This Week in the Sun Belt
With two mid week games on tap this week, we're doing this feature a day early in order to cover all the games.
WEDNESDAY--SOUTH ALABAMA (1-4, 0-1) (+17) at TROY(4-1, 1-0) 7:00 pm, ESPN2--Troy has had a few extra days off after that win over LSU, and the Trojans probably needed it from an emotional standpoint. This might have otherwise been a trap game But it isn't. While it may be a rivalry, Troy is the better team and it really isn't close. The Jaguars are a decent defensive team, but they're going to find the going tough trying to score points.
THURSDAY--TEXAS STATE (1-5, 0-2) (+14) at LOUISIANA (2-3, 1-1) 6:30 pm, ESPNU--In the "boy I needed that" department, the Cajuns got a road win and discovered they have at least a semblance of a defense. Speaking of defense, the Bobcats have been pretty good against the run this year. They'll get a test with freshman Trey Ragas of the Cajuns. Texas State hasn't come close to beating the Cajuns since joining the league. They'll have a tough time doing it this year as well.
APPALACHIAN STATE (3-2, 2-0) (-13) at IDAHO (2-3, 1-1) 4:00 pm, ESPN3--Let's see, App struggles mightily to get a road win at Texas State, then needs six picks to beat New Mexico State. Did we value this team too much at the beginning of the season? Probably not, but if they want to get through the league unscathed, they need to play better. Idaho's offensive line will get a big test against that App State defense. But Idaho's "D" is no slouch.
GEORGIA STATE (2-2, 1-0) (+7) at ULM (3-2, 3-0) 4;00 pm, ESPN3--It's beginning to look more and more like the Panthers' loss to Tennessee State was a radar screen blip. Penny Hart is the league's best receiver and Georgia State is figuring it out offensively. ULM's Caleb Evans has accounted for 14 touchdowns and his streak of passes without an interception is third best in the FBS. The Warhawks defense is going to be tested in this one, but that offense is clicking just fine. If the 'Hawks stay on the right side of the turnover battle, they could be 4-0 in the league...and who thought that would happen?
NEW MEXICO STATE (2-4, 0-2) (-8) at GEORGIA SOUTHERN (0-4, 0-2) 5:30 pm, ESPN3--The Aggies have to be kicking themselves. They threw six, count 'em six, picks against App State and yet were still in the game in the fourth quarter. Georgia Southern has a pretty good defensive club, but if the Aggies don't get bitten by the turnover bug again, they should be fine. The Eagles' offense is getting better, but they have a long way to go.
COASTAL CAROLINA (1-4, 0-2) (+19) at ARKANSAS STATE (2-2, 1-0) 6:00 pm, ESPN3--Coastal is averaging 32 points in their two conference losses and that tells you all you need to know about the Chanticleers. They'll move the football in Jonesboro, but can they slow down Justice Hansen and the Red Wolves' offense. In a perfect world, Hansen gets some rest for his back issues and the Wolves get ready for the short week against Louisiana. But for that to happen, A-State needs to play good defense...and that hasn't exactly been a strength this year so far.