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Sun Belt Weekend Primer

By Jackson Schroeder
SouthernPigskin.com
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Louisiana looks to remain perfect in Sun Belt play when it takes on a hot Appalachian State team.

Arkansas State at Texas State:

This was a weekday matchup between two talented Sun Belt teams. Going into this game, it was assumed that this game could go either way. Robert Lowe and Texas State disproved that theory. Texas State jumped out to a commanding 28-7 lead in the second quarter and never turned back from there. Lowe rushed for a career-high 236 yards and four touchdowns in the matchup. The most productive player for Arkansas State was quarterback Fredi Knighten, who threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns.

Score: 45-27 Texas State

South Alabama at South Carolina:

South Alabama is coming off of a close win over conference opponent Texas State. The Jaguars are 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the Sun Belt. South Carolina is 5-5 overall and is coming off of two overtime games, losing to Tennessee and beating a struggling Florida team. The Gamecocks are having a rough season this year, but they have still seemed to find a way to win rivalry games. The defense has really been the issue for South Carolina, as it is allowing an average of 32.7 points per game. South Alabama has seen some success this year in the Sun Belt, but I don’t see them even contending with this South Carolina football team.

Prediction: 42-7 South Carolina

Appalachian State at Louisiana:

This is going to be a really interesting matchup between two hot Sun Belt teams. After a weak start, Appalachian State has truly buckled down and played some great football as of late. The Mountaineers are 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Sun Belt. The Appalachian State hot streak will really be put to a test this weekend against a strong Louisiana football team. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 7-3 overall and 6-0 in the Sun Belt. They are on a six-game winning streak, and are truly giving Georgia Southern a run for its money in the Sun Belt. Louisiana running back Elijah McGuire has led the pack, rushing for 960 yards and eleven touchdowns. His teammate Alonzo Harris has rushed for 591 yards and nine touchdowns. This is a huge road test for Applachian State, and it could be very close.

Prediction: 35-24 Louisiana

Georgia State at #22 Clemson:

Georgia State has struggled to find wins this season. The Panthers are 1-9 and 0-7 in the Sun Belt. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle has continued to be very impressive, throwing for 2,812 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season. Clemson started off a little slowly, losing to Georgia and Florida early in the season. They also are coming off of a big loss to a surprising Georgia Tech tem last Saturday. Defense has been the strong suit for the Tigers this year, as they are only allowing an average of 19.4 points per game. I expect them to boost that stat this weekend against Georgia State.

Prediction: 42-3 Clemson

UL-Monroe at New Mexico State:

This is a matchup between two struggling Sun Belt programs. ULM is 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the Sun Belt. New Mexico State is 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the Sun Belt. After starting off 3-1, ULM has lost six straight to primarily conference teams. Quarterback Pete Thomas has been strong, throwing for 2,524 yards and eleven touchdowns on the season, but his success alone is not nearly enough for ULM to win games. New Mexico State has lost eight straight, and is the perfect example of a team that fell off the tracks. New Mexico State seems to be the worst team in the Sun Belt as of late. The only good thing that will come out of this game is fact that one team has to break its losing streak.

Prediction: 24-10  UL-Monroe

Jackson Schroeder - Jackson Schroeder is a huge sports fan who intends on staying in the sports broadcasting and journalism field. He is an undergrad journalism major at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a graduate of Savannah Country Day School in Savannah, Georgia. At Savannah Country Day, Jackson played three sports: football, baseball, and wrestling. He has decided to not pursue any sport in college, and take the academic route. Jackson will cover the Sun Belt Conference for Southern Pigskin.