The Iowa State Cyclones will host the UL Monroe Warhawks in an inter-conference battle Saturday afternoon from Jack Trice Stadium. The Warhawks were narrowly defeated 45-44 at Florida State in week two before enjoying a bye last week, and the Cyclones were edged 18-17 at home by rival Iowa in their previous contest. This is the first meeting between these schools since 1980.
Warhawks Big Underdogs After Taking Florida State to OT
The UL Monroe Warhawks will be aiming for the upset win after nearly pulling off a stunning win in their latest action. They came up short in a tough 45-44 overtime road loss to Florida State of the ACC last week in a game that had FSU favored by 22.5 points. QB Caleb Evans has posted a strong start to the year, registering 424 passing yards with three touchdowns against one interception. The senior QB tallied a 16:12 TD to INT ratio as the starter last season, and he is also very mobile as he rushed for over 600 yards in 2018.
The Warhawks rushing offense is looking dangerous led by Josh Johnson. The junior RB was able to rush for 126 yards against the Seminoles last week, and he has notched 299 rushing yards in three games. He faces a daunting task against a strong Cyclones rush defense in this clash. Warhawks’ receiving leader Xavier Brown has stepped into a bigger role this year. He has made 11 grabs for 123 yards in two games. ULM was able to solve the FSU defense last week, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against an even better defense in this game.
ICYMI – Jonathan Hodoh's 16-yard reception (initially called a touchdown on the field) from Caleb Evans set up ULM's go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter at Florida State Saturday night. #ULMvsFSU pic.twitter.com/BfMEtKeX0A
— ULM Football (@ULM_FB) September 9, 2019
The Warhawks defense had no problem in their 31-9 week one victory against FCS opponent Grambling State but surrendered 501 total yards against Florida State. Their rush defense has been an issue early, placing down at 120th in the country. ULM has averaged 37.5 points in two games, good for 34th overall, and they have allowed an average of 27 points, pegging them 82nd in the country.
Iowa State Falls to Rival Iowa
The Iowa State Cyclones have been involved in two very close games to begin their season. They needed overtime to avoid the upset and defeat Northern Iowa 29-26 in their season opener, and they could not hold a late lead in their tough 18-17 home loss to #19 Iowa on Saturday night. QB Brock Purdy was solid in the losing cause, racking up 278 passing yards with two TD’s. The sophomore QB is a big threat, and he has recorded 554 passing yards with three TD’s in two games.
The Cyclones rushing offense has been an area of concern early. They are splitting the duties between multiple backs as they wait for a clear #1 to surface. Junior back Kene Nwangwu has made the most of his 10 carries this season, amassing 84 rushing yards, while Johnnie Lang has rushed for 66 yards.
The Iowa State receiving core will make their mark felt in this game. They have three receivers with over 100 receiving yards in two games led by Tarique Milton with 162 yards on 10 receptions. The Cyclones offense should break free in this one after facing a stifling Iowa Hawkeyes defense last week.
One-on-one with CB Anthony Johnson. #ProveIt
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 17, 2019
The ISU defense was a bright spot in last week’s tough defeat. They limited a decent Iowa offense to only 313 total yards which is an encouraging sign heading into Big 12 play next week, but they cannot overlook a determined UL Monroe team in this one. The Cyclones have averaged 23 points in two games, ranking them 97th overall, while conceding an average of 22 points which places them 53rd in the FBS.
The UL Monroe Warhawks are:
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 September games.
- 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in their previous game.
The Iowa State Cyclones are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.