Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 Things to know about Louisiana Monroe

Warhawks pushed Florida State to overtime

Louisiana Monroe quarterback Caleb Evans looks to pass during a game against Florida State. (USA TODAY Sports)
Louisiana Monroe quarterback Caleb Evans looks to pass during a game against Florida State. (USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Iowa State (1-1) wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule against Louisiana Monroe (1-1) Saturday at 11 a.m.

Here are 5 Things to know about the Warhawks.

1. Power 5 problem causers

Iowa State will be the second Power Five team that Louisiana-Monroe has played this season.

In its second game of the season, Louisiana-Monroe took Florida State to overtime. The Warhawks scored the game-tying touchdown in overtime, but they missed the extra point that would have sent it to a second overtime, losing 45-44 on the road.

At one point, Florida State led by three touchdowns, but two interceptions turned the tide in the game and allowed Louisiana Monroe to get back in it. The Warhawks actually took a 35-31 lead before Florida State eventually forced overtime.

 

ULM scored 14 unanswered points two different times during the game.

“We fought hard,” ULM coach Matt Viator said according to a ULM press release. “I thought both sides of the ball really pulled together. It’s unfortunate how the game had to end.”

2. Athletes everywhere

Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell had high praise for Viator’s team during Monday’s Big 12 teleconference.

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“I would say up and to this point, they’re probably the most athletic team that we’ve played through the early part of this season,” Campbell said. “They have a veteran quarterback (Caleb Evans) that has a lot of big wins under his belt, who is a senior, athletic, can make plays across the board and they’ve got great playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. And you’ve seen that in their first two games this season.

“Defensively, they’re really aggressive, kind of a playmaking, ball-hawking type of defense. It’ll be a team that certainly has all the athleticism and all the skill to really show up here and be a great challenge for our football program.”

Iowa State is a 19-point favorite, but on that same token, Florida State was a 23-point favorite before the Warhawks pushed the Seminoles to their limit.

Against Florida State, Evans completed 23 of his 38 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown. He also had nine rushes for 48 yards and two touchdowns

In ULM’s first game against Grambling State, a decisive 31-9 win for the Warhawks, Evans completed 19 of his 25 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown. In that game he rushed just six times for 22 yards.

3. Consistent production

Louisana Monroe’s most consistent production has come from Josh Johnson, its small, but explosive running back.

Johnson is just 5-foot-9, but he’s built well with 215 pounds on his muscular frame.

He rushed just 19 times for 69 yards last year as a junior college transfer.

But now as a redshirt junior, he’s set an incredible pace.

In ULM’s first game, he rushed 10 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns with a long of 51 yards.

Against Florida State he rushed 26 times for 126 yards and one touchdown with a long of 22 yards.

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4. Defensive leader

Linebacker Chase Day is the do-everything linebacker for the Warhawks.

Day leads ULM in tackles (20), tackles for loss (3) and interceptions (2) — he’s had one interception in each of the first two games.

The senior was productive for the Warhawks last season, recording 48 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and one sack, but he appears to have taken a significant step forward this season for Viator’s defense.

5. Family affair

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson was a part of Northeast Louisiana’s (now Louisiana Monroe) Division I-AA national championship team.

Pederson was the starting quarterback for Northeast Louisiana for the three years following the national championship season before spending 10 years in the NFL, mostly as a backup.

Pederson’s brother, Craig, was a tight end during the same time as Doug.

Pederson’s son, Josh, is currently a junior tight end for the Warhawks. He had 12 receptions for 121 yards as a sophomore last season.

So far this season, he’s expanded his role, catching nine passes for 106 yards and one touchdown in the first two games of the season.

Comments: benv43@gmail.com

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