2015-16 Football Previews – (Sun Belt) – Warhawks
The Louisiana Monroe Warhawks represent the bridge between top- and bottom-tier squads in the Sun Belt conference. Last year they went just 3-5 in conference play, but they should be slightly improved during the 2015 NCAA Football Season.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
Sun Belt Conference Odds
Head Coach: Todd Berry
2014 Record: 4-8
Louisiana Monroe Odds to win 2015 Sun Belt Championship: +1600
Odds from Bovada to win BCS: Bet The Field
At this point in the process, ULM stands at +1600 to win the Sun Belt championship. That puts them at sixth in terms of odds to win the conference title.
ULM finds itself sandwiched between Texas State (+1200) and South Alabama (+2500). Appalachian State leads the way at +120 with Georgia Southern and UL Lafayette both sitting behind it at +400.
The Warhawks have the luxury of returning six of their top seven tacklers from 2014, and quite frankly, there are no obvious weak spots on that side of the field for this team to worry about.
ULM’s defense is loaded with seniors who have enough experience to make up for the fact that it lacks a ton of true superstars. That said, Gerrand Johnson was the first nose tackle to lead the team in tackles last season since 1980, and he’ll complement guys such as Hunter Kissinger, Mitch Lane and Michael Johnson well on that side of the ball.
The offensive side of the ball needs to find balance. It’s a fact that the team was first in the conference last year in passing, but it’s also a fact that this group was last in rushing. Even that passing attack is going to find some hurdles to leap over this year, as there are questions that must be answered at quarterback.
Senior Brayle Brown has experience in the sense that he’s played 29 games, starting in two. He also has a solid understanding of the offensive attack, but he’s also prone to injuries.
Redshirt freshman Garrett Smith is far less refined and needs to be more consistent, but he has also shown more promise as a dual-threat quarterback who can help raise the ceiling of this program.
Both have positives and both have negatives, but the team needs to find consistency at the position if it hopes to find success.
Sticking with the offense, the backfield lacks experience. Kaylon Watson and DeVontae McNeal have combined for just 57 rushing attempts.
2015-16 ULM Warhawks Prediction: 5-8
This group has the luxury of playing 13 games this season, which will help increase its chances at bowl eligibility. Unfortunately, it also has a tough schedule that includes contests against Georgia and Alabama (both on the road) and 10 straight weeks without a bye.
Look for the Warhawks to increase its conference record this season to a solid .500, but its non-conference slate will ultimate be its undoing.
Don’t count out a bowl game completely at this point in the process, but if you’re looking for a team that’s going to contend for a Sun Belt championship, you’re better off looking elsewhere at this point in the process.
2015 Warhawks Schedule (All times EST)
9/5/15 12:00 PM @ Georgia
9/12/15 7:00 PM vs. Nicholls State
9/26/15 TBD @ Alabama
10/3/15 7:00 PM vs. Ga Southern
10/10/15 TBD @ Tulsa
10/17/15 7:00 PM @ Appalachian St
10/24/15 5:00 PM @ Idaho
10/31/15 TBD @ LA-Lafayette
11/7/15 TBD @ Troy
11/19/15 9:30 PM @ Texas State
11/28/2015 11:59 PM @ Hawaii
12/5/15 3:00 PM vs. New Mexico St.
Check out our Updated College Football Odds.
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