Sep 17, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Cameron Latu (81) catches a pass against Louisiana Monroe Warhawks safety Tavier Williams (6) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Alabama scores in all three phases as it rolls Louisiana-Monroe

The second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in the first quarter to roll to a 63-7 victory over visiting Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Bryce Young went 13-of-18 passing for 236 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions as the Crimson Tide (3-0) earned their 55th straight win over a nonconference regular-season opponent.

Jahmyr Gibbs had four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 36 yards on four carries, while Roydell Williams ran for 58 yards and a score on eight carries.

After Young threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Traeshon Holden on Alabama’s first possession, the Crimson Tide also scored on defense when linebacker Will Anderson Jr. returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

The special teams were up next. Malachi Moore scooped up a blocked punt that was blocked by Ja’Corey Brooks and returned it three yards for a score with 8:50 left in the first quarter.

Young capped the 28-point first quarter with a seven-yard touchdown run a little more than four minutes later.

The offense’s outburst was more than enough for Crimson Tide’s defense, which held the Warhawks (1-2) to 169 yards, including 4-for-17 on third-down conversions. Alabama had four sacks and nine tackles for losses.

Malik Jackson’s 11-yard run pulled the Warhawks to within 28-7 with 10:11 left in the half before Young responded with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Amari Niblack with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

In the third quarter, Alabama extended its lead to 49-7 on Young’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Gibbs and Williams’ 10-yard scoring run.

Brian Branch returned a punt 68 yards to make it 56-7 with 12:36 left before Trey Sanders’ 6-yard run provided the final margin.

Chandler Rogers went 11-for-21 passing for 96 yards and an interception for the Warhawks, while Jackson rushed for 36 yards and a score on 13 carries.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) rushes for yards against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn Ewers, D’Shawn Jamison guide Texas past ULM, 52-10

Quinn Ewers passed for 225 yards and two touchdowns, and D’Shawn Jamison blocked a punt and returned an interception 70 yards for a score as Texas dismantled visiting Louisiana-Monroe 52-10 on Saturday evening in Austin, Texas in the season opener for both teams.

Ewers, a ballyhooed transfer from Ohio State who won the starting quarterback spot in the preseason, produced a workmanlike performance. He hit on 16 of his 24 throws but missed on all of his deep passes during his two-and-a half quarter outing.

Bijan Robinson, the Longhorns’ All-American running back, racked up 111 total yards — 71 of them on the ground — including a touchdown receiving and rushing. Ja’Tavion Sanders led the Texas receivers with six catches for 85 yards as Xavier Worthy, Texas’ other preseason All-American player, had just two receptions for 24 yards.

Chandler Rogers passed for 108 yards to lead the Warhawks (0-1), who were picked to finish last in the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division. Zach Martin ran for 39 yards that included a 23-yard TD late in the game for ULM.

The Longhorns’ special teams scored the first TD of the season when Jamison blocked a punt and Keilan Robinson scooped the ball and returned it 12 yards for a score.

The Warhawks cut into the lead with a 25-yard field goal by Calum Sutherland with 5:11 to play in the first quarter after Ewers was intercepted by Tristan Driggers. Texas (1-0) responded with a seven-play, 64-yard drive that culminated in a 19-yard Ewers-to-Sanders TD pass with 1:47 remaining in the first quarter.

Roschon Johnson rumbled to a 16-yard touchdown on the Longhorns’ ensuing possession and the rout was on. Bert Auburn added a 41-yard field, the first in his career, with 3:14 to play before halftime to push Texas’ lead to 24-3.

Bijan Robinson broke into the scoring column on Texas’ first possession of the third quarter via a 16-yard swing pass from Ewers. He added a 9-yard TD run later in the quarter as the Longhorns pushed their advantage to 38-3.

After Jamison’s interception return midway through the third quarter, Jonathon Brooks finished the Texas scoring with a 19-yard TD run with 6:24 to play.

–Field Level Media

Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian is interviewed during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas takes heightened expectations into opener vs. UL Monroe

The Texas Longhorns look to build momentum Saturday night with an eye on a spot in the Top 25 when they host Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener for both teams in Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns went 5-7 last year in coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season, missing missed a bowl game for the first time since 2016. Last month, Texas was picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll behind Oklahoma, defending league champion Baylor and Oklahoma State.

Texas returns two of the nation’s top offensive players in running back Bijan Robinson and wide receiver Xavier Worthy, both of whom are preseason All-Americans.

