Start Time: 11:00 PM EST, Saturday, November 28
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
TV: TWC Oceanic/Mountain West Network
Streaming: Maybe here?
Records: ULM: 1-10. Hawaii : 2-10. Louisiana Monroe leads the overall series 1-0.
Live Stats: here.
Line: Not Available
ULM Outlook: Let's get the ugliest part of the ULM offense out of the way first and talk about the run game, or lack thereof. The Warhawks average 102.9 yards per game on the ground. That ranks them squarely at #124 nationally. The only bright spot has been the play of redshirt freshman Ben Luckett. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, but only has 70 carries on the year.
For a passing game that could not be much worse, they will be without the services for Garrett Smith. He may play, but as of today he is expected to sit out the season finale. In his place will step Earnest Carrington. The graduate student is the team's second leading passer with 162 yards on 59 pass attempts. Do not expect Carrington to come in and play well.
Leading reciever Ajalen Holley has fought his way through injuries to have a solid season of 52 catches for 655 yards. He has the skill to be a very special player if he can stay healthy in 2016. In the absense of Rashon Ceaser to injury, Marcus Green has stepped up his play. The freshman has 49 catches and five touchdowns, looking like a nice second option to Holley in the future.
Outside of those two, it has been terrible for ULM receivers. Ceaser is the team's third leading receiver on the year and has only played in five of 11 games. Overall, the Warhawks are averaging just over 200 yards per game in the air.
It has been disappointing to watch the career of Gerrand Johnson come to an end in such a bad manner. The senior has fought through health issues, but has given his all on a defense that is terrible. ULM is a mess versus the run with a 4.5 yards per carry average allowed. While not the worst in the nation, they are giving up over 200 yards per game on the ground. As a result, teams are attempting 48 rushes per game against the Warhawks. The pass defense is rarely needed.
Players to watch on the ULM defense include: Hunter Kissinger, Michael Johnson, Gerrand Johnson, and Ben Banogu.
Hawaii Outlook: A season of promise with a win over Colorado has gone up in flames for Hawaii.
The Warriors have been bad on both sides of the ball, but their general inability to produce anything offensively has been a huge problem. The running game produces a paltry 114.2 yards per game and a 3.7 yards per carry average. The run game is surprisingly explosive when successful, led by Paul Harris and his 977 yards on the season.
Outside of Harris, the run game has only one other player with over 200 yards on the seaosn, junior Melvin Davis.
The hope going into 2015 was that former USC quarterback Max Wittek would give a spark to the passing game. That has not been the case with the senior connecting on only 47.2% of his pass attempts. He is out after a knee injury and we will see Ikaika Woolsey. If the name sounds familiar, that is because he was the 2014 starter at quarterback.
The entire passing game has been a series of miscommunications, drops, and bad passes. Of the players with at least 40 targets on the year, only two have a catch rate over 50%, Quinton Pedroza and Dylan Collie. Marcus Kemp is the top receiver, but has only caught 33 of 74 passes thrown his way. Overall, the Warriors are good for 198.8 yards per game in the air.
With an offense as anemic as Hawaii, the defense will suffer. The Warriors are giving up 454.8 yards per game of total offense. A 4.6 yards per carry average allowed is incredibly tough to overcome. Surprisingly, the Warriors are quite solid at limiting explosive plays. They are killed with 1,000 cuts rather than one swift stroke.
Players to watch on the Hawaii defense include: Kennedy Tulimasealii, Julian Gener, and Nick Nelson.
Prediction: Pain for anyone watching this game. It is disappointing that the Warhawks could not have waited until after this game to fire Todd Berry. At least send him out on a vacation to Hawaii. Hawaii 27, ULM 6.