On a night where ULM honored the 1987 "Team of Destiny" FCS National Champions famous for its close victories, the Warhawks squeaked out a 51-43 win over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
With the victory, ULM began conference play at 2-0 for the first time since 2014 and is in sole possession of first place in the conference.
While it is great the Warhawks are 2-0 in conference, there are always things to go back and improve on.
1) TURNOVER BATTLE. ULM had two interceptions during the game to set up a short field and score two touchdowns. They also ended the game with a fumble returned for a touchdown as Coastal tried to lateral the ball around to score. The Warhawks did not commit any turnovers on their own while scoring 21 points off 3 Coastal mistakes.
2) RUN DEFENSE. This has been a struggle for the past season and a half. ULM only gave up 112 rushing yards on the night and gave up less than 3 yards a rush.
3) RUSHING OFFENSE. The Warhawks continued to be able to pound the rock as they tallied over 250 yards rushing for the second consecutive game. A big reason why was the play of Ben Luckett. Luckett's first three carries went for 53 yards, a 1 yard touchdown, and a 56 yard run to the house. He ended the game with 129 yards on 7 carries, while starter Derrick Gore rushed for 76 yards on 22 carries.
1) PASS DEFENSE. ULM is missing some key players in the secondary. Collin Turner and Nick Ingram were both out, while Marcus Hubbard and Logan Latin are recovering from injury. Wide Receiver Malcolm Williams of CCU set a single-game record for the Chanticleers with 266 receiving yards. There were several instances where receivers were wide open due to miscommunication. The secondary is very young with a high ceiling, but there are definitely some growing pains happening right now.
2) KILLER INSTINCT. For the second week in a row, ULM had the ball late in the game only needing a first down to win, and for the second week in a row were unable to do so. Better teams will make ULM really pay for being unable to close out games in the fourth quarter. A lot of the issues stem from a lack of depth to to injuries or youth, but the Warhawks still haven't fully learned how to keep the pedal down and pull away from teams.
3) BIG PLAYS. While the defense did a better job of keeping everything in front of them last week, the Chanticleers were able to break off big chunk plays. Their first touchdown was an 86 yard reception that came off of broken coverage. Coastal is a run-first team, but averaged over 18 yards per reception.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: MARCUS GREEN had an 82 yard kickoff return for a Touchdown, two rushes for 31 yards (one that was about 6 inches from paydirt), and added 2 receptions for 23 yards. Green was extremely valuable to the Warhawks tonight.