When teams found out Louisiana-Monroe was on their schedule, the opposition likely decided to circle a victory on the calendar before the game even began. Just three weeks into the regular season, the college football landscape is finding out that may not have been the brightest idea.
Although the Warhawks have never reached a bowl game in school history and only won four games last season, they are quickly becoming a team to watch out for. Yes, a Sun Belt team has made a name for itself and is somebody you have to respect.
This evening, Louisiana-Monroe will get the Baylor Bears to travel to Monroe, LA for a battle of the ultimate underdogs.
Last season, Baylor had is most successful season in program history, winning 10 games for the first time ever and earning a bowl victory for the first time since 1992. The Bears made a name for themselves in large part to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. But now that the quarterback is no longer around, Baylor must find a way to avoid the letdown.
Like most little programs, Louisiana-Monroe scheduled some big boys in the beginning of its schedule to earn some nice paychecks. But instead of getting creamed and taking the money, the Warhawks competed with the best of them, knocking off Arkansas and giving Auburn the scare of their lives.
The team is averaging over 480 yards on offense, and the only teams they have played so far were supposed to be solid defensive SEC schools.
Baylor on the other hand is 2-0, but neither one of their victories has been impressive enough to really hold any weight. Quarterback Nick Florence is doing a great job so far, completing over 63 percent of his passes, throwing for 653 yards and seven touchdowns. But the senior quarterback is certainly no Griffin and it will be interesting to see how this team responds to leaving Waco for the first time.
Baylor head coach Art Briles knows this is going to be a tough game for his Bears (via Krista Pirtle of The Baylor Lariat):
It is their first game coming back from beating Arkansas and taking Auburn into overtime. Their fans are really excited, as they should be. It’ll be good for us too, because throughout the Big 12 we go to some really tough venues. We’ll have to tighten up our focus a little bit, and it’ll give us a good opportunity to bond prior to some of the road games we have in the Big 12.
Who wins tonight’s game?
Most stadiums in the Big 12 are bigger than Malone Stadium, as it barely holds 30,000 people, but Baylor can no longer treat this as their first road game of the season. Instead, Louisiana-Monroe should be looked at as a true contender, and somebody who can send you back to Texas with the first loss of the season.
Last season, Baylor was the underdog that everybody loved, as the Bears upset TCU, beat Oklahoma for the first time and ended the Texas Longhorns' season with a loss. This year, the giant-killer has quickly become a small Sun Belt program in Louisiana.
Without Superman to save the day, Baylor may be the next program to go down due to those feisty Warhawks.