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2013 Louisiana Monroe
Schedule and Odds
Playing in a depleted conference with plenty of starters returning on the heels of their first bowl game in school history, Louisiana-Monroe should be feeling pretty good. Highlighted by tough non-conference games last year, the Warhawks held their ground and even beat Arkansas to start the 2012 campaign. Getting that win over a big conference school could be yet another confidence booster for them this season.
Led by four-year starter at quarterback in Kolton Browning, LA-Monroe will once again be a top offense in the conference. Despite injury problems, they still managed close to 34 points per game. QB Kolton Browning has plenty of help returning which means reaching 36 total TDs should be in the scope once again. Four starters return on the line so that's a good starting point. The main loss for the Warhawks on the offense is wide receiver Brent Leonard who led the team with 104 receptions, 1,118 yards and 10 touchdowns. The good news is that everyone else is back like Je'Ron Hamm (62 receptions and led team in YPC) and Tavarese Maye (56 catches). Browning led the team in rushing, but that's an area they will hope to improve as long as running back Jyruss Edwards can stay healthy. Edwards has battled injuries since the sixth game of last season.
The defense was a major hindrance last year as seen in their bowl loss (45 points to Ohio) and two conference losses. Again, injuries hurt the Warhawks a bit throughout the season. They have plenty of experience returning in the 3-3-5 scheme. That includes all five defensive backs who led the conference in interceptions, but also gave up the second most passing yards. While a couple top tacklers are gone at LB, they'll get Cameron Blakes back who returns from injury.
2013 LA Monroe Football Schedule
Aug. 31 at Oklahoma
Sept. 7 vs. Grambling State
Sept. 14 at Wake Forest
Sept. 21 at Baylor
Sept. 28 vs. Tulane
Oct. 3 vs. Western Kentucky
Oct. 12 at Texas State
Oct. 26 vs. Georgia State
Oct. 31 at Troy
Nov. 9 vs. Arkansas State
Nov. 23 at South Alabama
Nov. 30 at LA-Lafayette
Beating Oklahoma will be a much tougher task than their Arkansas game a year ago, but LA-Monroe won't give in. Even though they'll probably lose, a couple wins could follow, especially in that road game against Wake Forest. A rematch with Baylor will be a good watch, who they lost to 47-42 a year ago. Their fifth non-conference game comes against Tulane who they slammed last season 63-10.
The good news for the Warhawks is that they get to play two of their two toughest opponents at home in Western Kentucky and Arkansas State. The Red Wolves won the conference last year, but they also no longer have their stud at quarterback. The other big competition for LA-Monroe will be LA-Lafayette who took down the Warhawks 40-24 last season. With plenty of seniors playing in that season finale, a revenge win will be on the minds of many.
As long as injuries don't hurt the Warhawks too badly, they could easily see nine wins this season. Even if they don't get there, a Sun Belt title will be there for the taking with Browning at QB.
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