FACTS & STATS: Site: Commonwealth Stadium (67,606) — Lexington, Kentucky.
Television: SEC Network. Home Record: ULM 3-0, UK 4-0. Away Record: ULM 0-2,
UK 0-1. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, UK 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 2-1, UK 2-1.
Series Record: Kentucky leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: After putting together a two-game SEC winning streak, the upstart
Kentucky Wildcats will step out of conference action on Saturday afternoon
when they play host to the ULM Warhawks at Commonwealth Stadium.
ULM began its Sun Belt Conference schedule with two straight wins over Idaho
(38-31) and Troy (22-20) but fell on the losing end of a 28-14 final at
Arkansas State on Saturday to dip to 3-2 overall. The Warhawks are undefeated
in their home stadium but have yet to win on the road, having previously lost
to another SEC squad LSU on Sept. 13 (31-0).
Kentucky has been one of the nation’s most pleasant surprises over the first
half of the season. At 4-1, it has already doubled its win total from the 2013
campaign (2-10). The Wildcats successfully snapped their 17-game SEC losing
streak on Sept. 27 with a 17-7 win over Vanderbilt, and they kept that
momentum rolling last weekend with an outstanding come-from-behind triumph at
home versus South Carolina, 45-38.
The Wildcats hold a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series with the Warhawks,
most recently winning on Oct. 24, 2009 in Lexington, 36-13.
The Warhawks have struggled to get anything going this season, putting up just
18.2 ppg and 336.8 ypg. They only managed to score two touchdowns a week ago,
both in the fourth quarter.
Pete Thomas has started all five games under center but has completed just
56.9 percent of his passes for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns, although he
has kept his mistakes to a minimum with just two interceptions. Brayle Brown
saw action late in last week’s game, going 5-of-7 for 97 yards and a score.
Ajalen Holley is a big-play threat at receiver with 18 receptions for 377
yards and four touchdowns. Rashon Ceaser (30 receptions, 251 yards) and Kenzee
Jackson (24 receptions, 320 yards, TD) are also in the midst of solid
The running game averages only 2.7 yards per carry. Centarius Donald earns
most of the backfield work, turning 82 carries into 350 yards and three
While ULM’s defense hasn’t been strong enough to support a lackluster offense,
it has still performed well in allowing just 24.0 ppg and 366.2 ypg.
Not only does Mitch Lane lead the team in tackles with 40 but he’s also picked
off three passes. The squad boasts a strong pass-rush, with Gerrand Johnson
(5.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks), Hunter Kissinger (4.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks), Ray Stovall (4.5
TFL, 3.0 sacks), Michael Johnson (4.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and Joey Gautney (3.5
sacks) all playing at a high level.
The Wildcats used an outstanding offensive attack to erase a 14-point fourth-
quarter deficit last week, finishing the game with 447 yards. The unit has
been much improved this season, averaging 34.2 ppg and 467.8 ypg.
Patrick Towles has done a stellar job orchestrating the offense this season by
completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 1,325 yards, nine touchdowns (two
rushing) and four interceptions.
Jojo Kemp busted loose against South Carolina with 131 yards and three
touchdowns and is now the team’s leading rusher (286 yards, four TDs). Braylon
Heard (284 yards, three TDs) has been explosive, averaging more than eight
yards per attempt.
Ryan Timmons (25 receptions, 307 yards, two TDs) is Towles’ most trusted
target when it comes to moving the chains, while Demarco Robinson (13
receptions, 217 yards) and Garrett Johnson (13 receptions, 210 yards, two TDs)
are utilized down the field.
Kentucky’s defense surrendered 500 yards and 35 points to a capable South
Carolina team a week ago, but it came up big when it needed to most when Alvin
Dupree returned an interception for the game-winning touchdown with 2:29 to
play. The unit has been stout this year, giving up just 19.6 ppg and 359.4 ypg
while forcing 13 turnovers.
A.J. Stamps has three of the team’s nine interceptions. Khalid Henderson (29
tackles) has recovered a pair of fumbles, Josh Forrest has a team-best 41
tackles and Ashely Lowery has picked off two passes.
The Wildcats have proven themselves against tough SEC competition, and at home
versus an up-and-down ULM squad, they should have no trouble pushing their
record to 5-1.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kentucky 31, ULM 13