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Sun Belt Weekend Primer

By Jackson Schroeder
SouthernPigskin.com
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Georgia Southern can win the Sun Belt title outright with a win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Navy at South Alabama:

Navy stands at 5-5 overall, and has had a relatively mediocre season. The Midshipmen can still become bowl eligible with a win this Friday over South Alabama, though. The last time Navy faced a Sun Belt opponent they took on Georgia Southern, and proceeded to pulverize the Eagles by a score of 52-19. Navy has a very talented triple option offense, led by quarterback Keenan Reynolds, that ranks second in the country with an average of 354 rushing yards per game. South Alabama became bowl eligible with a 24-20 win over Texas State a few weeks ago. The Jaguars have seen some success this season, especially in conference play, but I don’t see them beating a talented Navy team on Friday.

Prediction: 42-14 Navy

Louisiana at Troy:

Louisiana lost all hopes of winning the Sun Belt last week after suffering its first conference loss last weekend against Appalachian State. The Ragin’ Cajuns can bounce back this weekend with an expected blowout win over Troy. Running back Elijah McGuire can break 1,000 yards rushing this weekend for Louisiana with merely four more yards. Troy has struggled in every aspect of the game this season. The Trojans have won two straight for the first time this year, but that streak will more than likely be broken on Saturday. The Trojans don’t even rank in the top 100 in average passing yards, points scored, or points allowed. This season will pass by and be marked in the books as a rebuilding year for Troy.

Prediction: 24-7 Louisiana

Idaho at Appalachian State:

Appalachian State is coming off of a huge conference win over previously first-ranked Louisiana last weekend. The Mountaineers have won five straight and have seen great performances by running back Marcus Cox, who has rushed for 1,293 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. Idaho, on the other hand, started off the season weakly, and has finished the season weakly. The Vandals are 1-9 overall and have had a very disappointing season. The only promising sign for Idaho this season is having its freshman quarterback, Matt Linehan, throwing for 2,319 yards so far on the season. Appalachian State will stay hot and move up to 7-5 this weekend.

Prediction: 45-10 Appalachian State

Texas State at Georgia State:

Texas State became bowl eligible last weekend with a 45-27 win over Arkansas State. The Bobcats have seen some success out of their two running backs, Robert Lowe, who has rushed for 945 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, and Terrence Franks, who has rushed for 624 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Georgia State has now lost ten straight and stands at 0-7 in the Sun Belt. Panther quarterback Nick Arbuckle only needs 73 more passing yards to break 3,000 on the season. I see Arbuckle fulfilling this task, but I see another loss by his team.

Prediction: 35-10 Texas State

New Mexico State at Arkansas State:

New Mexico State has lost nine straight and has seen very little success as of late. The Aggies handed Idaho its only win, and has been blown out every game since then. Aggie quarterback Tyler Rogers has been a decent quarterback, throwing for 2,465 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season, but has not led his team to any crucial wins. Arkansas State has been a good Sun Belt team this season. The Red Wolves are coming off of two straight losses to conference opponents, but still are bowl eligible. Dual-threat quarterback Fredi Kinghten has thrown for 2,578 yards and 17 touchdowns, and has rushed for 622 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Arkansas State should pick up its seventh win this Saturday over a struggling New Mexico State team.

Prediction: 42-14 Arkansas State

UL Monroe at Georgia Southern:

ULM, after starting the season off 3-1, is 1-6 in its past seven games. Quarterback Pete Thomas has had some success, passing for 2,874 yards and twelve touchdowns. The Warhawks are completely out of bowl consideration, and the only thing that they can hope for now is to spoil Georgia Southern’s outright conference championship. Georgia Southern won’t let this happen. The Eagles have had an outstanding first season in the Sun Belt, and star quarterback Kevin Ellison won’t let that season go to waist with a loss against ULM this weekend. The Eagles still rank first overall in rushing yards, averaging 385.5 per game. This game will be a great end to a great regular season for Georgia Southern. We will now just have to see whether or not the Eagles will make it to a bowl game.

Prediction: 42-7 Georgia Southern

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.