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(All information as of July 1, 2005)
COACH AND PROGRAM
If a 1-11 record doesn't manage to tear a team down, then surely starting out 0-4 against a brutal schedule the next season would definitely send it into a tailspin, right? Not at Louisiana-Monroe. When the going got tough for the Indians, the tough got going.
The Indians bore down and won five of their last seven games in 2004, capped off by a game-winning field goal against arch rival Louisiana-Lafayette. While Louisiana-Monroe can't be sure what the future holds, the 5-2 stretch at the end of the season completely changes the way the team looks at what lies ahead.
All of a sudden, the program has gone from the edge of extinction to the brink of success. Armed with a prolific quarterback and an athletic group of receivers, the Indians think they have a chance to contend in the Sun Belt this year.
But before they can worry about conference play, they will be running the proverbial non-conference gauntlet. Road games at Wyoming, Georgia and Arkansas all come at the front end of the schedule.
Once the Indians get into conference play, they will get a shot at two winnable games before getting Troy and North Texas in consecutive weeks, followed closely by a game at Middle Tennessee.
The team taking the field this season looks competitive on paper. With 12 starters returning and several experienced players filling in the vacant spots, the Indians should be able to come together early in the season.