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November 14, 2012
Warhawk Inside Slant
Junior quarterback Kolton Browning is listed No. 2 behind senior Cody Wells on the depth chart for ULM's upcoming home game against North Texas.
But it may be a forlorn hope for the Warhawks to get the Sun Belt Conference's total offense leader back from the foot injury that sidelined him for most of the loss to Louisiana-Lafayette and all of the game at Arkansas State.
"I really don't know," Head Coach Todd Berry said asked if Browning had a realistic chance to play. "I'm not trying to mislead. He did practice yesterday, and he's not 100 percent. Is he going to be close to that by the end of the week, I really don't know. Could he functionally play, yes. Would he be better than Cody Wells, I don't know."
Since Browning went down, Wells has completed 55 of 84 pass attempts for 566 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. One big difference has been in rushing. Wells is has a negative 11 yards rushing over that span. Browning was averaging over 47 yards a game rushing before his injury.
Browing's absence no doubt was a big factor in the two losses, but it wasn't the only one. The Warhawks also have shown defensive problems in the defeats, which have dropped them to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.
"We've got to get back to tackling," Berry said. "We're going to tackle again this week and get back to some fundamentals along those lines."
• The defensive numbers have not been pretty for ULM in recent outings. Over the last four games, teams have rushed for an average of 181 yards against the Warhawks, who had held their first six opponents to just 104 a game. Three of the last four opponents have thrown for over 300 yards after only one of the first six foes managed to do it.
• Despite its two-game losing streak, ULM remains the highest-scoring team in the Sun Belt Conference with 361 points in 10 games. That's 10 more than second-place Arkansas State.
• ULM leads the conference in interceptions with 13, but eight of those picks came in the first four games. The Warhawks have not had more than one pick in a game over the last six games with none against Florida Atlantic.
Series History: ULM leads North Texas 15-13 (last meeting, 2011, North Texas 38-21)
Scouting The Offense: If junior Kolton Browing is able to play, ULM has a double-threat at quarterback, even though he would likely be limited by a gimpy ankle. The Warhawks have a deep receiving corps, but the running back spot has been depleted by injuries to Jyruss Edwards and Centarius Donald. The Warhawks had 433 yards in total offense in their last game, but only 76 of that came on the ground against Arkansas State.
Scouting The Defense: The secondary figured to be an area of concern for ULM heading into the season, and it has turned into that as the season as gone along. Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State combined to pass for 607 yards against the Warhawks in the last two games. But the two teams also had success running the ball in combining for 434 yards rushing.
Quote To Note: "It's been tough. But I've said multiple times and I hate to keep reiterating things, but the teams that are the mature teams in this league-and I think it's a great league with great coaches and great parity-I think it's the mature teams that can stay healthy are the ones that win the league. Our players know that because they've heard me talk about it before."-Coach Todd Berry, on the impact of the losses in the Warhawks' last two games.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week's Game: North Texas at ULM, Nov. 17-North Texas goes into the game needing two win to reach the six-win level and bowl eligibility. The Mean Green snapped a two-game losing streak with a 24-14 win over South Alabama in its last game.
Keys To The Game: Get some stops. This should be an opportunity for the ULM secondary to step up against one of the least effective passing attacks in the Sun Belt. North Texas is only ninth in the conference in passing efficiency and seventh in passing yards per game (217).
Players To Watch:
QB Kolton Browning-Browning sat out the loss to Arkansas State with an apparent foot injury, and it will be a game-decision was to whether he will play against North Texas. Browning remains the total offense leader in the conference with over 301 yards a game passing and rushing.
WR Brent Leonard-Leonard is leading the Sun Belt in receptions-per-game with his average of 7.6. They have been good for over 85 yards per outing.
LB DaCorris Ford-Ford is tied for first with (S Isaiah Newsome) in interceptions on the team with three picks. He also has two sacks among his 39 tackles.
• Junior QB Kolton Browning is day-to-day with his injury, described as "lower extremity" but believed to be a foot injury.
• DB Mitch Lane, who plays the "hawk" position, a hybrid linebacker-defensive back, is day-to-day but listed at No. 2 on the depth chart. He also is limited in mobility, coach Todd Berry said.