On Saturday, Iowa plays host to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, a member of the Sun Belt Conference. Louisiana-Monroe enters the game with a 1-2 record, but have been tested thus far this season.
It’s safe to say you can expect the Warhawks to come into Kinnick fighting. ULM has traveled to LSU, Florida St., and TCU all within the last year, the latter 2 in the first 3 weeks of this season. While the LSU and Florida St. games may have been one sided, the Warhakws put up quite the fight at TCU last weekend before the Horned Frogs pulled away in the second half.
“Their schemes both offensively and defensively really pose some different challenges,” Ferentz said at his weekly news conference. “They’re a little bit different, a little unique compared to what we’ve played in recent memory.”
On defense, the Warhawks send out a 3-3-5 defense. Those of you looking for Marcus Coker to have a good game may be in luck. Iowa clearly has the advantage in the trenches, and with only 6 in the box on defense, should be able to create some running lanes for Coker. Vandenberg may have a tougher time throwing for 399 yards than last week, especially with the speed that ULM throws out there. I wouldn’t expect to see Iowa’s offense run wild on a defense that returns 9 starters, but should find some success in the run game.
Doesn’t the spread always give the Hawkeyes problems? Well we get to see it again this week. ULM runs the spread offense which revolves around Kolton Browning, a sophomore who accounted for 70% of the Warhawks offense in 2010. Tavarese Maye is Browning’s top target. Maye has 12 catches for 197 yards in his last 2 games, and has 4 receptions of 25 yards or longer.
While ULM won’t overpower you in any facet of the game, they are experienced. Don’t expect the Warhawks to be intimidated by the 70,585 at Kinnick. They haven’t shied away from scheduling the “big boys,” something that may give them a little advantage on Saturday. At the end of the day, the Hawkeyes will feed off the crowd who should be electric following last weeks thrilling victory.
Prediction: Iowa – 34 Louisiana-Monroe – 14