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Saturday Sun Belt Quick Hits

By Emory Hunt
SouthernPigskin.com
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The basics of what you need to know for tomorrow's Sun Belt matchups.

Appalachian State @ UMass

The Mountaineers come into this matchup winner of 3 straight games, with their offense looking rather explosive in the process.  App State has averaged 35 points per game during this run, which is very impressive.  The slight concern is that their defense has given up nearly 27 points as well. That could be a small red flag in this one as UMass offense spreads the field and pushes the tempo ala Arkansas State, and the Minutemen have one of the best tight ends in college football in Adam Breneman. I think we’re in for a high scoring affair in Amherst, MA.

Pick: Appalachian State

Georgia Southern @ Troy

The Eagles did what I didn’t expect them to do on Sunday. They fired 2nd year Head Coach Tyson Summers after a 0-6 start to the season.  This is an unprecedented move by the Eagles in my opinion, but when you’re a tradition-rich program that’s used to winning like Georgia Southern, you don’t accept mediocrity or losing.  Longtime assistant coach Chad Lunsford takes over as the interim. He has a tall task in his first game in the big chair as they face the Troy Trojans, who got back on the winning track last week after beating Georgia State 34-10.  I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see an inspired Eagles team, but that’ll last about a quarter before talent kicks in and the Trojans roll.

Pick: Troy

Louisiana-Monroe @ Idaho

The Warhawks were looking like a serious contender in the Sun Belt Conference earlier in the season. UL-Monroe was sitting at 3-2, with the two losses against Memphis and Southern Miss (both of which were very competitive). Now they’re on a two game losing streak and a defense, which has been questionable all season long, has now reached liability status. That’s exactly what the Idaho Vandals want to hear as they play host to the Warhawks because their offense has struggled to find its way all season long.  The Vandals do have the defense to keep it close, but will their offense be able to capitalize on the additional possessions?

Pick: Louisiana-Monroe

Texas State @ Coastal Carolina

In a battle between 1-6 teams, Texas State and Coastal Carolina does have a lot of intrigue that makes this game compelling.  I really like what the Bobcats bring to the table at receiver.  Elijah King has big play ability, inconsistency from the quarterback position that has limited his production.  And Coastal has one of the best backfields in the Sun Belt Conference with Osharmar Abercrombie and Marcus Outlow.  The Chanticleer duo has combined for just over 700 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging just over 5 yards per carry.  To me, that’ll be the big matchup: Coastal run game vs State’s rush defense. I think we’ll see the Chanticleers do something we haven’t seen since Week 1… win.

Pick: Coastal Carolina

Emory Hunt - Emory Hunt, "The Czar of the Playbook", is a former UL Ragin' Cajun running back nw covering the Sun Belt for Southern Pigskin. His other work can be found at FootballGameplan.com. Twitter: @FBallGameplan