defensively.
Like ULM, the Bobcats (3-2, 0-1) have a new starting quarterback. True freshman Tyler Jones directed Texas State to a 42-21 victory over Wyoming in his initial career start. Last week, Jones rushed for a team-high 58 yards on 13 carries as the Bobcats opened Sun Belt play with a 48-24 road loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I think they had their mulligan last week,” ULM coach Todd Berry said. “They came off a big win against Wyoming that was a huge win for Texas State at their place and they probably didn't play as well against UL-Lafayette as they would have liked. That showed up on the video, so I think we'll see a very inspired team this week.”
Jones is one of four quarterbacks to take snaps for the Bobcats, who have sputtered offensively. Texas State averages 24.6 points per game and 300.6 ypg (159.6 rushing, 149 passing).
However, the Bobcats have been strong on special teams and have compiled a plus-5 turnover margin.
Brandon Smith provided the bulk of the Bobcats' offense last week, returning three kickoffs for 211 yards, including touchdowns of 92 and 100 yards. Appropriately, Smith was named the Sun Belt Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against UL. For the year, he has returned five kickoffs for a 49-yard average.
Linebackers David Mayo (42 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 interceptions) and Colorado State transfer Michael Orakpo (28 tackles, 6 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles) are the Bobcats' key defenders.
Texas State has held opponents to 92.4 ypg rushing, but has been vulnerable against the pass, yielding 329 ypg.
ULM has next week off, before resuming conference play at home against Georgia State on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. Closing out a three-game homestand, the Bobcats are matched against Georgia State next Saturday and South Alabama on Oct. 26.