Louisiana-Monroe headed to Independence Bowl

Associated Press photo by C.W. GRIFFINLouisiana-Monroe's Brent Leonard gets past Florida International's Winston Frasier for the winning touchdown in overtime at Alfonso Field on Nov. 24. Leonard and the Warhawks will play in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.
Associated Press photo by C.W. GRIFFINLouisiana-Monroe's Brent Leonard gets past Florida International's Winston Frasier for the winning touchdown in overtime at Alfonso Field on Nov. 24. Leonard and the Warhawks will play in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

The Louisiana-Monroe football team is headed to Shreveport.

ULM has accepted a bid to play in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 28 on ESPN, the school and the game announced Saturday. The Warhawks’ opponent is not yet known.

This is the first bowl appearance in school history for the school formerly known as Northeast Louisiana, which moved to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1994.

The Independence Bowl will cap a memorable season for ULM (8-4), which opened with a stunning 34-31 upset of Arkansas at War Memorial Stadium, then followed with narrow losses to Auburn and Baylor.

The Warhawks won five games in a row before they suffered back-to-back losses against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State. ULM closed out the regular season with wins over North Texas and Florida International.

Along the way, left-handed quarterback Kolton Browning put on a show. Browning threw for 2,830 yards and 27 touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for 441 yards and seven scores.

The Warhawks finished 6-2 in Sun Belt Conference play under third-year coach Todd Berry, tying for second place in the league standings.

“We are very excited that the hard work of the team and the staff have been noticed by the ... Independence Bowl,” Berry said.

“To have a historic season culminate in a bowl such as the Independence Bowl and the great city of Shreveport, La., is extra special. This team continues to work very hard. The ULM faithful can be very proud of this team both on and off the field and can know that we will give a maximum effort towards bringing the Independence Bowl trophy home with us.”

ESPN will televise the game at 1 p.m. Dec. 28, live from Independence Stadium, which sits about 100 miles from the ULM campus.

“We are thrilled and honored to be selected to participate in this year’s ... Independence Bowl,” athletic director Bobby Staub said. “We couldn’t have picked a better location for our first-ever bowl game and look forward to our students, alumni and fans converging on Shreveport the week of December 28th.”