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Pete Thomas, Warhawks edge Wake Forest

Louisiana-Monroe's Michael Johnson (34) and Cody Robinson, right, bring down Wake Forest's John Wolford (10) during an NCAA college football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/The News-Star, Dacia Idom) NO SALES

MONROE — Pete Thomas ran in a 9-yard go-ahead touchdown with 3:27 remaining to lift Louisiana-Monroe to a 17-10 victory over Wake Forest Thursday night at Malone Stadium. The Warhawks (1-0) trailed 10-0 at halftime before rallying for 17 unanswered points on Wake Forest (0-1). With the win, ULM swept the home-and-home series against… Continue reading →

ULM, Wake Forest to meet

Associated Press file photo by DAVE MARTIN --UL-Monroe coach Todd Berry

MONROE — The Louisiana-Monroe football team opens the season on Thursday hosting Wake Forest in a nationally televised game on ESPNU at 6:02 p.m. ULM grabbed a 21-19 win at Wake Forest last season. ULM begins the season with three of its first four games at home as the Warhawks host Wake Forest in… Continue reading →

Demons to host Missouri State

NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State and Missouri State will meet for the second straight year to open the season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches. The Demons, coached by Baker native Jay Thomas, won last Aug. 29 in a hard-fought 23-17 decision in Springfield in the first meeting in… Continue reading →

Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor Eddie Robinson Award

The Allstate Sugar Bowl is the new presenting sponsor for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Named for the legendary Grambling football coach who died in 2007, the Robinson Award goes to the top head coach in the FBS. Balloting is conducted by the Football Writers Association of America, which originated the award in… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Kaleb Muse happy to get back to full contact

Photo provided by SLU Public InformationSoutheastern Louisiana linebacker Kaleb Muse sacks Northwestern State  quarterback Brad Henderson in 2012.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana senior outside linebacker Kaleb Muse was almost giddy at the thought of getting hit again. The Lions were into their first day of full-contact drills when Muse was presented with the first opportunity to test his surgically repaired shoulder. He took on offensive guard Aaron Reed in a drill that Reed… Continue reading →

Southeastern is flying high but staying grounded

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett celebrates a running touchdown,

A Southland Conference championship and a trip to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals a year ago are certain to raise the expectation level to greater heights for Southeastern Louisiana this fall. But the expectations that come with being ranked third in the preseason national polls and having a Walter Payton Award Watch List candidate in quarterback Bryan… Continue reading →

Reinforcements will be pivotal for McNeese State

Associated Press file photo by L.G. Patterson -- McNeese State coach Matt Viator

When McNeese State coach Matt Viator stares out over his squad on the practice field in Lake Charles, he will be looking for not one but two new generals for his offense. A combination of quarterback Cody Stroud and running back Marcus Wiltz carried the Cowboys to a 10-3 record in 2013 after combining for 4,318… Continue reading →

QB Zach Adkins has the Golden touch for Northwestern State

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern linebacker Franchot West pressures Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins

When it comes to Louisiana football programs in the Southland conference, California seems to be a breeding ground for prime quarterback talent. While Bryan Bennett dominated opposing defenses for Southeastern Louisiana, another Golden State signal caller was making his presence felt 227 miles to the north. Northwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins was a force in his… Continue reading →

Tough schedule looms over UL-Monroe

Associated Press file photo by Gerald Herbert -- Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry

Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry knows the schedule his 2014 team faces is daunting, but he believes it’s more than prepared for the challenge. “Our players are used to playing this kind of schedule, and they look forward to these opportunities,” said Berry, who is entering his fifth season in Monroe. “It allows for a better offseason because… Continue reading →

Louisiana College has something special brewing

Louisiana College coach Dennis Dunn has quietly generated a culture of winning in Pineville. Over the past six years, the Wildcats have a 43-18 record, the second-best winning percentage in the state over that span behind LSU. In 2013, the Wildcats strung together another dominating campaign under Dunn, finishing 7-3 as runners-up in the American Southwest… Continue reading →

New homes abound for Tulane: Yulman Stadium and AAC

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Tulane comes takes the field for the first half of the New Orleans Bowl.

Tulane’s first bowl appearance in 11 years has not exactly bowled anyone over outside of the program. With the Green Wave (7-6 in 2013) moving from Conference USA to the tougher American Athletic Conference and upgrading its nonconference schedule, the prognosticators are pessimistic about a team that has numerous holes to fill. Tulane lost… Continue reading →

Lewis: If Tulane struggles in 2014, don’t view it as a step back

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- UL-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth and Tulane coach Curtis Johnson meet at midfield after the New Orleans Bowl in December.

The true measure for a college football coach is his third season. The majority of the players are his signees. The coaching staff’s makeup has been tweaked, and everyone should be comfortable working with one another. Fan expectations have become realistic. All that’s true for Tulane’s Curtis Johnson, who comes into his third season riding the… Continue reading →

No Ryan Grant? No worries for Tulane receivers

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Tulane's Justyn Shackleford

When Tulane coach Curtis Johnson was asked about having to replace All-Conference USA pick Ryan Grant, you would’ve thought he might show a glimpse of concern or hesitance about what he may get from his receivers this year. Surprisingly, Johnson seemed almost giddy when he got an opportunity to express excitement about his receivers heading… Continue reading →

