In 2021, Louisiana-Monroe averaged 21 points per game... Up from their 16 points per game in 2020. Of course, 123rd in the country up to 110th was a bit of low bar to pass. Through two games so far in 2022, they’ve improved a little more, up to 22.5 points per game... 10 in the season opener vs Texas, and 35 last week in a warm up vs Nicholls State.
Offensive coordinator Matt Kubik runs a very 2010-West-Virginia-esque system that focuses a lot on read option running and horizontal crossing routes. QB Chandler Rogers returns for his second season as a dual-threat QB that led the team in both passing and rushing last year. Rogers is an athletic QB who can make a lot happen in the run game, but he’s also got a rocket for an arm and is a decisive scrambler. He’s completed 77% of his passes so far this year at an 8.2 yards per attempt rate while adding 63 yards on the ground.
At receiver, senior Boogie Knight is a do-everything punt/kick returner who’s a dangerous gadget player out of the backfield as well as a solid pure receiver down the field. There’s also Tyrone Howell, a 6’3” Kansas State transfer who’s a specialist as a sideline contested catch guy. Senior Jevin Frett also brings a good bit of experience to the table.
Diminutive running back Malik Jackson is a former wide receiver (and is still listed as one, technically) that starting carrying the ball in 2021, where put together an impressive season averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He’s a speed player who can bust a big play at any given time and works as a constraint to Rogers on read option plays.
Backing him up is junior Andrew Henry, who led the team in rushing attempts as a JUCO transfer last year. Where Jackson brings the speed, Henry is a more traditional running back who is a bit better in traffic and breaking tackles.
The Warhawks possess a few players who can pose a threat to Alabama’s defense. Speedy QBs like Rogers can always deal a little damage, even when the defense plays a play perfectly. And you can expect the Warhawks to try and hit Howell down the sideline to test whichever corner is opposite of Kool-Aid McKinstry. Georgia did it last year, Utah State did it, Texas did it, and so will everyone else until Arnold/Jackson/Ricks proves they are up to the task.
They will also try to get Jackson isolated on either Dallas Turner or Will Anderson in pass coverage, so Pete Golding will have his work cut out for him trying to prevent that kind of mismatch down the field.
Ultimately, though, this just isn’t a very good team. They scored 10 on Texas, and I see that as about the maximum they could get against Alabama. 6 points seems more likely to me.