The Longhorns drew attention in the offseason when they signed 5-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, a Texas native who played all of two snaps (both handoffs) last year as a true freshman at Ohio State. Ewers was named the starter last week over Hudson Card, who played in eight games and started twice in 2021.

While Texas is more than a five-touchdown favorite over ULM, there are plenty of things for the Longhorns to decide before they host top-ranked Alabama next week.

“I don’t think they’re worried about what’s down the road,” Sarkisian said Monday. “I honestly think our guys are excited to play football against another team, another helmet, another scheme, and enjoy doing it.”

The Warhawks head to Austin for just the second meeting ever against Texas with heightened expectations as well. UL Monroe went 4-8 in the Sun Belt Conference in 2021 and lost its final five games but should improve in coach Terry Bowden’s second year in northeast Louisiana.

UL Monroe was ranked seventh (last) in the West Division in the Sun Belt preseason poll.

“We expect to have a winning season, we expect to go to a bowl,” Bowden said. “You don’t always get what you want, you don’t always get what you need, but you almost always get what you expect.”

The offense is led by wideout Boogie Knight, whose 588 receiving yards on 45 catches paced the squad in 2021 and garnered him a spot on the All-Sun Belt preseason second team. Chandler Rogers won a preseason quarterback battle with Jiya Wright to lead the UL Monroe attack in the opener.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Jaray Jenkins (10) scores a touchdown that   s is called back due to a penalty when playing against Louisiana Monroe Warhawks during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU ends skid with 27-14 win over Louisiana-Monroe

Max Johnson threw two touchdown passes and ran for one as LSU held off Louisiana-Monroe 27-14 in a nonconference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Johnson completed 22 of 33 passes for 319 yards as the Tigers (5-6) ended a three-game losing streak. Malik Nabers caught four of Johnson’s passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. Brian Thomas Jr. caught the other touchdown pass and finished with 61 receiving yards.

Rhett Rodriguez completed 12 of 22 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown for the Warhawks (4-7), who won’t be bowl eligible but have improved significantly from their 0-10 record last season under first-year head coach Terry Bowden.

LSU had an opportunity to increase its 17-7 lead on the first possession of the third quarter, but Johnson threw an incompletion on fourth-and-3 from the ULM 14.

On the Tigers’ next possession, Johnson threw a 42-yard touchdown to Thomas to increase the lead to 24-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Quarterback Chandler Rogers threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Zach Rasmussen for the Warhawks before LSU’s Cade York kicked a 50-yard field goal to complete the scoring with 46 seconds remaining.

On LSU’s first possession, Johnson threw a 48-yard completion to Nabers, setting up Johnson’s three-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.

The Tigers drove 73 yards in 12 plays before stalling and York missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt, leaving the Tigers with a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Rodriguez was intercepted by Jay Ward at the ULM 28, leading to York’s 27-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.

Johnson and Nabers teamed on a 67-yard touchdown that increased the lead to 17-0.

LSU tried a fake punt from its 39 and Avery Atkins’ pass was intercepted by Josh Newton, who returned it to the Tigers’ 28.

Two plays later Rodriguez threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Boogie Knight to cut the lead to 17-7 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Conway, South Carolina, USA; Coastal Carolina Chanticleers wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh (6) and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers tight end Isaiah Likely (4) celebrate a touchdown against Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Brooks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 16 Coastal Carolina blows out Louisiana-Monroe

Braydon Bennett ran for two touchdowns and Grayson McCall threw for two touchdowns to Isaiah Likely in No. 16 Coastal Carolina’s 59-6 home victory against University of Louisiana Monroe on Saturday afternoon in Conway, S.C.

McCall had a perfect throwing performance, completing all 13 of his passes and ending up with 212 yards in the air.

The Chanticleers, who were playing in their Sun Belt Conference opener, did most of their damage early in building a 38-3 halftime lead in front of a Brooks Stadium-record crowd of 18,674.

Coastal Carolina (5-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) also received 95 rushing yards from Reese White, who carried the ball 15 times.

For the second game in a row, Coastal Carolina didn’t allow a touchdown. This came after last week’s home beatdown of Massachusetts. UL Monroe was held to 203 yards of total offense.

It was a good time for the Chanticleers to use plenty of back-ups because they have their next game Thursday night at Arkansas State.

