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Sun Belt Power Rankings: Week Five

We have some moves to make after a wild weekend.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Memphis
Caleb Evans put on a show at Cajun Field.
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Week four is a thing of the past and it’s time to make some changes in our rankings. App State lost a heartbreaker this past weekend while South Alabama and UL-Lafayette both need to make some changes quick or the season will become ugly. This should be another wild week in the league after a very exciting start to the season.

1.) Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-2, lost to Wake Forest 20-19)

Last Week: 1

It was a wild atmosphere on Saturday at The Rock as the Mountaineers lost a nail-biter to Wake Forest. Taylor Lamb continued his rock solid quarterback play as he tossed for 372 yards on 50 attempts. For the season, Lamb has tossed for eight scores and zero interceptions as he’s completing 60% of his passes. He’s playing the best football of his career. It was a game that will sting in Boone for quite awhile as a missed extra point ended up costing the Mountaineers a victory.

2.) Troy Trojans (3-1, beat Akron 22-17)

Last Week: 3

The Trojans survived a scare on Saturday as they needed a late fourth quarter touchdown drive to knock off Akron at home. Brandon Silvers played well as he threw over 300 yards for the second time this season. Running back Jordan Chunn ran for over 100 yards for the first time this season and he appears to be getting stronger with each game. The defense continues to be solid and Troy will need to play their best on Saturday when they head to Death Valley to take on LSU.

3.) Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-2, lost at SMU 44-21)

Last Week: 2

In what was suppose to be a shootout in Dallas, Arkansas State just did not have enough ammo to keep up with a high octane SMU offense. The Mustangs ran for over 300 yards and a 20-0 run in the second quarter would be the difference. The Red Wolves collected 427 total yards on the day but they were held back by two turnovers and 12 penalties. Through three games, the run game has been much improved as Warren Wand is averaging over six yards per carry. The Red Wolves are off on Saturday before making the road trip to Statesboro next Wednesday.

4.) New Mexico State Aggies (2-2, beat UTEP 41-14)

Last Week: 4

For the first time in eight seasons, NMSU knocked of the Miners and this one became a rout very quickly. Tyler Rogers continued his awesome play as he threw for 283 yards and now has 12 touchdown passes on the year. Larry Rose III had his best game of the season running for 144 yards on 17 carries with two scores. The defense contributed a pick-six and only gave up one score on the night. With five of their next six games on the road, we’re about to find out a lot about this Aggies squad.

5.) Idaho Vandals (2-2. beat South Alabama 29-23)

Last Week: 6

In their Sun Belt opener, the Vandals picked up a monster road win as they knocked off South Alabama in double overtime. Idaho would tie the game with 13 seconds left in regulation as Matt Linehan found Alfonso Onunwor for six from 10 yards out. Both Onunwor and Jacob Sannon both had over 100 yards receiving as the Vandals picked up a much needed win if they’re going to make it back to a bowl in their last season in the FBS.

6.) ULM Warhawks (1-2, beat UL-Lafayette 56-50)

Last Week: 8

The Warhawks picked up the biggest win of the Matt Viator era as they went into Cajun Field and knocked off Mark Hudspeth’s squad in double overtime. Sophomore quarterback Caleb Evans had a monster day as he passed for 343 yards, ran for 129 yards, and accounted for six touchdowns. The defense, meanwhile, did just enough to pull off the huge win. With Coastal Carolina coming to town on Saturday, ULM has a great shot to get off to a 2-0 start in Sun Belt play.

7.) Texas State Bobcats (1-3, lost to UTSA 44-14)

Last Week: 10

It was a rough night in Bobcat Stadium as UTSA dropped the hammer on Texas State as the Roadrunners accumulated 569 total yards. It was a game that got away from the Bobcats very early but this has been a team that has been playing some improved football. The defense is much better and quarterback Damian Williams gives the Bobcats a fighting chance. The offense has shown some explosiveness and that is currently the only way they move the football. Texas State should have a nice chance this weekend when they take on a Wyoming squad that has underachieved.

8.) South Alabama Jaguars (1-3, lost to Idaho 29-23)

Last Week: 7

The Jags suffered a tough overtime loss to Idaho on Saturday and Joey Jones responded on Saturday by dismissing offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent. The defense has been solid to start the season, but the offense has struggled to find that extra gear. Look for South to ride senior running back Xavier Johnson for the rest of the season.

9.) Georgia State Panthers (1-2, beat Charlotte 28-0)

Last Week: 12

Shawn Elliott picked up his first win as GSU’s head coach as the Panthers went on the road and totally dominated Charlotte. This was the program’s first shutout since joining the FBS and it allows the Panthers to pick up some momentum going into a bye week. The Panthers still have issues running the football but they are giving a strong effort to trying to establish it. Senior quarterback Conner Manning played his best game of the season this past weekend.

10.) UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (1-3, lost to ULM 56-50)

Last Week: 5

The Cajuns are off to a brutal start to begin the season as their defense is currently last in all of FBS in scoring defense. It has just been ugly and it appears that the Cajuns hit rock bottom at home against ULM. Freshmen running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas have been a pleasant surprise as both are averaging over six yards per carry and have scored eight touchdowns. With quarterback Jordan Davis out, Andre Nunez played decent last week. The bye week comes at a perfect time as UL-Lafayette must figure things out before the road trip to Idaho.

11.) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-2, lost to Western Illinois 52-10)

Last Week: 9

The most disappointing performance of the weekend occurred in Conway as the Chants were just dominated by the Leathernecks. It was a brutal loss to an FCS opponent as the Chants turned the ball over four times. This is a one-dimensional offense and if you stop Osharmar Abercrombie you stop the Chants. This may be the worst passing game in the country as they’ve thrown for one touchdown and six interceptions on the season. Coastal will head on the road for their Sun Belt opener this week as they’ll take on ULM.

12.) Georgia Southern Eagles (0-3, lost to Indiana 52-17)

Last Week: 11

The Georgia Southern offense flashed signs off life for the first time this season as Shai Werts completed two touchdown passes and the Eagles collected 375 total yards against a solid Big Ten defense. L.A. Ramsby went for over 100 yards on the ground but the Eagles did most of their damage after falling in a 31-0 hole. Their offense is still nearly dead last in nearly every category and they still have a long way to go. The Eagles are off this Saturday before hosting Arkansas State a week from Wednesday.