Dusty Thibodeaux (Twitter) is a 1997 graduate of Auburn High School who moved to Monroe, LA to attend then Northeast Louisiana University, graduating from now ULM in 2002 and 2006. Dusty returns this fall after a previous Other Sideline and summer edition to give us a refresher on the world’s new favorite team. Read his stuff at WarhawkReport.com.
1. What has the big win over Arkansas done for the ULM’s confidence?
Head Coach Todd Berry has always said that his teams would run through a brick wall for him. The win last week really solidified the confidence that’s been in this program shortly after Berry took over and really showed the team that his way is what’s best for not only them, but the program as a whole. It was good to finally see all of their hard work and efforts payoff.
2. Over the summer, you said that this was the best ULM team in a while. Has that already been proven, or is the jury still out?
I still think this is the best ULM that’s been around in a while. Provided they remain healthy, this team will be in the post season and contend for a conference championship.
3. Were the injuries to Tyler Wilson and other Arkansas starters the key in the comeback win for the Warhawks?
Anytime there are injuries it affects the outcome of a game. With Wilson being injured, and forced out, Arkansas was forced to throw a freshman quarterback into the game that probably wasn’t ready mentally or physically for college football; not a knock on him, but it takes a while to adjust to the game, and very few can make the adjustment that quickly.
4. What has Monroe been like since the win? Are the fans expecting to knock off another SEC opponent this weekend?
There’s a lot of excitement around the campus and around the town, but I think there’s still those that believe it was a fluke to win, and until they can pick up another win, they will not be believers.
5. In which positional matchup do you see the Warhawks excelling against Auburn?
I like the Warhawk front six against the Auburn offensive line and backfield. The ULM defense did well at containing the Razorback running game, but were able to apply some serious pressure to Tyler Wilson.
6. Where will ULM struggle against the Tigers?
Special teams are still a big concern for the Warhawks. They struggled with punting and kick returns, so it will be interesting to see what adjustments have been made this week.
7. What are your thoughts on Auburn’s performances this season?
I think they have a great defense that is big and fast, but seem to be too fast, and over pursue plays. When it works, it stops offenses cold, but allows the mid-range game to be open and exploited as we saw against both Clemson and Mississippi State.
8. What’s your prediction/analysis of the game?
The game will be closer than most think, but the key will be just how grounded ULM is after the emotions of this week have played out. Additionally with Centarius Donald being out this week with an injury, it will be interesting to see how Mitchell Bailey and the other backs fill his shoes.
9. Where will Auburn and ULM end the season?
My pre-season prediction for ULM was 7-4-1 with one game that could go either way, so I think that mark is still obtainable. As for Auburn, I think they can still right the ship and salvage the season for a post season bowl birth, but which one I have no idea.
10. I noticed the Warhawks are using “ALL IN” as their team motto this year. Where did they get that idea from?
“All In” was last season’s slogan that really laid the foundation for this season’s unfinished business. This year’s Warhawk team is largely the same team from the past two seasons, but due to injury and their immaturity they were just unable to get the right pieces together for arun. Now that they have all healed and are bigger, stronger, and faster, they feel the need to go out and prove that 2012 is what ULM will be like now and in the future, not what’s been seen in the past.