The 2021 season felt like it was just a few plays away from being a special season for the Warhawks. But a handful of plays against them, mainly in their match ups with Texas State and Arkansas State, kept them from reaching their second bowl appearance in school history. ULM had to settle for a 4-8 finish.
ULM’s 2022 season looks to be a more daunting schedule than last year’s, but this team looks ready
to take another step up. If enough goes right for ULM this fall, a 6-6 or even a 7-5 record is achievable for the Warhawks.
As a reminder, bowl games are given to teams with at least six wins.
ULM will have to get comfortable playing on the road in 2022. They were winless as visitors in 2021. With only five home games in the upcoming season, a perfect stretch at home will not be enough to secure a bowl game without at least one road win. Also, ULM will not have back-to-back home games all season.
Let’s look at the four match ups I think will go down as losses. Three of these four are in the first half of the season. ULM’s first six games are going to be rough, and the casual fan might count them out before the midway point.
They open the season in Austin, Texas against the Texas Longhorns. Although Texas has not lived up to expectations the past few seasons, I don’t see ULM escaping with a win.
In week three the Warhawks step foot in Bryant-Denny Stadium to face the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although it would be incredible to relive 2007’s upset over the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has won six national titles since then as the head coach of Alabama. I can’t see him reliving the most embarrassing loss of his career.
The third expected loss is to Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers have been a powerhouse in the Sun Belt for years and that’s not going to change with quarterback Grayson McCall returning. The two-time SBC Player of the Year has the chance to light up every defense he plays against. ULM played Coastal with a slew of injuries last season, but even then, the Chanticleers had a 53-point margin of victory.
The last match that’ll likely end in a loss will be against Army. The Black Knights led the nation in rushing touchdowns and were second in yards rushing last season. If the Warhawks can stop a unit that averaged 280 yards on the ground per game, then the script could flip. Though it would take an outstanding defensive performance for this to happen.
Despite all of this, I still see ULM finishing with a winning record and an even 3-3 record at the halfway point of the season.
ULM’s home opener should be an all-around showcase against Nicholls State—a solid, but very beatable FCS opponent that will be sure to draw attention with in-state bragging rights on the line.
It’s strange seeing the Ragin’ Cajuns anywhere except the season finale, but they will be in Malone for a week four match up with the Warhawks. Louisiana-Lafayette will enter life without former head coach Billy Napier following his departure for the head coaching job at Florida. The Cajuns will likely still feel growing pains in week four, and ULM could see its first win against their most-hated rival since 2017 and bring home the Wooden Boot.
Three wins I’ve got firmly penciled in are against Arkansas State, Texas State and Southern Mississippi. Considering ULM was a missed extra point from hanging on against Texas State and an interception on the final drive against Arkansas State, the results could easily flip in 2022. ULM hosts the Golden Eagles in the final game of the season. All credit due to them, but Southern Miss has not won more than three games in a season since 2019.
ULM took a loss against Georgia State but won against South Alabama and Troy. ULM hosted these three last season but will visit in 2022. They can win two offensive heavy games against Troy and South Alabama, but it’s a coin toss in deciding the Georgia State game. Even then, winning two of the three will give ULM a 6-6 record on the season and give ULM the chance to go for its first bowl win in school history.