The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Trojans outscore, outplay ULM in 8th-straight loss

Beau Benoit

Malone Stadium magic declined to make an appearance for ULM’s final home game of the season.

The Troy Trojans (8-2; 6-1 Sun Belt Conference) continued their push for back-to-back conference titles by defeating ULM 45-14 (2-8; 0-7 SBC) and souring the senior sendoff on Saturday afternoon.

The loss guarantees that the Warhawks will finish with eight or more losses for the fourth season in a row. 

On ULM’s opening drive, despite being within field goal range, head coach Terry Bowden opted to go for fourth and 20 instead of going to kick. 

His decision proved to be fruitless, as were all four of ULM’s fourth down attempts in the game.

“We had to go for it on fourth down against the best defensive team in the conference and you’re just asking for it there,” Bowden said. 

After the game, Bowden said that the team was down its starting and backup kicker as well as its punter due to injuries during the week and during the game, forcing ULM to go for it in situations when long field goals were typically an option. 

Also missing from the special teams unit was wide receiver/returner Bugs Mortimer, who Bowden said is away for “personal reasons.” His potential return is unknown.

Troy’s defense disrupted ULM’s offensive line and sacked quarterback Jiya Wright nine times in his return to the starting role.

Bowden said the decision to start Wright over freshman Blake Murphy is a redshirt decision. Murphy can play one more game before losing redshirt eligibility. 

He said it’s possible Blake and Wright play one game each through the remaining two regular season games.

Troy scored the first 21 points of the day and finished the afternoon having scored on all seven red zone possessions. Meanwhile the Warhawks squandered all three of their first-half red zone trips.

After a scoreless first half for ULM, wide receiver Tyrone Howell took Wright’s pass 46 yards down the sidelines and into the end zone to break the drought.

The only other Warhawk score came in the fourth quarter with Wright connecting from three yards out to receiver Bud Tolbert for the first score in Tolbert’s career. 

Afterwards, Troy tallied two more scores inside the remaining six minutes to reach the final score.

ULM’s last two contests for the year lie on the road. 

On Saturday, the Warhawks meet No. 13 Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi. 

A week later, they travel to Lafayette to close out the season against ULL.

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