Texas State (3-3) at ULM (3-3) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Malone Stadium (30,427) -- Monroe, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Texas State 2-2, ULM 3-0. Away Record: Texas State 1-1, ULM 0-3. Neutral Record: Texas State 0-0, ULM 0-0. Conference Record: Texas State 1-1, ULM 2-1. Series Record: ULM leads, 8-2.
GAME NOTES: A pair of 3-3 teams will try to surge above .500 on Saturday night, as the ULM Warhawks play host to the Texas State Bobcats in a Sun Belt Conference showdown at Malone Stadium.
Texas State had been winners of two straight heading into its midweek contest with Louisiana on Oct. 14 but fell flat on its home field in a 34-10 setback. The Bobcats are 1-1 in league play, and they hope to benefit from an 11-day layoff.
After a strong 3-1 start to the season, ULM has fallen back with two straight losses, both on the road. The Warhawks dropped a 28-14 decision at Arkansas State on Oct. 4 to fall to 2-1 in conference play and lost to Kentucky on Oct. 11, 48-14, but they are a perfect 3-0 in Monroe this season.
ULM leads the all-time series with Texas State by an 8-2 count, which includes a 4-1 mark in Monroe.
The Bobcats had scored 35 points or more in three straight games prior to their 10-point dud against Louisiana their last time out. Despite the poor showing, the unit has still been excellent this season with 33.8 ppg and 459.7 ypg.
Texas State is a run-first squad, attempting nearly 15 more rushes per game than passes. Robert Lowe and Terrence Franks are the primary beneficiaries with 438 yards apiece. Lowe averages 5.8 yards per carry and has scored twice, while Franks has been even more productive (7.4 ypc, six TDs).
Tyler Jones is an impressive dual-threat quarterback. He's completing 67.4 percent of his throws (12th in the nation) for 1,325 yards, 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while adding 264 yards and four scores on the ground.
Bradley Miller is Jones' top receiving target with 25 receptions for 254 yards and a touchdown. Jafus Gaines (14 receptions, 229 yards) and Ben Ijah (17 receptions, 178 yards) step up their play in the red zone with a combined seven touchdowns.
Unfortunately for Texas State, its defense has not lived up to its end of the bargain, as the unit has allowed 29.2 ppg and 442.3 ypg.
David Mayo is one of the nation's most active tacklers with 83 stops. Michael Odiari (36 tackles) is a dynamic pass-rushing threat with 8.5 TFL and 6.5 sacks. Germond Williams is active in the takeaway battle with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
ULM has struggled offensively all season long, ranking last in the Sun Belt in both scoring (17.5 ppg) and yardage (324.7 ypg). In fact its scoring offense ranks 119th, or seventh-worst, in the nation.
Pete Thomas throws for 221.0 ypg and has tossed just three interceptions in 228 attempts, but he's completing less than 58 percent of his passes and has accounted for only eight touchdowns.
Rashon Ceaser only averages 7.6 yards per catch but he's Thomas' most trusted target with 36 receptions. Ajalen Holley is one of the league's best deep threats with 445 yards and five touchdowns on just 22 receptions (20.2 ypc). Kenzee Jackson (32 receptions, 393 yards, two TDs) has also been solid.
Centarius Donald has turned 82 carries into 350 yards and three touchdowns, but the rushing attack as a whole has been lackluster with a mere 84.5 ypg.
The poor play of the offense certainly hasn't done any favors for the ULM defense, which gives up 28.0 ppg and 363.8 ypg.
Mitch Lane not only has a team-best 46 tackles but has picked off three passes. Other defensive standouts include Gerrand Johnson (42 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks), Hunter Kissinger (37 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, two INTs) and Michael Johnson (32 tackles, 3.0 sacks).
Texas State is coming off its worst offensive performance of the season and will have to overcome road surroundings while taking on a talented ULM defense, but the Warhawks' inability to score points and keep pace with the Bobcats will ultimately cost them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas State 28, ULM 24Game Date and Time
Saturday, October 25, 7 p.m. (ET)