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Sun Belt Weekend Recap

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Georgia Southern picked up its first Sun Belt conference win by defeating South Alabama 28-6.

Troy at #13 Georgia:

As we all predicted, this game was a huge blowout in favor of Georgia. This became more of a JV game for the Bulldogs. Freshman running back Sony Michel was the huge star of the game, rushing for 155 yards and three touchdowns. This Bulldog football team seems to have endless talent at the running back position, and Michel just adds on to that list. Troy struggled all around on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the rushing department. Jordan Chunn was the leading rusher for the Trojans with 20 yards. Quarterback Dontreal Pruitt threw for 156 yards and one interception. This matchup resulted in a blowout, and became just playing time for younger Bulldog players.

Score: 66-0 Georgia

Texas State at Illinois:

The Big Ten has struggled so far this season. However, not many people would expect a decent Illinois team to struggle with a 1-1 Sun Belt program. Texas State was ahead of the Illini by as much as 15 points in the second quarter. Quarterback Tyler Jones took control of his offense, throwing for 336 yards and four touchdowns. Josh Ferguson was the big star for Illinois, rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Ferguson was a big contributor to the Illini's comeback win Saturday, where they scored 36 points in the second half.

Score: 42-35 Illinois

Georgia State at Washington:

Georgia State jumped out to a 14-0 lead going into halftime, but allowed 45 unanswered points in the second half. Star quarterback Nick Arbuckle threw for 194 yards, which is less than half of what he threw for last week against Air Force. He also threw three interceptions. Washington quarterback Cyler Miles threw for a mere 154 yards, but he did toss three touchdowns. This matchup started off very surprisingly, but all the Washington Huskies needed was a big halftime talk from their head coach to inspire them to score 45 unanswered.

Score: 45-14 Washington

Appalachian State at Southern Mississippi:

This matchup was a close one. Going into the game, it was hard to determine comparatively where these two teams stood. This matchup served as a good measuring stick for these two football programs, and it ultimately ended in a blocked Appalachian State PAT with six seconds left on the clock. Quarterback Taylor Lamb threw for an impressive 262 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Marcus Cox also contributed his share of offensive success, rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Nick Mullens for Southern Miss earned himself the win, throwing for 268 yards of his own. This was a good, close football game that ended in a very exciting way.

Score: 21-20 Southern Mississippi

Idaho at Ohio:

Matchups between the MAC and Sun Belt are always exciting. They seem to be competitive because they are fighting to be one of the best non-BCS conferences. Ohio jumped out to a 17-7 lead and seemed to be controlling the game in the first half. The third quarter, however, was all Idaho. The Vandals scored 14 points in the third, and it actually became an interesting game again. Running back A.J. Ouellette was a break out player for the Bobcats, rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Vandals quarterback Matt Linehan was very up and down Saturday night, throwing for 353 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The third quarter drives kept Idaho in the game, but they weren’t enough to pull out the win for the Vandals.

Score: 36-24 Ohio

Utah State at Arkansas State:

This was a close overtime matchup where both teams traded touchdowns back and forth the entire game. Artez White sent the game into overtime by blocking a field goal for the Red Wolves. Quarterback Darell Garrettson was the big star of the game for Utah State, throwing for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Dijon Paschal caught the game-winning pass from quarterback Fredi Knighten to seal the deal.

Score: 21-14 Arkansas State

Georgia Southern at South Alabama:

From the beginning of the season, Georgia Southern has continued to be very impressive. The Eagles have had a hard schedule so far, but they have competed in every game. This conference win shot them to the top of the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern's triple-option offense, led by quarterback Kevin Ellison and running back Matt Breida, is ranked second in the country for rushing yards. Throughout this entire game, the Eagles dominated. However, the most prominent player for South Alabama was quarterback Brandon Bridge, who threw for 149 yards and the Jaguars' only touchdown.

Score: 28-6 Georgia Southern

New Mexico at New Mexico State:

This in-state rivalry football game was a good one.  Scoring was very frequent, and back and forth. It ended when wide receiver Reece White caught a five-yard touchdown pass with only 27 seconds left. Quarterback Tyler Rogers for New Mexico State had a good game, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns, but that wasn’t enough to lift his team over New Mexico on Saturday. This could have been anyone’s game, but the fact that New Mexico rushed as a team for 432 yards was what truly gave them an advantage.

Score: 38-35 New Mexico

Louisiana at Boise State:

Louisiana has truly not lived up to its preseason expectations. Quarterback Terrence Broadway has underperformed, and thrown too many interceptions. The Ragin’ Cajuns sit at 1-3 and were blown out Saturday against Boise State. Boise State played well on both sides of the ball, but the standout players for the Broncos were quarterback Grant Hedrick, who threw for 237 yards, and running back Jay Ajayi, who rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the win.  If Louisiana wants to earn its way back into Sun Belt contention, it needs to win a lot of its upcoming conference games.

Score: 34-9 Boise State

The Sun Belt Weekend Recap was written by Jackson Schroeder.