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Sun Belt Power Rankings: Week 8

App State Climbs To 21st In National Rankings

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 ULM at Appalachian State Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back to the weekly power rankings of the Sun Belt Conference.

Let’s dive into the action from this past week in the Sun Belt.

1. #21 App State (6-0) (3-0) No movement: The Mountaineers broke the proverbial curse of being a ranked Sun Belt team and losing the following weekend after the rankings come out. App continues to roll through the Sun Belt as they picked up another win this week at home against ULM.

The ULM defense could not stop QB Zac Thomas and the Mountaineer receivers. Thomas completed 18 of his 30 pass attempts, had 214 yards through the air, and found a receiver in the end-zone twice, while rushing for one score. Thomas also added an INT to his record.

To no surprise, Corey Sutton led the Mountaineers in receiving, with 75 yards on 5 receptions, but surprisingly no TDs. Darrynton Evans led the team on the ground with 136 yards on 17 touches with a TD. App will look to continue climbing up in the rankings as they will face South Alabama this week on the road in Mobile.

2. Louisiana (5-2) (2-1) No Movement: The Ragin’ Cajuns are back in the driver’s seat of the Western division this week after they picked up another conference win this past Thursday against Arkansas State on the road.

In the win, QB Levi Lewis completed 17 of his 24 pass attempts, while adding 181 yards and an INT into the mix. Levi Lewis was a non-factor in this contest as both Raymond Calais and Elijah Mitchell both combined for 253 yards rushing.

Calais had 144 yards on just 8 carries, while Mitchell added 109 yards on 23 carries, both had 2 touchdowns each. Louisiana should continue to rely heavily on their depth at running back, as they make their run towards the Sun Belt title come December 7th. Louisiana will have an idle date this weekend and will return to action against Texas State on November 2nd at home.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Georgia State at Tennessee Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

3. Georgia State (5-2) (2-1) Up one from No. 4: It is becoming inherently clearer after each passing week that GSU’s only weapon is in their quarterback Dan Ellington, and I am afraid that when push comes to shove, the Panthers will eventually be outmatched and will revert back to their old ways.

However, as long as the Panthers continue to win, they will continue to move up in my rankings. In the Panthers most recent win over Army this week at home, Ellington threw for 232 yards with 3 TDs, while completing 20 of his 28 pass attempts. WR Sam Pinckney led the team receiving touchdowns with 2 on 36 receiving yards and 2 receptions.

Hopefully Dan Ellington will continue to play like a superstar as Sun Belt continues to chug along. GSU will be at home again this weekend at home against Troy for a 7pm kickoff.

4. Troy (3-3) (1-1) Down one from No. 3: The Trojans added another notch on their belt, (pun intended), in the annual “battle for the belt” as they defeated South Alabama 37-13.

Although QB Kaleb Barker gave up 2 INTs, he also gave the Trojans the advantage in the end with 2 scores and 194 yards through the air, completing 20 of his 30 pass attempts. D.K Billingsly led the Trojans in rushing with 100 yards on 20 carries. The receiving core was fairly balanced, with 3 receivers recording more than 30 yards and a little more than 3 receptions each.

However, Kaylon Geiger had two receiving touchdowns and only 29 yards receiving. Troy will look to continue to pick up steam, as they will travel to Atlanta this weekend for a tilt with the GSU Panthers at 7 pm.

Coastal Carolina v Georgia Southern

5. Georgia Southern (3-3) (2-1) Up one from No. 6: The Eagles found a way to win another game this weekend against Coastal Carolina in monsoon-like conditions at home in triple overtime.

RB Wesley Kennedy III had a break-out performance this week, with 117 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. WR Mark Michaud led the team in receiving with 45 yards and 2 scores, as QB Shai Werts found Michaud in the end-zone twice at the end of the first overtime period, and again on the first play of the second overtime period.

Even though Southern fans aren’t seeing the Eagles dominate opponents on the scoreboard, they are finding ways to win games and that’s what matters most in the long-run. Southern will be at home again this weekend against New Mexico State for a 3pm kick-off.

6. Arkansas State (3-3) (1-2) Down two from No. 4: The slump continues for Arkansas State, as they took another conference loss to reining western division champions Louisiana 20-37.

The bright side in this loss for Arkansas State is that their QB Layne Hatcher still passed for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns, while completing 23 of 34 attempts and only giving up 1 INT. WR Omar Bayless led the Red Wolves in receiving with 150 yards on 9 receptions.

As Sun Belt play continues, the Arkansas State defense will need to improve if they want to try and reach a bowl-game this season. Arkansas State will be at home again this weekend against Texas State.

7. Coastal Carolina (3-4) (0-3) Up one from No. 8: The Chanticleers are still win-less in the conference after a gut-wrenching three overtime loss to Georgia Southern this weekend in Statesboro.

In the loss, QB Bryce Carpenter was dismantled by the Southern defense, as he only had 101 yards passing, completing 11 of his 14 attempts. C.J Marable was also reigned in, as he only had 36 yards rushing on 7 carries.

Hopefully Coastal Carolina will shake this one off and will be ready to go in two weeks when they will play at home against Troy.

8. ULM (3-4) (2-1) Up one from No 9: ULM has already been humbled once on the road this season against Iowa State, and they were humbled yet again on the road this week, as they lost to App State 52-7.

Although App is an incredibly talented team this season, ULM’s defense was pitiful and will need to have a quick turn-around this week, as they have another pass-heavy offense coming into town this weekend in Arkansas State for a 3:30 kick-off.

9. Texas State (2-4) (1-4) Down one from No. 8: Texas State is coming off of the back-end of their bye week and is looking ahead to their match-up at Arkansas State this Saturday at 7pm.

This should be a tough test for the Bobcats defense, as QB Layne Hatcher for Arkansas State continues to put up big numbers through the air week-in and week-out.

10. South Alabama (1-6) (0-3) No Movement: South Alabama is coming off another loss this week at the hands of the Troy Trojans. South Alabama may need to start evaluating their options for next season, as this season looks to be another disappointment for the Jaguar faithful.

South Alabama will need to regroup quickly as the road only gets tougher with App State coming into town this week for a 12 o’clock noon kick-off.