INSIDE THE GAME
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Cajuns are trying to nail down the first 10-win season in school history with a win. If Appalachian State loses to Troy, a win would also earn UL a host site in the Sun Belt Conference championship game on Dec. 7.
UL’s running game vs. ULM’s front seven. The Warhawks’ defense has allowed 252.7 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns for the season, so that’s a spot UL’s rushing totals of 276.2 yards a game and 39 rushing TDs could exploit.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
CAJUNS: UL WR Ja’Marcus Bradley remains the top target with 633 yards and 6 TDs on 44 receptions, while RB Elijah Mitchell has emerged as the backfield’s top performer with 150 carries for 905 yards with 14 touchdowns.
ULM: QB Caleb Evans leads is No. 16 nationally in points responsible for at 182, thanks to 2,612 yards passing and 19 touchdowns as well as 717 yards rushing and 11 more scores.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Cajuns’ offense ranks No. 9 nationally in total offense (498.4), 10th in scoring offense (39.5), fifth in rushing yards (3,038) and third in rushing touchdowns (39) … QB Levi Lewis has thrown for 2,180 yards with 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions … Lewis needs six more touchdown passes this season to break the all-time school mark of 23 passing TDs in a season … the Cajuns are just 26 points shy of setting a new school record for points in a season (461) set in 2012 … UL’s three running backs Trey Ragas, Raymond Calais and Elijah Mitchell have combined for 2,364 yards rushing and only 36 yards lost all season … WR Ja’Marcus Bradley is just 22 yards shy of surpassing Javone Lawson into No. 6 on the school’s all-time receiving yards list and could pass up Ladarius Green in to fifth place with 116 yards Saturday … UL’s offense is converting 50 percent on third down this season, just shy of the all-time Sun Belt record of 51.3 percent … UL’s defense has 25 sacks, 9 interceptions and 34 QB hurries on the season, compared to 18 sacks, 10 interceptions and 24 QB hurries for ULM … Warhawks LB Cortez Sisco has recorded 102 tackles this season … With 95 yards, Elijah Mitchell would be the fourth UL back ever to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
6 – Number of bowl-eligible spots left with ULM being one of 14 programs with a chance to get bowl eligible this weekend.
13 – National ranking of ULM quarterback Caleb Evans in yards per game with 302.6.
18 – ULM’s defense leads the Sun Belt Conference in takeaways with 18, including being tied with Coastal Carolina, Troy and Appalachian State with 10 interceptions.
1 – Stingy defense
The Cajuns’ defense just continues to pile up impressive numbers. None of its last 10 opponents have scored over 10 points and UL is only allowing 16.7 points per game all season.
2 – Familiar faces
Four members of UL’s coaching staff worked with ULM coach Matt Viator in the past, including Rob Sale, Tim Leger, Matt Powledge and LaMar Morgan.
3 – Playmaking QB
Warhawks quarterback Caleb Evans is second in the Sun Belt in total offense and third in passing yards and rushing touchdowns.
4 – Flag-happy squads
UL is only the third opponent all season (Arkansas State, Texas Southern) to enter the matchup with UL with more penalties than the Cajuns. ULM has 88 for 724 yards compared to 76 for UL for 687 yards.
UL MONROE (5-6, 4-3)
Aug. 31 Grambling W, 31-9
Sept. 7 At Florida State L, 45-44 (OT
Sept. 21 At Iowa state L, 72-20
Sept. 28 South Alabama W, 30-17
Oct. 5 Memphis L, 52-33
Oct. 10 At Texas State, W 24-14
Oct. 19 At Appalachian State L, 52-7
Nov. 2 Arkansas State L, 48-41
Nov. 9 Georgia State W, 45-31
Nov. 16 At Georgia Southern, L 51-29
Nov. 23 Coastal Carolina, W 45-42
Nov. 30 At Louisiana, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
UL (9-2, 6-1)
Aug. 31 Mississippi State 11 a.m. L, 38-28
Sept. 7 Liberty 6:30 p.m. W, 35-14
Sept. 14 Texas Southern W, 77-6
Sept. 21 At Ohio W, 45-25
Sept. 28 At Georgia Southern W, 37-24
Oct. 9 Appalachian State L, 17-7
Oct. 17 At Arkansas State W, 37-20
Nov. 2 Texas State W, 31-3
Nov. 7 At Coastal Carolina W, 48-7
Nov. 16 At South Alabama W, 37-27
Nov. 23 Troy W, 53-3
Nov. 30 UL Monroe, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
THE ADVOCATE SAYS …
UL 45, ULM 23
Doubting UL’s defense hasn’t worked out very well for much of the season, except for the South Alabama game. The Warhawks will be highly motivated for this one, but ULM’s defense just hasn’t done a good job defending the run this season. That’s bad news against UL’s offense. The Cajuns are just too focused and want to win this one for their seniors too badly for it to get too close.