'It's a huge opportunity': Quarterback Jeremy Hunt confident entering first ULM start
Jeremy Hunt squashed speculation that he should be Louisiana-Monroe’s starting quarterback after coming off the bench in a 52-34 loss to Georgia State on Nov. 7. That was ULM coach Matt Viator’s decision, Hunt surmised at the time.
The decision was made three weeks later.
“I do remember that conversation and it seems like it was forever ago,” Hunt said. “It feels really good to get out there as the starter and prepare for the game knowing I’m going to be on the field.”
Hunt takes the reins just in time for the Battle on the Bayou matchup between the Warhawks (0-8, 0-5 Sun Belt) and Louisiana-Lafayette (7-1, 5-1) on Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN3) at Malone Stadium.
“I’m really looking forward to this rivalry game,” Hunt said. “It sucks that we missed the Louisiana Tech game, but I was glad to find out that we were still going to have this game this week because it’s a huge opportunity for us to get out and show what we can do.”
Though attrition contributed, Hunt earned the job largely on is performance at Georgia State. He played sparingly behind former starter Colby Suits, who opted out for the rest of the season and announced his plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal on Nov. 16.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Hunt played high school football at Oak Park-River Forest in Illinois and signed with Division II Central Missouri. He made nine starts in 2018 as a redshirt freshman. Hunt transferred to Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College and made 10 starts a year ago before signing with ULM.
“The thing about Jeremy if you’ve been around him is, he’s handled himself as a starter since he got here,” Viator said. “This will be his first FBS game to start, but the guy started in one of the best Division II leagues and the Texas juco league is good football.
“He’s used to everything that comes with being a starting quarterback and I think he’ll handle it fine.”
Hunt came off the bench and finished 26-of-39 for 339 yards and three touchdowns in a 52-34 loss. Wide receiver Perry Carter Jr. made four passes for 125 yards and scored on receptions of 50 and 39 yards.
“Jeremy told me before the half if we go get a stop, he was going to go get a score and that’s all he had to say,” linebacker Traveion Webster said.
“He did what he could to get us back in the game. We still fell short due to some self-inflicted wounds, but I definitely think he gave us a spark for sure.”
In five appearances, Hunt has completed 36-of-63 attempts for 418 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
“My job is the easiest part — I just have to get it to our playmakers and let them make plays,” Hunt said. “I’m just looking forward to continuing to do that, speed the ball around and hopefully get a good run game going.”
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UL Lafayette (7-1, 5-1 SBC) at ULM (0-8, 0-5 SBC)
Kickoff: 2 p.m.
Venue: Malone Stadium
Listen: KLIP 105.3 FM