Tulane depth chart breakdown

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee

QUARTERBACKS 12 Tanner Lee 6-4 220 R-Fr. 1 Devin Powell 6-3 228 So. 11 Nick Montana 6-3 207 Sr. BRIEFLY: Lee has all the assets to be a top-flight quarterback, which he demonstrated by producing touchdowns on his first four series in Tulane’s first preseason scrimmage. The strong, accurate arm, the pocket presence and the leadership are all there. The next… Continue reading →

American Athletic Conference preview

Houston quarterback John O'Korn (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

1. Houston 2013: 8-5, 5-3 AAC Coach: Tony Levine Key players: WR Deontay Greenberry, LB Derrick Mathews, FS Trevon Stewart Strengths: QB John O’Korn is the latest in a long line of outstanding Cougars at the position. Overall, 16 starters return, plus another 12 players have at least one… Continue reading →

Third-ranked Southeastern looks to build on breakout year

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InformationMissouri defenders Braylon Webb and Zaviar Gooden wrap up Southeastern tight end Jeremy Meyers last season.

HAMMOND — The closer Southeastern Louisiana’s football team got toward the downtown area for Friday’s “Hot August Nights” celebration, senior tight end Jeremy Meyers couldn’t believe his eyes. The promotion, sponsored by Hammond’s Downtown Development District, was the latest example of how much the community has embraced its football program after last year’s 11-3 season,… Continue reading →

Despite setbacks, Southeastern churns ahead toward scrimmage

SLU Public Information file photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern coach Ron Roberts watches as wide receiver Jarrell Bennett hauls in a reception in the annual Spring Game at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. The Lions canceled their first scrimmage Saturday because of thunderstorms.

HAMMOND — Losing a practice to rain, moving another indoors and the canceling the first scrimmage may appear a tall order to overcome in preparing for the start of a new season. Given the recent rise of Southeastern Louisiana’s program — ranked No. 3 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll — and the veteran… Continue reading →

Colonels cap first week of preseason; Southeastern cancels scrimmage

THIBODAUX — With the season opener at Air Force three weeks away, the Nicholls State football team held its first scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday morning at John L. Guidry Stadium. The Colonels had 75 plays in the controlled scrimmage, with the quarterbacks throwing for five touchdown passes in red-zone situations. Quarterback Tuskani Figaro also rushed for… Continue reading →

Southeastern tabbed No. 3 in preseason coaches poll

HAMMOND — When Southeastern Louisiana opened up fall practice Monday, it did so with the highest-ranked football team the school has had in more than 50 years. The defending Southland Conference champions were selected No. 3 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll released Monday. Southeastern peaked last season with its No. 6 finish… Continue reading →

Southeastern reports for camp Sunday

HAMMOND — Defending Southland Conference champion Southeastern Louisiana reports to campus Sunday. The Lions, picked in the top three FCS teams nationally in multiple preseason publications, return 15 preseason All-Southland Conference players from last season’s team that advanced to the quarterfinals in the FCS playoffs. Walter Payton Award candidate and Southeastern senior quarterback Bryan… Continue reading →

Mickles: Coach Ron Roberts, Lions enjoy being the favorite

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Southeastern running back Rasheed Harrell races toward the goal line during last year's FCS playoff game against Sam Houston State at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

LAKE CHARLES — One year ago, Southeastern Louisiana University football coach Ron Roberts came to Southland Conference media day with a team that was flying well under the radar. Coming off a 5-6 record in 2012, Roberts’ first season at the school after a highly successful five-year stay at Delta State, SLU was picked to… Continue reading →

Early slate will test Tech

IRVING, Texas — Louisiana Tech’s early schedule is absolutely brutal. The Bulldogs were 4-8 overall (3-5 Conference USA) in 2013, the first season under coach Skip Holtz. This season, they play four of their first five games against bowl teams from last season in Oklahoma, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, North Texas and Auburn.… Continue reading →

Holtz seeks more ways to use Dixon

Associated Press photo -- Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon, left, smiles during a playful interview by coach Skip Holtz at the Conference USA media day Wednesday in Irving, Texas.

IRVING, Texas — Skip Holtz is glad to have junior running back Kenneth Dixon, who missed three games last season with a knee injury, healthy for 2014. But the second-year Louisiana Tech coach would like to find more innovative ways to use Dixon, who rushed for 917 yards last season, within his offense.… Continue reading →

All-Conference USA preseason Offensive player of the year: Rakeem Cato, Sr., QB, Marshall Defensive player of the year: James Rouse, Sr., DL, Marshall Special teams player of the year: Hunter Mullins, Sr., P, UAB OffenseContinue reading →

Louisiana Tech schedule Coach: Skip Holtz (4-8 one season, 92-79 overall) 2013 RECORD: 4-8 (3-5 Conference USA) Aug 30: at Oklahoma, 6 p.m. Sept. 7: at UL-Lafayette, 6… Continue reading →

Four downs: Southland Conference media days

After having eight football-playing schools in 2013, the Southland Conference will welcome three new members this fall. Houston Baptist will be eligible for SLC honors this season, but Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word will have to wait until at least 2017 to be fully eligible. All 11 schools will play eight league games — one… Continue reading →

Southland media day preview: Team capsules

Southland Conference logo

Abilene Christian COACH: Ken Collums PLAYERS: DE Nick Richardson and TE Jonathan Parker WHAT TO WATCH FOR: When Abilene Christian won in 2013, it won big. Though the Wildcats only went 6-5, they outscored their opponents 370-114 in their victories. During his junior campaign, QB John David Baker… Continue reading →