Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#403 Troy vs.
#404 UL Monroe
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Blake V.

Troy will be looking to build on a win at Southern Miss when it traves to Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night. The Trojans are off to a 2-1 start, with their loss coming against Liberty in Week 2. UL Monroe was blown out at Kentucky to open the season, but it tallied a win in a 12-7 victory over Jackson State last week.

Troy coming off bounce-back win

Troy is off to a solid start in 2021. The Trojans opened the year with a 55-3 win against Southern, taking a 34-3 lead into halftime and never looking back. They added three second-half touchdowns to pad their stats. Troy’s lone loss came in Week 2 when it was unable to cover the spread as a 3-point home underdog against Liberty. The Flames took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter and never trailed again in a 21-13 final. Troy bounced back last week, notching a 21-9 win over Southern Miss. The Trojans struggled out of the gates, failing to score in the first half.

They quickly got on the board in the second half, scoring a touchdown 2:07 after intermission. Their momentum continued with two more touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Southern Miss’s lone touchdown came with 3:04 left in the contest. Troy quarterback Taylor Powell has completed 68.1% of his pass attempts for 697 yards and five touchdowns. He has also thrown two interceptions and been sacked nine times. Running back Kimani Vidal leads the rushing attack with 43 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Tez Johnson has been Powell’s top target, catching 18 passes for 223 yards and a score.

Warhawks hoping to pull off shocking win

Louisiana-Monroe enters Saturday night’s game as a large home underdog. The Warhawks got off to a bad start this season, getting blown out at Kentucky in a 45-10 final. They scored the game’s opening touchdown before surrendering the next 38 points. UL Monroe averaged just 0.4 yards per carry and finished with just 87 total yards on offense. Kentucky racked up 564 yards, including 419 through the air. It was a concerning number, as the Wildcats generally do not have much success in the passing game. The Warhawks had Week 2 off before hosting Jackson State last week.

They were able to cover the 4.5-point spread in a 12-7 final. Jackson State held a 7-3 lead at halftime, but UL Monroe connected on three field goals in the second half. Junior quarterback Rhett Rodriguez has completed just 54.3% of his attempts for 206 yards. He has not thrown a touchdown or an interception, getting sacked six times in the process. UL Monroe’s rushing attack is averaging 1.3 yards per carry thus far. Running back Andrew Henry has 17 carries for a team-high 61 yards. Wide receiver Boogie Knight has caught 12 passes for 136 yards.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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There is going to be a significant talent gap between these teams on Saturday night. Troy has shown that it is capable of competing with teams like Liberty, while UL Monroe was blown out by Kentucky to open the season. The Trojans have an offense that can score in bunches, as evidenced by their 55-3 win over Southern to open the year. UL Monroe is on the other end of the spectrum. It is averaging less than two yards per carry and has essentially no semblance of a passing game. This game should be dominated by Troy from the very start.

Prediction: Troy -24

Full-Game Total Pick

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I do not trust UL Monroe to hold up its end of the bargain as far as the total is concerned. The Warhawks have struggled to pick up first downs or move the ball at all so far this season. Troy has been solid defensively, so this very well could be a shutout performance for them. The Trojans have gone under the total in seven of their last eight road games. They have also gone under at an 11-4-1 clip in their last 16 games overall. UL Monroe is incapable of moving the ball against good teams, going under in six of its last seven games against a team with a winning record.

Prediction: Under 50
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.