MONROE – Terrance Broadway accounted for a career-high 460 yards of total offense and five touchdowns as Louisiana snapped a two-game losing streak by routing UL-Monroe, 40-24, in front of a crowd of 20,203 at Malone Stadium.
It was the sixth straight win over the Warhawks for UL with the Cajuns improving to 25-23 in the all-time series.
The win improved the Cajuns to 5-3 on the year and moved the squad into a fourth place tie with Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt race with a 3-2 mark. The Warhawks (6-3) who lost for the first time in five league games, slip into a first place tie with Middle Tennessee at 4-1.
"I am so proud of this team," UL head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "They took an awful lot of heat over the last two weeks, but stuck together, worked hard in practice to get better and then came out today and executed.
"This was a big win for us as it gets us back on track in the league race. There's still a lot of season left to play," Hudspeth added.
The crowd, the second-largest to see a Sun Belt game at Malone Stadium, was aided by a group exceeding 2,000 fans wearing the Vermilion and White of the Ragin' Cajuns.
"What a great showing by our fans today," Hudspeth said. "They hung with us after a tough two weeks and refused to let go of the rope. They came out today and were loud and into the game and that helped us immensely."
Running the offense like a veteran, Broadway engineered six scoring drives of 75 yards or more to secure the win for the Cajuns. UL had a two-to-one domination in time of possession, having the ball for 40:35 compared to just 19:25 or UL-Monroe. It was even more lopsided in the second half as UL had the ball for 23:03 to just 6:57.
Broadway completed 23-of-32 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns. He finished one yard shy of equaling his career high for passing yards (374 vs. Arkansas State on Oct. 23). Broadway also carried 14 times for 87 yards and a score.
"Terrance came of age tonight," Hudspeth said. "He took a lot of heat for the last two losses and like a man, he stepped up and took responsibility. Tonight, he couldn't have been better. He did a great job of finding the open man, ran the ball when he needed to and was diving for the first down marker a couple of times. He was invested in the ball game."
The Ragin' Cajuns offense dominated the ball all night, running 81 plays and piling up a season-high 607 yards of total offense.
The Cajuns gained 234 yards rushing with Broadway and freshman Torrey Pierce (13 carries, 72 yards) each recording career highs while Alonzo Harris was a workhorse, picking up 61 yards on 17 attempts with a touchdown.
Jamal Robinson led the receivers, making three catches for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns, including an 81-yard grab on a fourth-and-five play as time expired.
"Our receivers stepped up tonight and made some plays," Hudspeth said. "That's exactly what we needed from them."
Playing a bend but don't break defense, the Cajuns limited the high-powered Warhawks to 407 yards of total offense, including just 74 yards on 20 rushing attempts. It marked the fifth time this year – all wins – that UL held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing.
The Cajuns opened the scoring on their second possession as Alonzo Harris capped a 77-yard drive by running up the middle and over a pair of ULM defenders to score from 12 yards out with 7:55 left in the first quarter.
The lead was short-lived as on the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, Tavarese Maye snuck behind the UL defense to make an 81-yard touchdown catch with 7:40 left.
Turnovers hurt the Cajuns in the opening quarter. Isaiah Newsome intercepted a defelected Broadway pass to stop one scoring drive. The turnover didn't hurt UL as Justin Manton missed wide left on a 45-yard field goal attempt. It snapped a streak of 14 consecutive field goals made by UL opponents.
It was costly however for the Warhawks. Pressured by Cordian Hagans on a third down incompletion, quarterback Kolton Browning came up limping and was lost for the game.
On the next drive, Effrem Reed lost the handle on a carry up the middle and R.J. Young recovered for Warhawks. It set up a 23-yard field goal by Minton with 0:48 left in the quarter.
The Ragin' Cajun offense started to click after that.
Broadway hooked up with Jamal Robinson on a 52-yard touchdown pass that put UL ahead, 14-10 with 13:30 left in the half. On the play, Broadway looked right, dragging the entire defense over to that side of the field before Robinson emerged on the left side and caught a 15-yard pass and ran it in for the score.
On UL's next drive, Harry Peoples capped a 13-play, 86-yard drive by catching a short pass on the left side and battled his way into the end zone from 23 yards to put the Cajuns ahead, 21-10 at the 4:46 mark.
The Warhawks responded just before halftime when Je'Ron Hamm caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cody Wells with 0:48 left. The Cajuns took a 21-17 lead to the break.
After forcing ULM to punt on their first second half possession, the Cajuns methodically drove 87 yards in 12 plays with Broadway scoring on an eight-yard run with 6:36 left in the third quarter to extend the lead back into double figures, 28-17.
The Cajuns put the game away with the longest drive of the year. Jacob Maxwell caught a one-yard scoring pass from Broadway on a fourth-and-goal with 5:47 left to play. Taking over the ball on its own one yard line with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, UL drove 99 yards in 17 plays covering 9:33. The Cajuns converted a pair of fourth down plays en route to the score.
Cody Wells threw a 22-yard scoring pass to Brent Leonard with 4:30 left to pull ULM to within 34-24.
The Cajuns were forced to punt on their next possession and ULM started to drive, only to be thwarted by an interception by Jemarlous Moten.
The Cajuns were able to run out the clock with the last five seconds coming on Robinson's final touchdown catch.
"With just five seconds left, our goal was to hold the ball and then throw it long to let the clock run out," Hudspeth said. "UL-Monroe sent everybody on a blitz and Terrance had to let go of the ball early so he heaved it down field. Jamal was able to run under the ball and make the grab."
The Ragin' Cajuns step out of conference play for the final time next week, traveling to Gainesville, Fla. to take on No. 7 Florida on Saturday, Nov. 10. Kickoff, for the first of four remaining games in the regular season, is set for 11:21 a.m. (CST) on the SEC Network.