UL Monroe (2-2, 1-1) picked up its points on field goals of 40 and 30 yards from Calum Sutherland. The Warhawks, who had won their previous two games for their first back-to-back wins since 2018, were unable to replicate that recent success.

McCall hooked up with Likely for a 5-yard touchdown play to open the scoring. Bennett’s 10-yard run later in the first quarter padded the margin.

A McCall-to-Likely touchdown play of 30 yards opened the second-quarter scoring.

The next score came less than two minutes later. CJ Beasley blocked a UL Monroe punt and Aaron Bedgood returned it 9 yards for a touchdown.

Bennett’s 29-yard touchdown run pushed the margin to 35-3 later in the second quarter. He finished with 76 rushing yards on seven carries.

Jarrett Guest and Zachary Stevens also threw touchdown passes for Coastal Carolina, which had four different players throw at least one pass for a combined 21-for-24.

Quarterback Chandler Rogers of UL Monroe was 9-for-17 for 100 yards with an interception.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; The Kentucky Wildcats offense celebrates a touchdown scored by wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (1) during the second quarter against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Will Levis throws 4 TD passes as Kentucky beats ULM 45-10

Will Levis threw four touchdown passes in his Kentucky debut as the host Wildcats defeated Louisiana-Monroe 45-10 in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon.

Levis, a transfer from Penn State running first-year coordinator Liam Coen’s offense, completed 18 of 26 pass attempts for 367 yards.

Wan’Dale Robinson had two touchdown catches and 125 receiving yards and Josh Ali had one touchdown catch and 136 receiving yards for a Wildcats offense designed to improve a passing game that was the worst in the SEC the past two seasons.

The Warhawks, who were 0-10 last season, gained just 87 yards in the Louisiana-Monroe debuts of veteran head coach Terry Bowden and offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez.

After scoring two touchdowns in both the first and second quarters, the Wildcats offense slowed down in the third quarter.

But Levis did throw a 57-yard completion to Isaiah Epps to set up Matt Ruffolo’s 45-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter, giving Kentucky a 31-7 lead at the end of the period.

Levis threw a 4-yard touchdown to Brenden Bates to push the lead to 38-7 early in the fourth quarter and took the rest of the game off.

ULM punted on 10 consecutive possessions before Calum Sutherland kicked a 29-yard field goal. Michael Drennen II ran 4 yards for a Wildcats touchdown with 1:00 remaining.

On the first possession of the game, Levis’ first pass was intercepted by Jabari Johnson. That led to Kadyn Roach’s 4-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 ULM lead.

But Levis bounced right back with touchdown passes of 33 yards to Robinson and 58 yards to Ali on the Wildcats’ next two possessions to give them a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed two yards for a touchdown as Kentucky increased its lead to 21-7.

Levis and Robinson teamed on a 15-yard touchdown that gave the Wildcats a 28-7 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Jan. 1, 2010: A fan smiles as she congratulates FSU coach Bobby Bowden after his final game against West Virginia at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the Gator Bowl. [Kelly Jordan, Florida Times-Union]

UL-Monroe’s Terry Bowden leaves team to be with ailing father

Terry Bowden, coach of the Louisiana-Monroe football program, left the team Thursday to be with his father, Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden.

Bobby Bowden, 91, is battling pancreatic cancer.

“Head coach Terry Bowden traveled to Tallahassee, Fla., Thursday to spend time with his parents,” the Warhawks football team’s official Twitter account posted Friday.

First-year associate head coach Rich Rodriguez, the former head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, is filling in for Terry Bowden during his absence from the team.

UL-Monroe, of the Sun Belt Conference, opens its season Sept. 4 at Kentucky.

After Bobby Bowden announced in a statement last month that he was fighting a terminal medical condition, his son was the first to reveal it was pancreatic cancer when speaking at Sun Belt media day.

“We’ve been preparing for this,” Terry Bowden said. “We know when you have pancreatic cancer, which is what the disease is, you’re probably talking months, not years, so we know that. We just think we’ve got some more good days ahead, and we’re going to enjoy those together.

“I would plead that all people would respect the fact he needs to rest when he’s up,” he added. “He doesn’t need a lot of phone calls, or a lot of people talking on the phone. You know my dad; he has never turned down an interview in his life. He’ll be on his deathbed (doing) an interview the last minute he does it. But, that’s Bobby Bowden.”

