Contrary to my expectations, the ULM defense held their own for the entire game on Saturday. The Aggies gained just 243 yards on 69 plays, turned the ball over twice, and scored 0 points in the second half.
But because the Warhawks were unable to finish drives for touchdowns, Kyle Allen got his first win as a college quarterback for Texas A&M. ULM kicker/punter Justin Manton scored the last nine points of the game with field goals of 51, 23, and 22 yards down the stretch. If the Warhawks offense was able to just finish one of those three drives with a touchdown instead of a field goal, I'd be writing a much different article right now.
Pete Thomas did what Pete Thomas does, completing 26 of 47 passes for 246 yards, no touchdowns and an INT. He also rushed 19 times for 44 yards (including sacks). Donald and Tyler Cain combined for just 11 carries and 34 yards.
The Warhawks caught A&M off guard early, coming out with their two-QB package we saw with Kolton Browning a few years ago. After A&M opened the scoring with a short TD run by Brandon Williams early, we saw a few plays like this that helped ULM get down the field and tie the ballgame.
It looked like the Aggies would be able to pull away after that with two straight touchdown drives, including a great touchdown catch by Speedy Noil over Trey Caldwell (who actually had a great game matching up with A&M's athletes one-on-one) just before the half.
But the Warhawks hung around, and it was all due to the defense. They totaled three sacks in all, but pressured Allen enough to force him into mistakes, including a key fumble that set up the Warhawks to potentially tie the game at 21 early in the fourth. But the offense drove down the field and stalled in the red zone, which has pretty much been the story of the season for the Warhawks offense.
After some inexplicable playcalling by Kevin Sumlin and the A&M coaching staff, Pete Thomas was given one more chance with 1:57 left to lead a game-winning drive. A scramble for a short gain followed by two incompletions (forced mainly by Myles Garrett, who had 3.5 sacks for the Aggies) led to a fourth down deep in Warhawks territory, and Thomas couldn't convert. Game over.
ULM (3-5, 2-2), now on a four-game losing streak for the first time under Todd Berry, will take on App State (2-5, 1-2) next week.