MONROE, La. - ULM (7-4, 5-2) secured its first winning season in FBS era with a 42-16 win over North Texas (4-7, 3-4). It is the first seven-win season and the program's best record since 1993 (9-3).
Junior quarterback Kolton Browning returned from injury to throw for 324 yards on 25-for-34 passing with three touchdowns and one interception. The Warhawks' receivers had an impressive night with Je'Ron Hamm leading the way with seven catches for a career-high 119 yards and two touchdowns. Brent Leonard caught eight passes for 93 yards and a touchdown while Tavarese Maye caught seven balls for 71 yards.
The Warhawks gained 518 total yards on the night to the Mean Green's 467. R.J. Young led the defense 14 total tackles.
Both teams picked up a first down before punting on its first possessions. ULM marched 80 yards on its second possession on 14 plays in 5:25 including a 29-yard pass from Browning to Keavon Milton. Browning sprinted around the left side and dove for the pylon to give ULM a 7-0 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter.
Following a failed fourth-down attempt, North Texas took over. Isaiah Newsome picked off Mean Green quarterback Derek Thompson on its first play before Zac Whitfield intercepted Browning in ULM's first play from scrimmage.
North Texas reached ULM's two-yard line before losing four and six yards on back-to-back plays. The Mean Green settled for a 29-yard field goal from Zach Olen to bring the score to 7-3 with 7:30 left in the half.
Browning completed 7-of-8 passes on a 12-play, 77-yard drive and found Leonard for a seven-yard touchdown to give ULM a 14-3 lead with 1:19 left before halftime. The passing touchdown (55) for Browning tied him with Steven Jyles for the program record for career passing touchdowns.
Rob'Donovan Lewis picked off Thompson to stop a North Texas drive, which had reached ULM's 24-yard line and send the game to intermission. At halftime, ULM led 14-3.
ULM's offense picked up right where it left off in the first half. A North Texas personal foul on a 29-yard field goal attempt would give the Warhawks a new set of downs. Mitch Bailey finished the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run, extending ULM's lead to 21-3 with 8:28 left in the third quarter.
The Mean Green answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped with a four-yard pass from Thompson to Andrew Power bring North Texas within two scores, 21-10, with five minute left in the third quarter.
Browning found Hamm for a 24-yard touchdown pass to set the program record with his 56th career-passing touchdown. The score gave ULM a 28-10 lead with 13:36 left in the game.
The Mean Green's next drive reached ULM's one-yard line where it faced a 4th & Goal. North Texas was stuffed at the goal line by Young to give possession back to the Warhawks and held up after video review.
Browning and Hamm connected again, this time for a 61-yard touchdown. With 6:57 left in the game ULM led 35-10 after starting at its own one-yard line.
North Texas scored on a 15-yard pass from Thompson to Darnell Smith to bring the score to 35-16 with 3:01 left after the failed two-point attempt.
DeVontae McNeal sprinted to a 54-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage on the next drive. ULM now led 42-16 with 2:45 on the clock.
The ULM defense kept North Texas out of the endzone at the end of the game to keep the score at 42-16.
ULM will conclude its regular season at FIU on Saturday (Nov. 24) with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m. CT.