Welcome back to the weekly power rankings of the Sun Belt Conference.
Let’s dive right into the action
1. App State (4-0) (1-0) No movement: The Mountaineers are now 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the conference after defeating the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at home 56-37.
QB Zach Thomas posted a 90.5 QBR, completing 19 of his 23 pass attempts, and had 246 yards through the air, while finding a receiver in the end-zone twice.
RB Darrynton Evans and Mike Williams Jr. each found the end-zone once and combined for 103 yards rushing on 23 carries.
The biggest concern for App going forward is their defense. DC Ted Roof’s defense will need to tighten up as conference play continues. App State will have an open date this weekend.
2. Louisiana (4-1) (1-0) Up one from No. 3: The Ragin’ Cajuns took care of business this weekend in Statesboro as they defeated Georgia Southern 37-24. Louisiana continues to prove week-in and week-out that they have the most dominate run game in the conference.
RB Trey Ragas rushed for 131 yards and added two scores to his resumé. RB Elijah Mitchell also found the end-zone twice on 81 yards and 14 carries.
QB Levi Lewis is an underrated quarterback in my opinion. He is extremely versatile and athletic outside of the pocket. Against the Eagles, Lewis threw for 165 yards on 18 attempts and found a receiver in the end-zone once.
Louisiana will be a dangerous team this season and the rest of the conference should take notice. Louisiana will have a bye-week this weekend to prepare for a huge Wednesday night match-up on October 9th against App State at home.
3. Troy (2-2) (0-1) Down one from No. 2: The Trojans took a step back this weekend after they took a loss against Arkansas State. The biggest surprise in this loss is that Ark State still managed to win without having their starting QB, Logan Bonner.
In the loss, QB Kaleb Barker still managed to put up big numbers. Barker went 34 of 57, with 367 yards through the air and 4 TDs.
Junior WR Kaylon Greiger led the Trojans in receiving with 111 yards and 1 score on 8 receptions. The Trojans will look to get back in the win column this week with a non-conference match-up against SEC foe Missouri.
4. Arkansas State (3-2) (1-0) Up one from No. 5: This win was a big surprise to those that follow the Sun Belt. Surely after QB Logan Bonner announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to surgery needed after an injury, the Trojans would easily take care of the Red Wolves.
The opposite would be true in this instance. Freshman QB Layne Hatcher proved that he is more than capable of running the offense. Hatcher may have given up two interceptions, but the difference was in the four touchdown passes he threw, along with 493 yards passing.
WR Omar Bayless led the team in receiving with 213 yards on 10 receptions and found the end-zone once. The Red Wolves will need to keep improving as conference play goes on. Ark State will visit GA State this weekend for a 3:30 kickoff.
5. Georgia Southern (1-3) (0-1) Down two from No. 3: The Eagles find themselves at 1-3 on the season and starting off 0-1 in the conference after a disappointing loss at home to Louisiana.
To make matters worse, Southern had two weeks to prepare for Louisiana’s dominant running attack and still got dominated by the Louisiana running backs. The good news for Eagle Nation is that Shai Werts has returned to take over the starting QB role.
There weren’t many players for the Eagles that stood out in this game and that will need to change this week, as Southern will travel to Mobile to take on the South Alabama Jaguars in a Thursday night ESPNU match-up.
6. Coastal Carolina (3-2) (0-1) No movement: Some thought that Coastal might pull off the improbable and defeat App State in Boone to propel themselves into conference play, but the Chanticleers came up short in a 56-37 loss.
There are many positives to take away from this game however. QB Fred Payton threw for 240 yards and found a receiver in the end-zone twice, while completing 20 of his 31 pass attempts.
RB CJ Marable led the Chanticleers on the ground with 95 yards and 1 score on 16 carries. Coastal will look to regroup this week on a bye and will start preparation for their game against GA State on October 12th.
7. GA State (2-2) (0-1) No movement: The Panthers had an open date this weekend after their 3OT loss last week at the hands of the Texas State Bobcats.
GA State has been wildly inconsistent this year. After defeating Tennessee, the Panthers barely defeated FCS Furman at home, and then they brutally lost to Western Michigan on the road.
The Panthers will need to find a way to be more consistent on both sides of the ball as a tone-setting match-up looms against Arkansas State this week at home.
8. Texas State (2-3) (1-0) No movement: The Bobcats are still heading in the right direction after another win this week at home against FCS opponent Nicholls.
QB Gresch Jensen put up another great performance, as he completed 22 of his 29 pass attempts and threw for 253 yards and 2 TDs.
WR Javen Banks led the Bobcats in receiving with 77 yards and 1 TD. Texas State will look to keep this momentum going as they will have a bye this week in preparation for their match-up at home against ULM the following week.
9. ULM (2-2) (1-0) No Movement: The Warhawks are sitting pretty at 1-0 in the conference after defeating South Alabama at home 30-17.
QB Caleb Evans continues to show that he is the star on this Warhawks squad. Evans completed 17 of his 25 pass attempts, threw for 286 yards and found the end-zone with his arm on three separate occasions.
However, ULM will need to rely on more than their QB if they want to stay competitive as Sun Belt play continues to ramp up. ULM will have a tough non-conference match-up this week in Memphis at home before facing a road test against Texas State the following week.
10. South Alabama (1-4) (0-1) No Movement: The Jaguars continue their recent struggles in another loss against conference opponent ULM.
South Alabama needs to figure out what will work in a division that is improving each week whether they realize it or not.
The Jaguars will have no time to feel sorry for themselves though, as Georgia Southern will roll into Ladd Peebles Stadium for a Thursday night match-up on ESPNU.