By Alexander Gaskill
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks will head to the Lone Star state this Thursday to take on the maroon and gold of Texas State. Both teams will look to improve upon a two and three record at Jim Wacker Field on national television. With an ESPNU broadcast looming and a “white-out” scheduled in Bobcat Stadium, the hype surrounding the game will certainly be the highest it has been all season
Texas State can suddenly get back to .500 after losing its first three contests of the 2019 campaign. The Bobcats began to right the ship with two consecutive home victories for the first time since 2014 over Georgia State and Nicholls State.
The season has been more of a rollercoaster ride for the Warhawks, who won their opener, dropped two in a row, and then beat conference opponent South Alabama. Most recently, they are coming off a 19-point loss against Memphis in what was an absolute shootout just five days prior to Thursday night’s clash.
Texas State head coach Jake Spavital commented on University of Louisiana Monroe’s non-conference schedule leading in to Thursday’s matchup. Both teams have had a rough start with some powerhouse opponents, but Spavital believes ULM has seen more of a rough road than his Bobcats coming into the 6th game of the season.
“I think they had a harder non-conference than we had. Taking Florida State into overtime and Iowa State, which is a solid team, and Memphis last weekend. Very solid team, very competitive, very physical,” Spavital said. “Coach Viator does a great job at creating a lot of energy, those kids play with a lot of effort.”
Texas native and ULM starting quarterback Caleb Evans leads the Warhawks in passing with 1,172 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Josh Johnson is the leading rusher with 598 yards and four touchdowns, while Evans has 286 yards and five touchdowns on the ground as well. Josh Pederson leads all receivers with 283 yards and five touchdowns. The leading tackler for the Warhawks, linebacker Cortez Sisco Jr. has 36.
Texas State quarterback Gresch Jensen has thrown for 1,121 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. Caleb Twyford, the Bobcats leading rusher has 294 yards and one touchdown. Hutch White is the leading receiver with 236 yards, while Jah’Marae Sheread has 186 yards receiving and one touchdown. Bryan London II is the leading tackler for Texas State with 48.
The Bobcats and Warhawks currently sit at the second and third spots in the west division of the Sun Belt. Both squads look for redemption and a win out of this game. For the Bobcats, it could mean a three-game home win streak, something that’s sure to galvanize the university fan base even more. With big losses out of conference and promises of a .500 record on the line, one team will have to step up and establish proof that they deserve to be sitting at second place in the Sun Belt conference.
The action will start at 8:15 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU live from Jim Wacker field. You can follow along with the action on twitter @KTSWsports or tune into KTSW 89.9 FM to hear the call from Bill Culhane and Clint Shields. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:45 p.m.
Featured image by Garrett Martin.