The ULM Warhawks had great balance on the offensive side of the ball and the defense stiffened in the second half in a 28-14 victory over the Troy Trojans Saturday afternoon.
The Warhawks held the Trojans to a season low 285 offensive yards and put the clamps on one of the conferences most explosive players in Jerrel Jernigan. It was the first loss for the Trojans in the Sun Belt since ULM defeated the Trojans 31-30 in 2008. The Warhawks have won the last three meeting against Troy in Malone Stadium.
It was a rough start for ULM as they failed to field the opening kickoff and nearly gave up a cheap six points. Defensive back Isaiah Newsome was able to pick the ball up and get it out of the end zone to the 6 yard line. ULM would pick up a couple of first downs but backup QB Zach Rhodes fumbled the football on the fourth play from scrimmage giving the ball to the Trojans at the Warhawk 48.
Troy would strike quickly as Corey Robinson hit Jamel Johnson with a nicely thrown 28 yard touchdown pass over the ULM defense. It was Robinson's 13th touchdown pass of the season and the second for Johnson.
ULM would respond three plays later as Kolton Browning hit a wide open Taverese Maye on a crossing pattern and Maye outran the Trojan defense for a 48 yard score. The touchdown was the ninth for Browning in his red shirt Freshman season.
Troy (4-3, 3-1)took their next possession and moved the ball into ULM territory at the 47, but the drive stalled forcing a punt. The Warhawks would seize the momentum and drive the ball 80 yards on 12 plays and score on a Browning one yard plunge. West Monroe product Frank Goodin was big on the drive with 22 yards on three carries including a big 15 yard run to the one yard line. Goodin had his best game of the season with 66 yards on 15 carries (4.4 avg) to lead the Warhawk rushing attack.
Watch Browning's one yard touchdown run right HERE.
The two teams would trade three and outs on their next possessions before Troy would move the ball down to the ULM six yard line but have to settle for a Michael Taylor 23 yard field goal attempt. Taylor's kick would hit the right upright and bounce back into the end zone no good. You can see the kick on YouTube right HERE.
The Warhawks would take over and pick up one first down before the drive stalled putting the ULM defense back on the field. Troy would take advantage of some mental breakdowns by the Warhawks as two 15 yard personal foul penalties and one off sides penalty would put Troy in great position to tie the game.
Jernigan would get loose out of the wildcat formation for a 16 yard touchdown run to pull the Trojans even at 14.
With 7:51 left in the half, ULM would get the ball back and quickly untie the contest. It would be Maye again, this time with a 48 yard touchdown run to give the Warhawks a 21-14 halftime lead.
In the second half the Warhawk defense came up big series after series holding the Trojans to just 95 yards on 33 plays. Troy was forced to punt six times, had one pass picked off, and turned the ball over on downs once.
ULM would put the only points on the board in the second half when Browning scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from 9 yards out. Browning was 3/3 on the drive for 47 yards hitting three different receivers.
Kolton finished the contest 20/30 for 226 yards and touchdown. He added another 26 yards rushing with the two scores. It was his seventh straight game of two hundred yards passing or more on the season.
Wide out Luther Ambrose again led the Warhawks with seven catches for 73 yards. Anthony McCall added 53 yards on five catches, and Tavarese Maye with 77 yards on four grabs. Ambrose leads ULM in both catches (44), and yards (499).
The Warhawks rolled up 428 yards of total offense (237 pass), (191 rush) with the rushing total being the seasons best. Penalties still continue to haunt the team as the Warhawks were flagged eight more times for 70 yards. ULM dominated in time of possession holding the ball for 36 minutes of the contest.
ULM's defense was solid on the day as they batted down 8 Robinson pass attempts. Darius Prelow and Robert Nelson both picked off passes and the Warhawks finished with two sacks and seven tackles for loss. Isaiah Newsome led ULM with seven total tackles.
The Warhawks improve to 4-4 (3-2) on the season and will try to move within one game of bowl eligibility with a win over FIU next weekend in Miami, FL.
See What ULM Fans Have To Say Here