1. ULM is off to a 2-0 start, including a nice home win over a Power-Five conference opponent in Wake Forest. How impressive have the Warhawks been, exactly?
Well, if Todd Berry could combine the defensive play of the Wake Forest game with the offensive play from the Idaho game, he'd have a really impressive team, but they haven't put it all together quite yet. The offense was especially disappointing in the Wake game when they averaged just 4.1 yards per play against what should end up being a pretty bad defense. It looks like they've found their identity on offense now though, and I'm not really worried about the defense giving up 31 points in a weird game against Idaho.
2. Todd Berry's Warhawk teams have built their name on a hurry up/no-huddle attack. How are things looking this year?
So far it looks like much of the same. Pete Thomas appears to be comfortable pacing and controlling the offense. One thing to look out for on Saturday is pre-snap formation shifts from the offense. They did it a lot last week, and it seemed to give Warhawks QB Pete Thomas a better look at what he could expect from the defense because it can force them to show their hand before the snap. Of course, the Warhawks weren't up against John Chavis' defense last week either.
3. The defense seemed to get off to a nice start versus Wake Forest, but allowed 31 to Idaho. What's the story there?
The Warhawks got off to a 21-7 lead against Idaho and looked just as impressive as they did the previous week. They weren't giving up anything on the ground, they were getting pressure on the quarterback, and swarming to the ball. But then it seemed like ULM defensive coordinator Troy Reffett didn't adjust to Idaho's adjustments. He continued to play a lot of zone defense and Idaho QB Matt Linehan began just picking his spots underneath.
I would expect ULM to open with the same sort of gameplan against LSU. They don't have the athletes on the outside to run much man coverage, but they might be able to get pressure with four men up front. Gerrand Johnson and Lorenzo Jackson could be starting for a lot of SEC teams. If they can do that, they have a shot at that bend-but-don't-break style on the back end paying off.
4. Running back Centarius Donald is off to a nice start with 228 rushing yards. Any other playmakers on offense that LSU fans should be aware of?
Donald will definitely be the focus on offense. If he can't pace the offense, I don't trust Thomas to singlehandedly win a game.
In the passing game, Ajalen Holley appears to be the deep threat for the 2014 Warhawks. He had six catches for 175 yards and a touchdown last week.
Rashon Ceaser hasn't gotten anything going so far this season but he was really the guy I was anticipating to be the #1 receiving threat after he tore it up toward the end of last season. He'll be working in the slot a lot so if LSU devotes two defenders to Holley and leaves Ceaser one-on-one, he could have a breakout game.
5. Will you be making the trip down to Baton Rouge? Think there will be a nice ULM contingent to see the expanded Tiger Stadium?
I'm actually from New York, so it doesn't look like I'll be making it this year, haha. I definitely expect there to be a decent Warhawks crowd though. ULM have a history of showing up and at least making it competitive against Power 5 teams the last few years, so it's not like anyone's just automatically chalking this one up as a loss, and they want to be there if the upset does happen.