Week three is in the books and it was another wild one in the Fun Belt. We saw the league fall up short in some non-conference match-ups with Conference USA, but Troy and New Mexico State gave us a great football game in Las Cruces. Texas State had App State on the ropes and South Alabama got in the win column. Here’s how each team stands as we near the end of September.
1.) Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-1, beat Texas State 20-13)
Last Week: 1
App State headed on the road for their Sun Belt opener and the Bobcats gave them a scare in San Marcos. The Mountaineers only posted 283 total yards of offense for the night as they appeared to be disinterested for most of the contest. With Wake Forest coming to town, the Mountaineers must pick it up this weekend.
2.) Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1, beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 48-3)
Last Week: 2
Blake Anderson’s club cruised in their home opener as they crushed the FCS competition. Quarterback Justice Hansen tossed for five touchdowns and now as eight scores on the year. He may be the biggest competition to Tyler Rogers for Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. The Red Wolves have a tremendous opportunity to pick up a huge non-conference win against SMU this weekend.
3.) Troy Trojans (2-1, beat New Mexico State 27-24)
Last Week: 3
Troy headed out to Las Cruces and handled their business as they picked up a nice win over NMSU. Brandon Silvers played his best game of the season as he threw for 286 yards and completed 61% of his passes. Defensively, Troy totally shutdown the NMSU rushing attack and their impressive play to start the season continues. Neal Brown’s squad returns home this week to host Akron.
4.) New Mexico State Aggies (1-2, lost to Troy 27-24)
Last Week: 4
The Aggies blew a huge opportunity at home as they fell to Troy. Tyler Rogers remains on fire and for the season he is completing right at 67% of his passes and has already tossed for 10 scores. He has been the best player in the conference to start the season and he should post huge numbers against UTEP on Saturday.
5.) UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (1-2, lost at Texas A&M 45-21)
Last Week: 5
After having the Aggies on the ropes in the first half, the Cajuns were smoked in the second half as a close game turned into a blowout. Jordan Davis continues to play well at quarterback while Trey Ragas had a lot of success running against an SEC defense. Their defense still has some issues as ULM comes to Cajun Field this weekend.
6.) Idaho Vandals (1-2, lost at Western Michigan 37-28)
Last Week: 6
After a brutal home loss to UNLV, the Vandals responded nicely as they entered the fourth quarter with a 28-19 lead over Western Michigan. However, the Vandals would let it slip by being outscored 18-0 in the fourth quarter. The strong rushing game continued as both Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders both had nice games. The Vandals open Sun Belt play on the road in Mobile this Saturday.
7.) South Alabama Jaguars (1-2, beat Alabama A&M 45-0)
Last Week: 7
The Jags picked up their first win of the season as they crushed FCS Alabama A&M. Dallas Davis looked much improved and it’s very likely that he’ll get the start again this Saturday against Idaho as Cole Garvin is still recovering from an injury. The defense continued their very solid play to start the season.
8.) ULM Warhawks (0-2, lost to Southern Miss 28-17)
Last Week: 8
ULM lost out on a chance to pick up the best win of the Viator era as the Warhawks dropped a home game to USM. The quarterback carousel continues as sophomore Caleb Evans outplayed junior Garrett Smith this past Saturday. Defense is still a big concern and they could be in trouble trying to slow down a UL-Lafayette offense that is putting up points in bunches.
9.) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-1, lost at UAB 30-23)
Last Week: 9
The Chants fell in a hole early against UAB before a fourth quarter comeback to pull within one possession. Turnovers really hurt as they blew an impressive total defense performance as Coastal held UAB to 274 total yards. The passing game is struggling and we’ll see if Jamey Chadwell’s offense can get something going against Western Illinois this weekend.
10.) Texas State Bobcats (1-2, lost to Appalachian State 20-13)
Last Week: 10
Texas State jumped out to a 10-0 lead early before squandering it late in an impressive home performance against Appalachian State. Damian Williams played very well passing for 260 yards and the defense continues its outstanding play to start the season. Now Texas State will host UTSA this weekend for a Lonestar State showdown.
11.) Georgia Southern Eagles (0-2, bye week)
Last Week: 11
The Eagles were off this week and there was a lot to work on for Tyson Summers and his staff. The new option offense in Statesboro needs to make a lot of improvement and we’ll see if they can do any damage against a good Indiana defense on Saturday.
12.) Georgia State Panthers (0-2, lost at Penn State 56-0)
Last Week: 12
Don’t let the final score fool you, the Panthers looked much better than their opening performance against Tennessee State. The running game got going as Taz Bateman went for over 100 yards and the passing game should be fine against lesser competition. Georgia State has an excellent opportunity to pick up their first win of the season when they travel to Charlotte to take on winless squad.