Bobby Bowden won two national championships (1993, 1999) and 12 ACC titles as the coach of Florida State, posting a 315-98-4 record with the Seminoles.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2017; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez reacts against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the Territorial Cup at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana-Monore hires Rich Rodriguez as OC

Rich Rodriguez is the new offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Louisiana-Monroe, the school announced Tuesday.

Rodriguez, the former West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona head coach, was most recently offensive coordinator at Ole Miss in 2019.

“ULM has made a statement with Rodriguez that this losing stuff is about to come to an end,” new head coach Terry Bowden told CBSSports.com. “We came here to win and that’s what we intend to do.”

Louisiana-Monroe was 0-10 in 2020 and last had a winning season in 2012 when it went 8-5.

Rodriguez’s son Rhett also joined the program and will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer. The quarterback passed for 516 yards and three touchdowns for Arizona in 2018 but only saw action once in each of the past two seasons. Rhett Rodriguez completed 7 of 16 passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns in his lone 2020 appearance, a 70-7 loss to Arizona State.

Rich Rodriguez, 57, compiled a 118-83 record in 16 seasons as a head coach.

He went 60-26 in seven seasons at West Virginia (2001-07) before leaving to coach Michigan. He was just 15-22 in three seasons with the Wolverines (2008-10) and later went 43-35 in six seasons at Arizona (2012-17) before being dismissed.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2018; Evanston, IL, USA; Akron Zips head coach Terry Bowden looks on during the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Louisiana-Monroe to name Terry Bowden head coach

Louisiana-Monroe will name former Auburn coach Terry Bowden as its next head coach, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Bowden spent the past two seasons as an unpaid graduate intern on coach Dabo Swinney’s staff at Clemson, a position Bowden said he took to refresh his coaching education.

Terry Bowden was hired as Auburn’s coach in 1993, and the Tigers finished 11-0 that season. He was named Coach of the Year and was fired in 1998 after the team started the season 1-5.

He returned to the Division I ranks in 2012 and coached Akron to a 35-52 record before being fired in December.

Overall, his record as an FBS head coach is 82-69-1. He also coached at North Alabama, Samford and Salem.

Bowden, 64, will replace Matt Viator, who was fired after the Warhawks posted an 0-10 record. His first duty will be to rebuild the roster of the Sun Belt Conference team, which saw 24 players enter the transfer portal before the season.

Bowden played at West Virginia and began his coaching career in 1982 as a graduate assistant to his father, the legendary Bobby Bowden, at Florida State.

His older brother, Tommy, was Clemson’s head from 1999 until 2008, when he was fired six games into the season and replaced by Swinney.

Terry Bowden has said that he wanted to return to head coaching and thought his experience at Clemson would help. But it turned out to be more than educational.

“It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Bowden told The State in Columbia, S.C., before last year’s College Football Playoff championship game. “Getting back to sitting in front of a camera and studying football again, with a bunch of great people and great analysts and being a small part, I’ve really enjoyed it. I think most of us who are fortunate enough to still be in this game at my age just enjoy it. They do a lot more for me probably than I’m doing for them, and I’m very thankful for that.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2020; Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA; Troy Trojans running back B.J. Smith (26) runs for a first down during the first half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Floyd Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Troy-Louisiana Monroe II canceled due to COVID-19

Troy’s game with Louisiana-Monroe scheduled for Thursday night has been called for the second and final time, due to the Warhawks not having enough players available to play.

The two were originally scheduled to play on Sept. 5 but that game was postponed due to nine positive tests for the coronavirus within ULM’s program.

Troy finishes the season with a record of 5-6, and 3-4 in the Sun Belt.

“We are extremely disappointed in the news that ULM will not have enough players available to play Thursday’s game,” Troy director of athletics Brent Jones said. “I am very appreciative to ULM Athletics Director Scott McDonald and Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill for their open lines of communication in this process. My heart hurts for our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have worked tirelessly since they returned to campus in June with the intention of playing a full 12-game schedule.”

ULM finishes winless at 0-10, including an 0-7 conference mark.

“The combination of positive COVID tests, contact tracing and injuries made it impossible to safely play the season finale at Troy,” McDonald said. “Our No. 1 priority throughout this uniquely challenging season has been maintaining a safe environment for our student-athletes.

“I’m disappointed for the senior student-athletes from both schools, who won’t have the opportunity to close out their careers in the appropriate manner.”

–Field Level Media