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Sun Belt Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
ARKANSAS STATE: The Red Wolves hung with Missouri on the road for most of the game, but they fell apart in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 21-3 on their way to a 41-19 setback. It was a record-setting night on offense in spite of the loss. Adam Kennedy threw for a career-high 308 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and his 37 completions set a school record. His top target on the evening was J.D. McKissic, who broke his own program record with 15 receptions, finishing with 117 yards. Julian Jones was also outstanding, recording 10 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. While the passing game was on point, the rushing attack was stifled, amassing fewer than three yards per carry. Arkansas State (2-3) has off this week and will return to action on Oct. 12 versus visiting Idaho.
GEORGIA STATE: The Panthers (0-4) had a much-needed bye after starting the season with four straight losses, the most recent of which coming against FCS foe Jacksonville State at home on Sept. 21, 32-26, in overtime. The road gets considerably harder for GSU as it travels to Tuscaloosa this Saturday for a clash with No. 1 Alabama.
LOUISIANA: The Ragin Cajuns (2-2) were idle over the weekend and will attempt to extend their winning streak to three games this Saturday when they host Texas State in their conference opener.
TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats were able to overcome a three-hour storm delay midway through the second quarter to come out victorious against Wyoming, 42-21, pulling away with a big second half after going into halftime tied. It was the rushing attack that made the difference, as Robert Lowe was a workhorse with 30 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Nutall also made the most of his opportunities, going for 62 yards and a pair of scores on 11 attempts. Tyler Jones was impressive under center in his first career start, completing 14-of-18 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while also adding to the stellar ground game (56 yards). He hooked up with eight different receivers, with his touchdown pass going to Ben Ijah from 26 yards out. Texas State (3-1) kicks off conference action on the road this Saturday at Louisiana.
SOUTH ALABAMA: The Jaguars put forth a valiant effort at Tennessee, scoring 17 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to climb back to within a touchdown, but their comeback attempt fell short as they lost, 31-24. Ross Metheny was stifled by the Volunteers defense, completing just half of his pass attempts (21-of-42) for 234 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The silver lining for Metheny was his work as a rusher, as he accumulated 67 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. Danny Woodson, Shavarez Smith, Bryant Lavender and Jereme Jones all had at least four receptions, with Smith leading the receivers with 83 yards. The USA defense kept the squad in the game by picking off Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley three times. South Alabama (2-2) opens up conference play this Saturday afternoon against visiting Troy.
TROY: In a tough non-conference matchup at Duke, the Trojans fell on the wrong end of 38-31 final. Corey Robinson impressed under center, completing 35-of-45 passes for 354 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Eric Thomas was the team's leading receiver with nine catches for 77 yards, including a 12- yard touchdown in the second quarter. Bryan Holmes (seven receptions, 82 yards) and Chris Williams (five receptions, 57 yards) were also reliable targets for Robinson. Brandon Burks led the way with 68 rushing yards on 16 carries, while Jordan Chunn had 33 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Despite amassing 512 total yards, the squad was hindered by a poor defensive effort as Duke tallied 514 yards. Troy (2-3) returns to league action this week when it hosts South Alabama.
ULM: The Warhawks suffered a disappointing home loss versus Tulane, putting up less than 300 yards on their way to the 31-14 final. Kolton Browning's slow start to the season continued as he completed just 12-of-27 passes for 134 yards before being replaced by Brayle Brown (10-of-18, 133 yards, TD, two INTs). Despite the poor performance, Browning still reached a milestone by eclipsing Steven Jyles' school record for career passing yards, currently sitting at 9,051. Tavarese Maye (five receptions) and Rashon Ceaser (four receptions) each finished with 45 receiving yards. The Warhawks' ground attack was non-existent, accounting for only 26 yards on 24 carries. The defense was strong in a wasted effort, holding Tulane to 318 yards. ULM (2-3) opens up Sun Belt play in a showdown with visiting Western Kentucky on Thursday night.
WESTERN KENTUCKY: After allowing Navy to score the first touchdown midway through the opening quarter, the Hilltoppers shut down the Midshipmen from there to capture a 19-7 victory. The defense was spectacular, holding the nation's top rushing attack (398 ypg) to just 107 yards. Outgaining the Navy backfield by himself was Antonio Andrews, who rushed 32 times for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while adding five receptions for 35 yards. The senior tailback has now rushed for at least 100 yards in 14 of the last 16 contests. Brandon Doughty was efficient with his pass attempts (25-of-31), but finished with just 198 yards and an interception. Joel German tallied career highs in both receptions (seven) and yards (87). Xavius Boyd led the defense with eight tackles and 2.0 TFL, while also recording a safety on a sack in the fourth quarter. Western Kentucky (3-2) has a short week to prepare for a road test against ULM on Thursday night.
09/30 11:09:34 ET
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