Louisana-Monroe Warhawks Surprise the Liberty Flames
Our upset of the week goes to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. ULM (+32.5) took down the visiting Liberty Flames on Saturday by a score of 31-28. The win brings the Warhawks to 3-3 on the season with the Flames, who many thought could go undefeated, falling to 5-2. While this is certainly a surprising upset, what’s more surprising is that ULM scored all 31 of their points in the second half.
Liberty took a 14 point lead into halftime in Malone Stadium on Saturday evening but with both touchdowns coming in the final five minutes of the half. ULM’s defense played strong in the first half and were even better to start out the second. After a ULM touchdown, Liberty QB Malik Willis, who was thought to be a dark horse Heisman candidate, threw an interception at his own one yard line. This led to an easy Warhawk touchdown.
The defense continued to dominate the third quarter, only giving up 36 yards of total offense. This dominant performance allowed the offense, coordinated by Rich Rodriguez (yes, that one) to score two more touchdowns and take a 28-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Flames finally found paydirt, though, on a seven yard run by running back Sherdo Louis. The two teams took turns exchanging punts until Liberty tied the game on a 53 yard scamper from Willis. Tie game with just under eight minutes to play.
Both teams traded punts again before ULM was able to break the tie. On a drive that started from the Warhawk seven, senior kicker Callum Sutherland hit a career-long 53 yard field goal with just 1:44 left. ULM fans were certainly happy to have the lead, but they must have thought Willis and the Liberty offense had more than enough time to at least tie, if not win, the game.
Hugh Freeze’s squad got the ball at their own 33 to start the ensuing drive. The Warhawk defense flexes its muscles again by sacking Willis for a loss of six. On the next play, Willis dropped back and threw his third interception of the day with one minute left. ULM took a couple knees and there you have it. One of the most impressive wins in school history.
The stellar defense from the Warhawks paved the way to this huge upset. Liberty turned the ball over twice on downs and Willis threw a career-worst three picks. He was also limited to a season-low 135 passing yards.
Based on the 32.5 point line, this was the biggest upset of the season, so far. Topping Bowling Green’s upset over Minnesota as 30.5 point dogs. This also comes just three weeks after they upset Troy as 23.5 point underdogs. Hopefully going forward this season, Vegas will put a little more respect on the Warhawks’ name.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.