2008 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Football Preview
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks - Sun Belt
ULM 2007 Record: (6-6, 4-3)
2007 Bowl: none
ULM Head Coach: Charlie Weatherbie (21-37 at Louisiana Monroe, 61-101 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Stever Farmer
Defensive Coordinator: Phil Elmassian and Manny Michel
Returning Leaders for the University of Louisiana at Monroe:
Other Key Returnees: DE Alaric Coleman, WR Marty Humphrey, P Scott Love, WR LaGregory Sapp, OT Larry Shappley, LB Josh Thomas, S Josh Thompson, LB James Truxillo, TE Zeek Zacharie
Key Losses: CB Darrius Battles, DT David Cooper, OT Kyle Cunningham, RB Calvin Dawson, C Adam Hill, CB Quintez Secka, K Cole Wilson
After losing five of their first six games, Louisiana Monroe rallied to win five of their last six, including a 21-14 victory over Alabama. The Warhawks need the win in Tuscaloosa to carry momentum into this season and finally get over the hump and compete for a Sun Belt title. Much of the pressure will be on senior quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster. Lancaster is a great athlete and can make plays with his legs as well as his arm, but he might have to do a little more passing this year.
ULM's 2008 Strengths:
And with so many quality targets returning, increasing the passing production should not be much of a problem. Wideouts Darrell McNeal and LaGregory Sapp combined for 87 catches for 988 yards and seven touchdowns. McNeal, a junior, is a quality possession receiver and Sapp is Lancaster’s favorite deep target. But when it comes to the redzone, 6-3 tight end Zeek Zacharie gets into the action. Six of Zacharie’s 36 catches went for touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, the Warhawks return all three starting linebackers, led by last year’s leading tackler Cardia Jackson. Ends Alaric Coleman and Aaron Morgan did a decent job getting pressure on the quarterback and are expected to increase their production now that they are both upperclassmen.
ULM's 2008 Weaknesses:
But there are other questions on defense. Both starting tackles are gone from a team that ranked first in the conference in rushing defense. Senior DeMarcus Carmouche and junior Alex Ford better be ready to step up and junior college transfers Aaron Williams and Thomas Robinson need to at least provide some depth. The secondary also lost both corners after giving up over 260 yards per game through the air. But the biggest hole to fill is at Calvin Dawson’s old spot. The running back tallied 1,414 yards on the ground during his final campaign with Louisiana Monroe. With four starters being gone off the offensive line, it will not be simple for the new back.
The Bottom Line for the ULM Warhawks:
There is potential for a winning season and possibly even a Sun Belt championship out of this group. There is enough talent around, but there is also a lot of inexperience. If the running game does not develop under sophomore Frank Goodin, the Warhawks will struggle to eclipse the six win mark this season. Goodin did a great job as a complimentary back to Dawson, but can he handle the full time duties?
2007 ULM Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 209.00 (16th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 176.67 (106, 6)
Total Offense: 385.67 (65, 5)
Scoring Offense: 23.50 (89, 7)
Rushing Defense: 153.50 (55, 1)
Pass Defense: 260.83 (101, 8)
Total Defense: 414.33 (78, 3)
Scoring Defense: 27.67 (64, 3)
Turnover Margin: .08 (47, 3)
Sacks: 1.67 (88, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (31, 3)
By Joel Welser
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