College Football

ULM vs. Arkansas State: Key Conference Clash Is Must-See Game

LITTLE ROCK, AR - SEPTEMBER 8:   Kolton Browning #15 of the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks throws a pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Warhawks defeated the Razorbacks 34-31.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2012

There's a good chance, as a college football fan, you might consider skipping the Thursday night showdown between Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State. After all, you're likely not the biggest fan of the Sun Belt Conference.

However, I'm here to tell you that skipping this game will be a mistake. This game promises to be a good one.

First of all, the other football game on tap is an NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. I love Andrew Luck as much as the next football fan, but any game with the Jags is a tough sell.

With that being said, let's not run a negative campaign here, folks. There are plenty of reasons to watch this game—it's not just to ignore other programming.

For one, both teams come into this game 6-3 and 4-1 in the Sun Belt, so there are huge conference implications. That's always exciting. You can bet there won't be any punches pulled in this one.

Louisiana-Monroe was one of the early-season stories after upsetting Arkansas and just losing to Auburn and Baylor before rattling off five straight losses. The Warhawks also score 37.6 points per game (21st in the nation) and accumulate 458.4 yards per game. They're a lot of fun to watch.

Keep an eye on dual-threat quarterback Kolton Browning (assuming he plays)—all he's done this year is pass for 2,288 yards and 23 touchdowns and rush for another 426 yards and five scores.

Arkansas State won't exactly put you to sleep, either. The Red Wolves have been tested (and soundly beaten, of course) by Oregon and Nebraska, and certainly don't lack in the offensive department.

Arkansas State scores 34 points per game (35th in the country) and average 460.1 yards per game. While Louisiana-Monroe is more potent through the air (291.1 passing yards per game), the Red Wolves run the ball with the best of them (212.1 rushing yards per game).

The Red Wolves have four players with more than 250 rushing yards on the year, led by junior David Oku's 698 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

The two teams have been very competitive in recent memory, with Arkansas State holding a 4-3 advantage in the last seven meetings.

To refresh, we've got poor competition from the NFL, huge conference implications at stake, two very fun offenses to watch and a traditionally even matchup to boot.

Seriously, how are you not watching this game?

If you want to be a part of the ever-growing "hipster sports fan" movement—which may or may not actually exist—this is exactly how you should be spending your Thursday night. Along with CAA basketball, the Brian Scalabrine fan club, chess-boxing and Jai-alai, a game between Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe totally earns you points in the sports hipster world.

So there's that, too. Congratulations on watching this game and being the cool kid.

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets aren't afraid to get emotional after a big win.

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