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Sun Belt Weekend Primer

By Jackson Schroeder
SouthernPigskin.com
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Georgia Southern will be facing its toughest contest in Sun Belt play when it travels to Texas State.

South Alabama at Arkansas State:

South Alabama is coming off of a 19-9 loss against in-conference opponent Louisiana. Led by their 23rd ranked defense, the Jaguars stand at 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State also is 5-3 overall, but the Red Wolves edge South Alabama with their 3-1 conference record. Dual threat quarterback Fredi Knighten has been the most prominent player for Arkansas State passing for 1,879 yards and ten touchdowns, and rushing for 467 yards and seven touchdowns. Arkansas State is in for a tough one this weekend against a solid South Alabama team. Although Arkansas State may be considered the favorite, I see South Alabama earning a close win in Saturday’s matchup.

Prediction: 24-21 South Alabama

Georgia State at Troy:

Georgia State is coming off of a 44-0 loss to Appalachian State. The Panthers stand at 1-8 and 0-6 in the Sun Belt, however they hadn’t experienced a loss like that since Arkansas State. Georgia State is known for its high scoring offense led by conference leading quarterback Nick Arbuckle, and I know they wish to get back on track against an equally disappointing Troy team. Troy is 1-8 and 1-4 in the Sun Belt. The Trojans are coming off of a 41-10 loss to Georgia Southern, however they don’t seem to have anything to play for. Georgia State has already improved on its 2013 record, and the Panthers should prove this weekend that they are no longer the worst team in the conference.

Prediction: 35-28 Georgia State

UL-Monroe at Appalachian State:

Appalachian State blew out Georgia State last weekend by a score of 44-0 to prove that they can actually win some games when things go their way. The Mountaineers average 258 yards rushing per game, which ranks them at 15th in the country. Similarly to Appalachian State, ULM is 3-5 overall. The War Hawks are on a four game loosing streak, and have struggled to get anything going on either side of the ball lately. Quarterback Pete Thomas has been the only successful attribute of this ULM team, throwing for 1,808 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. I see Appalachian State continuing its hot streak this weekend against a weak ULM team.

Prediction: 35-17 Appalachian State

Georgia Southern at Texas State:

Georgia Southern has truly been impressive this season. The Eagles rush for an average of 404.2 yards per game, and are ranked first overall in the country in rushing yards. The Eagles also score an average of 44.4 points per game, which is enough to rank 7th overall in the country. Running Back Matt Breida has rushed for 1,104 yards and twelve touchdowns this season and that puts him at the top of the Sun Belt. You know who is ranked second…No other than teammate (quarterback) Kevin Ellison who has rushed for 883 yards and eleven touchdowns so far this season. Texas State has had their own success rushing the ball, averaging 238.6 yards per game on the ground. The Bobcats are coming off two straight conference wins, however that streak will more than likely come to a halt this weekend.

Prediction: 42-28 Georgia Southern

Idaho at San Diego State:

Idaho has had a disappointing season so far. The Vandals stand at 1-7 and 1-5 in the Sun Belt, and haven’t really been impressive on either side of the ball. Quarterback Matt Linehan has really been the only significant attribute to this offense, throwing for 2,001 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. San Diego State is a 4-4 team from the Mountain West conference. The Aztecs have a strong rushing game that averages 216.1 yards per game on the ground. I don’t see the Vandals being able to contain that rushing attack this Saturday.

Prediction: 35-17 San Diego State

Louisiana at New Mexico State:

Louisiana and Georgia Southern are the only teams in the Sun Belt that have yet to lose an in-conference game. The Ragin’ Cajuns are on a bit of a hot streak right now, and their offense has been playing much better than they did at the beginning of the season. New Mexico State on the other hand has lost seven straight, and also given Idaho and Troy its only wins of the season. I don’t see New Mexico State winning this matchup or any more to come this year.

Prediction: 40-10 Louisiana

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.