Sun Belt Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
ARKANSAS STATE: The Red Wolves' nine-game win streak came to an end in a loss at Auburn on Saturday, as they fell in a 38-9 final to their old coach Gus Malzahn. The offense was able to generate plenty of yards on the evening (422), but could not capitalize in the red zone, failing to score a touchdown in four trips. Adam Kennedy was 29-of-41 passing for 272 yards, and he also led the team with 74 yards rushing. David Oku logged 16 carries but they resulted in just 48 yards (3.0 ypc), although he helped make up for it with six receptions for 70 yards, both career-highs. Julian Jones reeled in seven receptions but for only 29 yards. Arkansas State (1-1) will try to start a new winning streak on Thursday night when it opens up conference play by hosting Troy.
GEORGIA STATE: For the second consecutive week, the Panthers dropped a contest to an FCS opponent, as they fell at home to Chattanooga, 42-14. Starting quarterback Ronnie Bell was ineffective, going 9-of-22 for 70 yards before being supplanted by Ben McLane, who led the team on a couple of late scoring drives and finished 7-of-12 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Albert Wilson caught seven balls for 132 yards, his second straight 100-yard game and the eighth of his career, and he hauled in both of McLane's scoring strikes. Robert Davis had 100 yards receiving as well on four receptions. The rushing differential was arguably the difference in the game, as GSU (0-2) ran for just 30 yards on 17 carries while allowing the Mocs to amass a whopping 401 yards. The Panthers have a tough road test to tackle this Saturday when they travel to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers.
LOUISIANA: The Ragin' Cajuns endured their second straight difficult road test to start the season, and while they fought hard at Kansas State, they ultimately fell in a 48-27 decision. Terrance Broadway had a hand in two second-half touchdowns, one rushing and one passing, but finished with a rather modest stat line, going 18-of-30 for 193 yards and a interception to go with 42 rushing yards on 13 carries. Alonzo Harries turned 13 carries into 74 yards, while Jamal Robinson tallied six receptions for 83 yards and a score. The Louisiana defense had little answer for the Wildcats offense, which posted 454 yards (305 passing). The Cajuns will attempt to finally put one in the win column this Saturday in their home opener against Nicholls State.
TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats made easy work of Prairie View A&M, winning 28-3 to open the season with two straight wins for the first time since 2005. As it was the previous week against Southern Miss, the defense was the story in the recent triumph, as the unit held PVAM to just 227 yards. Texas State (2-0) claimed a near-17-minute time of possession advantage thanks to an outstanding rushing attack, which was led by Chris Nutall's 132 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. Terrence Franks (nine totes, 30 yards) and Robert Lowe (five carries, 23 yards) also had rushing scores. Tyler Arndt was 14-of-21 passing for 147 yards, but failed to find the end zone. Michael Orakpo had eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Texas State is idle this week and will head to Lubbock on Sept. 21 for a date with Texas Tech.
SOUTH ALABAMA: After suffering a disappointing loss in its season opener, the Jaguars bounced back by winning in shootout fashion over Tulane this past weekend, 41-39. Ross Metheny threw for 290 yards on 19-of-30 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The signal-caller also rushed for a team- high 75 yards with two more scores. Wes Saxton hauled in seven balls for 92 yards for the Jaguars, while Shavarez Smith, Jereme Jones and Danny Woodson all had at least 50 yards receiving. The momentum-changing play came late in the third quarter when Terrance Timmons recovered a block punt and returned it for a touchdown. South Alabama (1-1) will open up conference play on Saturday night when it hosts Western Kentucky.
TROY: The Trojans had one of their best offensive outputs in school history in their 66-3 romp over Savannah State. The point total was the most they've put up since 1995, and the six combined touchdown passes from Corey Robinson (four) and Dallas Tidwell (two) tied a single-game school record. A week removed from an NCAA-record 30-of-32 passing performance, Robinson was nearly perfect again, going 17-of-19 for 180 yards before being relieved by Tidwell, who was also outstanding (6-of-7, 64 yards). Twelve different receivers caught a pass in the win, with Eric Thomas (66 yards) taking all three of his grabs for touchdowns. Although no player eclipsed 60 yards rushing, the team still finished with 251 yards on the ground with a pair of scores. Jadarius Garner recorded two of the team's six sacks. Troy (2-0) will put its perfect record on the line on Thursday night in a road contest with Arkansas State.
ULM: The Warhawks had no problem dismissing Grambling State in their home opener over the weekend, 48-10, thanks to a rushing attack that piled up 367 yards, the program's highest output since 2007. Jyruss Edwards had just eight carries, but cashed them in for 123 yards and a touchdown for his third career 100-yard rushing effort. DeVontae McNeal was also outstanding in limited action, going for 94 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Kolton Browning wasn't very accurate (13-of-25), but finished with 171 yards and three touchdowns paired with one interception. Rashon Ceaser led all receivers with six receptions for 95 yards, while Je'Rom Hamm, Harley Scioneaux and Kenzee Jackson were on the receiving end of Browning's scoring strikes. ULM (1-1) will head back out on the road this week to challenge Wake Forest.
WESTERN KENTUCKY: The Hilltoppers couldn't get out of their own way against Tennessee on Saturday, as they committed seven turnovers in what turned out to be a 52-20 defeat. After an impressive debut in the season opener, Brandon Doughty had a game to forget, completing 17-of-34 passes for 222 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions. Antonio Andrews was great yet again, turning 13 rushing attempts into 111 yards, while adding one reception for 43 yards. Leon Allen split carries with Andrews, piling up 52 yards and a touchdown on 13 totes. Allen was also the team's leading receiver with four receptions for 35 yards. Defensively, Xavier Boyd had 13 tackles, two TFL and a sack. The Hilltoppers (1-1) open up Sun Belt Conference play this week with a road test at South Alabama.
09/09 11:35:53 ET