MONROE, La. -- The ULM football team will wrap-up its season-opening two-game homestand on Saturday night as it hosts Idaho in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams. The game is set for a 6:04 p.m. CT kick-off on ESPN3 with Brock Bowling and Curtis Baham on the call.
The game will also air on KJLO 104.1 FM in Monroe and online at KJLO.com. Frank Hoffmann (play-by-play) and will be joined by Scott McDonald (analyst) and Joey Trappey (sideline) beginning with the pre-game show at 5:30 p.m.
To order tickets for the game, please call the ULM ticket office at 318-342-3856 or click here to purchase online.
First and Ten
• ULM will open up Sun Belt Conference play as it welcomes Idaho to JPS Field at Malone Stadium for a 6 p.m. contest on Saturday night... Idaho and ULM have played a total of five times on the gridiron with the Vandals leading the series, 3-2... Saturday’s showdown will be the first meeting between the two schools since a 16-14 ULM win on Oct. 9, 2004 in Moscow, Idaho.
• Idaho is one of four “new” members in the Sun Belt Conference season... Idaho and New Mexico State rejoined the league as football only members on July 1, 2014... Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are new to the league and they are full members of the Sun Belt Conference after making the jump from the FCS Level (Southern Conference).
• On Saturday night, the Warhawks will look to go to 2-0 for the first time in the FBS-era (1994-pres.)... ULM defeated Wake Forest, 17-10, on Aug. 28 and a win over Idaho would be the first 2-0 start for ULM since 1993 (the program’s last season at the 1-AA [FCS] level)... ULM nearly started the 2012 season 2-0 as the Warhawks defeated No. 8 Arkansas, 34-31, in the season opener, but fell in ovetime, 31-28, at Auburn the following week.
• Saturday’s contest will mark the first time since the 1996 season that the Warhawks will open the season with back-to-back home games... In 1996, ULM hosted Nicholls State in the season opener (Aug. 29) and welcomed Minnesota to Monroe the following week (Sept. 7).
• The Warhawks do not have to leave the state of Louisiana until the month of October when they travel to Arkansas State for an Oct. 4 contest in Jonesboro, Ark... ULM still has September home games against Idaho (Sept. 6) and Troy (Sept. 27) and a road tilt at LSU (Sept. 13).
• Centarius Donald set a new career-high with 26 rushing attempts over the Demon Deacons... Donald accounted for eight first downs on the night and racked up 117 rushung yards (long of 39)... Donald was not the only Warhawk to rack up yards on the ground as Tyler Cain rushed 11 times for 46 yards (long of 16)... In all, ULM rushed 44 times for 163 yards in the win over Wake Forest.
• Kenzee Jackson set a new career-best with 83 receiving yards against Wake Forest... His previous best was 81 receiving yards against Western Kentucky on Oct. 3, 2013... Jackson also tied a career-best in receptions with six (he had six receptions in the win at Troy on Oct. 31, 2013).
• The ULM defense limited Wake Forest to just 94 yards of total offense (97 passing, -3 rushing)... ULM tallied eight tackles for loss, including six sacks, and one interception return for a score... The Warhawks also kept the Demon Deacons on their side of the 50 yard line nearly all night... Wake Forest ran just six plays on the ULM side of the 50, all coming on the same drive that led to a Demon Deacon field goal late in the 2nd quarter... Wake Forest ran 49 total plays in the game, with just 12.2% of those plays being run on ULM’s side of the 50.
• Mitch Lane recorded the first pick six of the FBS season as his career-long return of 31 yards tied the game at 10-all with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter... Lane’s interception, the fourth of his career, gave the Warhawks 10 points in a span of just 48 seconds as Justin Manton hit a field goal with 4:50 to play in the third quarter.
• Justin Manton’s 30-yard field goal with 4:50 to play in the third stanza was the 17th made field goal of his career and it pushed him into fifth place in program history in career scoring... Manton’s field goal gave him 176 career points, putting him ahead of former running back Frank Goodin who had 174 points from 2007-10... Manton added two PATs later in the contest and now sits at 178 career points and is just three points shy of moving into fourth in program history (Calvin Dawson, RB, 180 points, 2004-07).
• Tyler Cain tallied career-bests in both kickoff returns (two) and return yards (52) in the win over Wake Forest... Cain’s previous high was 38 return yards (on one return) at Arkansas State on Nov. 8, 2012.
ULM and Idaho have met a total of five times on the gridiron, but the two programs have not met since the 2004 season when ULM won 16-14 inside the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho... Idaho leads the all-time series, 3-2 and the Vandals lead the series in Monroe, 2-1.
In 2013, Idaho posted a record of 1-11 overall as it competed as an FBS Independent... During the 2013 season, Idaho played a trio of future Sun Belt Conference foes in Arkansas State (L, 24-48), Texas State (L, 21-37) and New Mexico State (L, 16-24).
Idaho attempted to get its season underway last week at Florida... However, multiple delays and unsafe field conditions resulted in the game only lasting 10 seconds on Aug. 30... With last week’s game not being played as scheduled, the Vandals will now kickoff the season with a league game at ULM... The contest between the Warhawks and Vandals is one of two Sun Belt Conference games scheduled for Sept. 6 as New Mexico State travels to Georgia State... The Sun Belt Conference will not have any more league games until Sept. 20.
