Looking to make a run in the Sun Belt and get back to a bowl berth, the ULM Warhawks will have a tough matchup in Week One with SEC power Georgia.
Start Time: 12:00 P.M. ET, Saturday, Sept. 5
Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
TV: SEC Network
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Records: Georgia 3, Lousiana-Monroe 0. Last meeting: 44-7 Georgia in 2005.
Live Stats: Here.
Betting Line: Georgia -35, Over/Under of 54
Georgia Outlook: The 2014 season was a coming out party for running back Nick Chubb in rushing for 1,547 yards as a true freshman. The Bulldogs are loaded at running back with Sony Michel and Keith Marshall also in the mix. The Bulldogs also return four starters on the offensive line and should dominate the line of scrimmage. Greyson Lambert was just named as the starting quarterback and should be able to find his rhythm in the opening portion of the schedule.
The Bulldogs are looking good at linebacker with outside linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins back in the fold for the upcoming season. Sophomore Lorenzo Carter has been impressive and is ready to take a bigger role in the defense after playing as a freshman. Defensive lineman Trent Thompson, the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit by 247Sports, could be a once in a generation talent in the trenches and could immediately make Georgia's line fearsome. The secondary will rely upon several new faces but should be in good shape with such a strong front seven in front of them.
Louisiana-Monroe Outlook: The Warhawks head into the 2015 season with a bit of a question mark at the quarterback position due to the graduation of Pete Thomas. Brayle Brown (14-24/172/1TD) should be the starter after assuming the backup role in 2014. ULM was one of the poorest rushing offenses in the nation in 2014 and bring back little on field experience to the upcoming season. Sophomore Kaylon Watson (9/31/0TD) and graduate Devontae McNeal are battling to head up the first team offense. The Warhawks have two Biletnikoff Award watch list members in senior Rashan Ceaser (77/872/3TD) and junior Ajalen Holley (57/863/7TD) with senior Tyler Cain (45/273/0TD) also expected to see playing time. Center Colby Mitchell is the leader of a young and inexperienced offensive line.
Any talk of the Warhawk defensive starts with the incredibly talented Gerrand Johnson (93 tkl, 12.5 tfl, 6 sacks) in the middle. Johnson is no stranger to awards with 2nd team All-Sun Belt honors in 2013 as a sophomore, 1st team All-Sun Belt honors as a junior in 2014, and preseason 1st team All-Sun Belt honors as a senior for 2015. Lousiana-Monroe has all three linebacker spots returning in Hunter Kissinger (85 tkl) Michael Johnson (83 tkl), and Cody Robinson (51 tkl). Senior Mitch Lane (91 tkl, 3 INT) is the secondary's leader with 31 career starts. Cornerbacks Trey Caldwell (42 tkl) and Lenzy Pipkins (32 tkl) should help the Warkhark defensive backfield.
Prediction: There is just no way for ULM to hang in with the Bulldogs. Georgia is much too talented on both sides of the ball making for a tough day for the Warhawks not matter how you put it.
How do you see the Warhawks hanging with Georgia? Will it get ugly or will ULM find a way to pull a stunner in Athens?