ULM (3-5) at Appalachian State (3-5) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Kidd Brewer Stadium (21,650) — Boone, North Carolina.
Television: None. Home Record: ULM 3-1, ASU 2-2. Away Record: ULM 0-4, ASU
1-3. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 2-2, ASU 2-2.
Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Two teams with the same record but trending in opposite directions
face off at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the Appalachian
State Mountaineers take on the ULM Warhawks.

Since a promising 3-1 start, ULM has fallen flat in recent weeks with four
consecutive losses, dropping to 2-2 in the Sun Belt in the process. The
Warhawks put up a great fight at Texas A&M last week but ultimately fell just
short of an upset with a 21-16 loss.

Meanwhile, ASU has won back-to-back games over Troy (53-14) and Georgia State
(44-0) to help ease the pain of a 1-5 start. The Mountaineers are also 2-2 in
the league, as well as 2-2 on their home field.

This marks the first-ever meeting between the newly formed conference rivals.

The main reason for the Warhawks’ struggles this season has been the poor play
of the offense, as they amass a mere 336.1 ypg, while ranking last in the Sun
Belt in scoring (17.4 ppg).

Pete Thomas has been underwhelming under center, completing less than 58
percent of his passes for 1,808 yards, seven touchdowns and five
interceptions. Thomas has taken the majority of the snaps, but if his
struggles continue the team could turn to Brayle Brown (11-of-20, 146 yards,
TD, INT) as the season starts to wind down.

Despite Thomas’ up-and-down season, he has still produced three of the Sun
Belt’s top nine receivers. Rashon Ceaser has 46 receptions for 436 yards,
although he’s yet to find the end zone. Kenzee Jackson (45 receptions, 515
yards, two TDs) is also solid in moving the chains, and Ajalen Holley is a
quality deep threat with 576 yards and five scores on 37 grabs.

The rushing attack is virtually nonexistent with 91.1 ypg on just 2.7 yards
per carry. Centarius Donald (112 carries, 469 yards, five TDs) earns the most
backfield work.

Considering the little amount of assistance received from the offense, ULM’s
defense has performed well in allowing 26.4 ppg and 349.5 ypg. Last week the
unit was outstanding in holding the high-powered Texas A&M offense to only 21

Mitch Lane is the leading tackler with 61 stops and is also active in the
turnover battle with three interceptions. Hunter Kissinger (55 tackles, 8.5
TFL, 4.0 sacks, two INTs) makes plays all over the field, and Gerrand Johnson
(6.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and Michael Johnson (7.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks) generate a solid
pass rush.

Scoring points hasn’t been a problem for ASU, which puts up 35.0 ppg and 469.0
ypg. Those averages have jumped up in recent weeks with the team scoring 97
points in its past two games.

Marcus Cox is the focal point of the offense in the backfield. He’s rushed for
819 yards and 12 touchdowns on 133 attempts (6.2 ypc), and he shined in last
week’s blowout victory with a career-high 250 yards and three scores.

Taylor Lamb has had a modest season under center in completing 60.2 percent of
his passes for 1,432 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions, although
he’s added great rushing totals (365 yards, three TDs). Kameron Bryant (23-
of-43, 254 yards, four TDs, two INTs, rush TD) is also worked in.

Headlining the receiving corps are Simms McElfresh (33 receptions, 365 yards,
five TDs) and Malachi Jones (24 receptions, 384 yards, three TDs).

Despite their losing record, the Mountaineers have, on paper at least, a
defense that’s good enough to support their offense (27.9 ppg, 366.6 ypg). The
unit has been much improved in recent weeks, and in its shutout of Georgia
State last weekend it allowed a mere 62 yards.

The defense has picked off 11 passes – three apiece by Doug Middleton and Joel
Ross and two by Latrell Gibbs. John Law has a team-best 62 tackles to go with
5.0 TFL, a sack and an interception, and Ronald Blair (8.0 TFL) leads the team
with 3.0 sacks.

While ULM’s defense has bailed the squad out at times this season, but
supporting a lackluster offense on the road is very difficult, especially
against an ASU squad that is playing its best football of the season.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 27, ULM 21