Idaho averaged 369.1 yards per game of total offense and the Vandals averaged 18.2 points per contest... On defense, Idaho allowed 529.1 yards of offense and opponent’s scored 46.8 points per outing... Specialist Austin Rehkow handles all kicking duties for the Vandals and it marks the second straight season the sophomore handles every kicking duty... Rehkow, a preseason first team Sun Belt Conference selection [punter], punted 75 times in 2013 for 3,587 yards (47.8 average)... He also connected on 10 field goals (17 attempts) and 26 PATs (27 attempts).
Each season there is always a first “something” of the season and for ULM junior Mitch Lane he is the first FBS player to record an interception for a touchdown... His 31-yard return with 4:02 to play in the third quarter against Wake Forest on Aug. 28, even the contest at 10-all... Lane’s interception was the fourth of his career and his first career score... Lane’s interception earned him a spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 and his #PickSix claimed the No. 3 spot... The interception also extended the ULM’s forced turnover streak to 27 straight games.
In the season opener Centarius Donald set a new career-high as he carried the ball 26 times and finished with 117 rushing yards (long of 39)... Donald also moved the chains of total eight times during the 17-10 over the Demon Deacons... Donald wasn’t the only one to carry the load for the Warhawk run game as Tyler Cain registered 11 carries for 46 yards including a long of 16... In all the Warhawk offense rushed for 163 yards on 44 carries in the season opening win.
Senior Justin Manton connected on his 17th career field goal in the third quarter to put ULM on the board in the season opener... His 30-yard field goal closed the deficit to 10-3 with 4:50 to play in the quarter... The field goal also moved Manton into fifth all-time in career scoring with 176 points... He moved ahead of Frank Goodin (174 points; 2007-10)... Manton added two extra points in the win over the Demon Deacons and he now needs just three points to move into fourth-place and ahead of Calvin Dawson who had 180 points during his career (2004-07).
The ULM defense limited Wake Forest to just 94 yards of total offense -- 97 through the air and -3 on the ground... The Warhawk defense also stood tall and allowed the Demon Deacons to run just six of their 49 plays (12.2%) on the ULM side of the 50 -- all six of those plays came on the same drive and it led to a Wake Forest field goal late in the first half... The attacking Warhawk defense also tallied eight tackles, including six sacks, and one pick six... Redshirt-Freshman Jacob Tyson led the way with two sacks (the first of his career)... Mitch Lane also came up big for the Warhawks as his 31-yard interception return for a score evened the game at 10-10 with 4:02 to play in the 3rd quarter... The interception by Lane pushed ULM’s forced turnover streak to 27 straight games, a mark that ranks second nationally.
Pete Thomas made his Warhawk debut against Wake Forest... The transfer from North Carolina State lined up under center against Wake Forest for the second consecutive season... Thomas completed 23 passes for 189 yards and rushed four times for 15 yards... Thomas’ nine-yard run up the middle put ULM ahead 17-10 with 3:37 to play and the Warhawks went on to claim the contest by the same margin.
Pete Thomas engineered a 12-play, 66-yard touchdown drive over a span of 5:47 to put ULM ahead 17-10 in the home opener against Wake Forest... It was Thomas’ run of nine yards that capped the drive and put the Warhawks ahead by seven... The game-winning drive by Thomas was the fifth of his collegiate career... Among active FBS quarterbacks, Thomas is tied for the nation’s lead with his five game-winning drives (fourth quarter or later, team tied or trailing).
Mitch Lane kept ULM’s streak alive as his 31-yard interception return for a score against Wake Forest extended ULM’s streak to 27 straight games with at least one turnover... The Warhawks’ streak of 27 consecutive games ranks second nationally... Only Missouri, at 45 straight games, has a longer active streak.
ULM has defeated at least one power five team in each of the last three seasons... The Warhawks stunned No. 8 Arkansas, 34-31 in overtime, to start the 2012 season... In 2013, the Warhawks traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C., and claimed a 21-19 win over Wake Forest... To kick-off the 2014 campaign, the Warhawks again took down Wake Forest, this time by a score of 17-10 in Monroe... ULM’s streak of three straight seasons is tied for the longest active streak as fellow non-power five member Colorado State has also won at least one game vs. a power five team in each of the last three seasons (Colorado, 2012; Washington State, 2013; Colorado, 2014)... Navy’s streak stands at two and the Midshipmen have two more games against Power Five programs remaining (Rutgers and Notre Dame)... Navy defeated Indiana in 2012 and claimed wins over Indiana and Pittsburgh in 2013.
Mitch Lane was honored as the Sun Belt Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week thanks to his strong play in the season opener against Wake Forest... Lane finished the game with six total tackles (four solo, two assist) and one interception... Lane’s fourth interception of his career came with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter and he was able to return the interception 31 yards for a touchdown to even the contest at 10-all... The junior’s pick six was highlighted on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 and it came in at the number three spot... Lane’s pick six was also the first interception returned for a score of the FBS season.