Warhawks looking for first win against Eagles since 1991

Ryan Pye

Coming off one of the biggest wins in program history at the FBS level, the Georgia Southern football team is sitting at a 7-1 record, but they’re set to square off against another tough opponent on Saturday: Louisiana-Monroe.

GS opens up as a seven-point favorite on the road against the Warhawks. With an unblemished 4-0 conference record, the Eagles will have a big target on their back to get knocked off the top of conference standings.

Holding a 4-4 record, the Warhawks are desperately trying to reach bowl eligibility and may give the Eagles some trouble on their home turf.

With a big matchup on the way from Malone Stadium, here are a few things to familiarize yourself with concerning the next Eagle opponent:

ULM Offense

Throughout eight games in 2018, the ULM offense is averaging 24 points per game behind their talented dual-threat quarterback, Caleb Evans.

The junior quarterback has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards on 268 attempts in his eight games of work this season. Evans has tossed nine touchdown passes on the year, but he has also been intercepted six times by opposing defenses.

Essentially, Evans is always a threat to take it the distance with his legs as well, carrying the ball more times this season than any running back on the Warhawk roster. On 86 carries, Evans has racked up five touchdowns on the ground, on over 400 yards rushing.

Accompanying Evans in the backfield for ULM is the team’s leading rusher, Derrick Gore. With just over 80 touches on the year, Gore has tallied up more than 430 yards rushing alongside, tied for the team best, five touchdowns on the ground.

GS’ defense has looked very strong as of late, but the road will not get any easier for the Eagles with the face-off against talented playmakers like Evans this weekend.

ULM Defense

The defensive side of the ball has not been the Warhawks’ strong suit this season. Throughout their first eight games, opponents are averaging more than 35 points per game and have had success in both their respective running and passing games.

A predominantly run-heavy offense like that of the Eagles should give ULM headaches, considering the team has not been able to stop the rush all year. Teams are putting up nearly 200 yards per game running the football against the Warhawks this season and have accounted for 19 touchdowns on the ground alone.

Although GS doesn’t tend to throw the football too much, this weekend may be a good time to do so. ULM’s pass defense frankly hasn’t been any better than their attempts to stop the run in 2018. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging more than 280 yards per game in the air when facing the Warhawks and racking up a total of 16 touchdowns.

Facing off against a weaker defense than they have in previous weeks, the Eagles have an opportunity to have a big day offensively against their Sun Belt foe ULM.

Ryan Pye, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu