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October 18, 2009

Warhawks graded vs. Red Wolves

WarhawkReport.com grades the Warhawks against Arkansas State

A - Conference Championship Material
B - Solid Performance
C - Not Quite Ready for the game
D - Very Disappointing
F - Complete Disaster

Tulane-tossQuarterbacks - The wet ball was frustrating sure, but ULM did manage to rack up 150 passing yards.  Junior Trey Revell threw just three completions for 83 yards, but had a passing score to receiver LaGregory Sapp .  For just the second time in his ULM career, redshirt freshman Cody Wells went under center to fill in for an injured Revell.  Wells was 5-9 passing for 67 yards, including a 39 yard completion to Luther Ambrose, which setup the one yard Frank Goodin TD dive.

"I just tried to come in and manage the game, and manage the clock," Wells said of coming into the game.  "We had it in our minds that we could move the ball, luckily our defense played great."

Overall Grade: A

Running Backs - A wet and nasty ball didn't deter the Warhawk running attack.  Frank Goodin scored his ninth TD of the season, moving him into a sixth place tie for single season scores.  His 97 rushing yards moves him closer to moving up the career rushing list, needing just 394 more for fourth place. 

"Coming into the game, it was raining , so my mind was already set on running the ball,"  Goodin said.  "If you can run, you can do anything."

Grade: A

Tulane-SloanWide Receivers/Tight Ends - Despite a soaked ball, senior receiver LaGregory Sapp made a spectacular catch on the second play of the game to give ULM the early 7-0 lead.  The score was his first of the season.  Other receivers didn't have quite as strong of a performance, as the Warhawks completed just eight passes for 150 yards.  Senior Darrell McNeal continued his consecutive games with a reception, pushing the streak to 28 games.

"It felt good, just before the play I knew the ball was coming my way due to their coverage," LaGregory Sapp said of his TD reception.  "I knew I caught it, but I thought they were reviewing the spot," he added of the Coach's Challenge called for by Arkansas State Head Coach Steve Roberts.

Overall Grade: A

Offensive Line: For the third time this season, the Warhawk offensive line held opponents at bay, as they didn't allow a quarterback sack.  The line hung strong through all of their run blocking assignment, and helped the offense control the temp of the game and move the ball as needed.

Overall Grade: A+

Defensive Line - NFL scouts filled the Malone Stadium press box for the game.  One of the key players they were in attendance to watch was senior DE Aaron Morgan.  He didn't disappoint them, as he picked up his seventh sack of the season, one shy of tying 10th place all-time in ULM history and ninth place all-time in the Sun Belt.  No one played a bigger role though than DE Troy Evans.  Evans had a pair of late fourth quarter sacks that forced the Red Wolves into a fourth and long situation for the final play of the game.

"Coach got us out there on the edge, and to put our best pass rush on," Troy Evans said.  "It was just one of those moments of the game where you got to make a play and someone has to step up to help the team."

Overall Grade: A

Linebackers - Senior Cardia Jackson is going out with a bang in his final season.  Jackson led the team with 14 total tackles, but his nine solo tackles moved him into second place in the NCAA among active players.  Fellow senior Josh Thomas picked up his second career sack in the game, as he hit ASU QB Corey Leonard for a 13 yard loss.  Theo Smith looked strong and was credited with a QB hurry, nearly sacking Leonard for a safety.

"I told the guys don't give up big plays and wrap up," Cardia Jackson said of his speech to his teammates before the final drive.

Overall Grade: A

Defensive Backs - Nate Brown intercepted his first interception at ULM and broke up two passes.  Sophomore Darius Prelow was definetly the star in the secondary though, as he was involved in what seemed like every play throughout the night and was credited with three pass breakups.  None of his breakups were bigger than in the fourth quarter when was able to bat ASU's final hail mary down, securing the Warhawk victory.

Overall Grade: A

Tulane-MackSpecial Teams - Blocking upfront during the kicking game allowed kicks to be blocked.  First was a PAT, in which the Arkansas State defenders halted kicker Radi Jabour's perfect streak this season.  Jabour was again blocked late in the fourth quarter on a 22 yard field goal attempt.  These two plays along could have been the difference in the game, had the Red Wolf prayers been answered on the long final pass play.

Overall Grade: C

Team Performance: Until all three phases of the game are clicking on all cylinders, ULM will still find themselves vulnerable.  The defense won the game for the Warhawks, while the offense limited the Red Wolf opportunities by taking care of the ball.

Overall Grade: B+





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