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Three Things We Learned From Week 1 Sun Belt Football

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Appalachian State is looking good, but what about everyone else?

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

App State is Back with A Vengeance

What a way to kick off the college football season last week. We knew Appalachian State was going to return better than ever this season after going 11-2 last year, but we may have underestimated just how motivated the Mountaineers are. They are proving to be the perfect contenders for the 2016 Sun Belt title.

Tennessee narrowly escaped an upset win by coming back from a 13-3 deficit at halftime and beating App State by a touchdown in overtime. Seems like Tennessee is off to a wobbly start already and there’s not a doubt in my mind the Mountaineers could have beat them if this game happened later on in the season. App State had the momentum and the game seemed to be in their clutch, but the Vols capitalized on their mistakes and were able to pull ahead in the second half.

App State had a great performance last Thursday and proved they are able to compete with a power team, however there is definitely room for improvement. Poor clock management is just silly at this level of play. You can’t necessarily blame App State’s freshman kicker either even though he missed an extra point and a field goal. Considering it was his first college game he did pretty dang well given the matchup and he will only improve over time.

Don’t Write Georgia State Off Yet

Georgia State’s first game of the season against Ball State left Panthers fans disappointed and doubtful. Ball State controlled the majority of the game with 35.56 minutes of possession. Really it was just like watching a Ball State scrimmage. I almost forgot who they were playing, but it looks like there may be a silver lining here. Our Georgia State writer is convinced that they can come back from this because several other Sun Belt teams had early losses last season and turned it around.

The good news is State’s coach, Trent Miles, has two viable options for quarterback. He played Connor Manning and redshirt freshman, Aaron Winchester later in the game. Winchester has the potential to lead the Panthers offense with a little more experience, but Miles needs to make a decision and stick to it.

What we learned here is it may be unwise to write off a team’s entire season based on the first one or two games.

The Cajuns Are a Red Hot Mess

Boise State had five unanswered touchdowns until late in the second quarter when UL Lafayette finally made a field goal at the last minute. They steamrolled the Cajuns defense, finishing with a total of 584 yards. Shortly after the game defensive coordinator, Melvin Smith was fired and former Southeastern Louisiana head coach, Mike Lucas will replace him.

Not a good look for a a young team that obviously needs some solid leadership this year. Cajun fans may be in for another bumpy season as they try to recover from their 4-7 record in 2015.