Warhawks take on Tide

Josh Dean

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After taking a beating at #9 Georgia and then thrashing a Nicholl’s State team which has been winless the last two years, ULM now looks ahead to Alabama.

Currently ranked #2 in the country the Crimson Tide features a formidable roster and will prove an incredibly difficult test to overcome.

Although daunting, the Tide have been beaten by the Warhawks before.

In 2007, a team coached by Charlie Weatherbie walked into Tuscaloosa and rolled Alabama 21-14.

The game featured four Crimson Tide turnovers which the Warhawks turned into 14 points. Special teams also blocked a field goal showcasing the importance of winning each phase of the game.

Alabama enters the season with an impressive recruiting class after losing in the playoffs last year.

According to 247Sports, among the 85 players given scholarships this summer, 18 of them rank as 5-star recruits and 47  as 4-star recruits.

Star running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper left to join the NFL last season, but Alabama still brings to the table an opposing offensive lineup.

They look to rely on an offensive line, which stands to be one the best in recent memory and a running back in Derrick Henry that’s racked up 1,372 rushing yards over 26 career starts. He’s brought the pigskin into the end zone 17 times and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.

Alabama comes off of two wins VS the #20 Wisconsin Badgers and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in which they put up 35 and 37 points respectively.

Junior Derrick Henry rushed for a career high 147 yards and three touchdowns against the Badgers while putting up three more touchdowns against the Blue Raiders. The offense put up more than 500 yards total in each of their first two games.

Defensively Alabama proved stifling holding their opponents to an average of 13.5 points and 271 yards of offense.

On the ground the Badgers and Blue Raiders managed only 1.9 and 2.8 yards a carry, respectively.

The Warhawks have relied on a veteran wide receiver core led by senior Rashon Caesar and seasoned defensive group featuring three seniors and three graduates.

Red shirt freshman Garrett Smith has shown that he’s adapting to the system well and that he’s not afraid of the big spotlight.

In his first collegiate start he was tasked with going to Athens, Georgia, to take on a #9 ranked Georgia Bulldogs team. He put up over 200 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

Rashon Caesar and junior Ajalen Holley have shined in the passing attack so far with Caesar hauling in ULM’s only two touchdowns and 153 yards against Georgia and Holley putting up 255 yards and two touchdowns in the Warhawks beat down of Nichol’s State.

The rushing attack bounced back after struggling against the swarming defense of Georgia racking up 202 yards on the ground and three touchdowns against Nicholls.

The defensive front of Alabama showcases a dominant group of front seven which has proven to be a wall to opposing running backs.

The defensive backs are also much improved with several potential 1st round picks manning the back.

The Warhawks will need to generate big plays and win the turnover battle to pull off the massive upset. They also need to avoid penalties and costly errors.