2017 Football Preview – Sun Belt – Warhawks
Looking for 2017 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks predictions? In his first season as head coach of the Warhawks, Matt Viator was able to double the team’s wins from two the previous year to four in 2016. There’s still a whole bunch this team needs to improve upon, but that’s a strong start as far as baby steps are concerned.
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Louisiana Monroe Warhawks
- Head Coach: Matt Viator
- 2016 Record: 6-6
- Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: OFF
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Unfortunately, we see this team taking a step back before it can take two steps forward. Another six-win season seems unlikely at this juncture.
2017 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Predictions: Team Strengths
Running Game: The Warhawks will look to lean on their running game this season as a source of production on offense. This group has a solid rotation in the backfield, and just as importantly, a strong group of linemen will help enhance that part of the attack.
This season, running back Thomas Koufie is the top option on the depth chart. He’ll have competition, though, from Derrick Gore.
He is an Alabama transfer and not only adds talent to the roster, but should force Koufie to be all he can be in order not to lose touches throughout the year.
2017 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Consistency: The Warhawks had a difficult time finding continuity last season. Simply put, there was no consistency among key starting positions, and that’s a problem when attempting to rebuild a program.
By the time the year came to an end, LMU had used three starting quarterbacks. On top of that, it had to start four different running backs and eight total receivers.
The good news is that 10 of those 15 starters at skill positions are back. The bad news is that they still carry several concerns about inconsistency.
The silver lining here is that 10 of those 15 starters are returning this season. That means this team clearly has a bit of experience The bad news is that they still carry several concerns about inconsistency.
The bad news is that they still carry several concerns about inconsistency.
Passing Game/Defense: Last season, the passing game was anemic. ULM finished the campaign No. 110 in the nation in scoring offense (23.3 points per game).
For those mathematicians keeping track…that is not good.
Defensively, the Warhawks also struggled in multiple areas. For starters, they were only able to keep opponents’ passing options in check on rare occasions and they couldn’t stop opposing running attacks.
Overall, this groupd finished 125th (the antepenultimate ranking across the country), in rushing defense (260.3 yards per game). ULM also ranked 122nd in scoring defense, giving up an unfortunate 39.1 points allowed per contenst.
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Prediction: 4-8
As previously mentioned, there’s room for this team to grow. The defense that was stuck in the basement of the FBS in multiple categories can only go up, and if the team can be more disciplined on that side of the field, (as well as cut down on its turnovers and re-establish a passing and receiving attack) it will be in good shape.
The catch is that these things happening right away doesn’t feel very likely. That’s a whole lot of variables, and it’s made even more unlikely when you consider the lack of experience on the roster.
At this point in the process, we’re giving the Warhawks four conference wins for a .500 record against Sun Belt competition. The problem is that we don’t anticipate a single victory outside of its familiar foes.
If ULM can sneak in a victory during its non-conference schedule, it has a chance to use that momentum into earning a better in-conference record (potentially matching the six wins from a year ago if an unexpected victory truly does jolt some life into the team).
But we don’t see that happening at this time.
4-8 it is.
2017 Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Football Schedule
- 8/31/17 9:00 PM ET @MEM
- 9/9/17 7:00 PM ET @FSU
- 9/16/17 7:00 PM ET SOMIS
- 9/23/17 TBD @ULL
- 9/30/17 7:00 PM ET CCAR
- 10/7/17 TBD @TXST
- 10/14/17 5:00 PM ET GSU
- 10/21/17 TBD @USA
- 10/28/17 5:00 PM ET @IDHO
- 11/4/17 TBD APP
- 11/18/17 TBD @AUB
- 11/25/17 TBD ARST
What do you think about our 2017 ULM Warhawks predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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