Welcome back to the weekly power rankings of the Sun Belt Conference.
It was an eventful Week 1 for the Sun Belt that were highlighted by some marquee performances.
1. App State (1-0): App State had a dominating showing at their home opener against ETSU. QB Zac Thomas completed 16 passes on 24 attempts, coupled with two touchdowns and 150 yards.
Darrynton Evans ran for 99 yards with one touchdown on 14 carries. This game was never close and look for App to continue to their momentum going into week 2 against Charlotte at home.
2. Troy (1-0): Troy found themselves in a good spot after week one after defeating the Campbell Fighting Camels in the comfort of Veterans Memorial Stadium.
QB Kaleb Barker had a good outing through the air after going 18 of 29 passing with 282 yards and two touchdowns.
B.J. Smith led the Trojans in rushing on ten carries going for 108 yards and one TD on 10 carries. Reggie Todd led the Trojans in receiving on three receptions with 108 yards and one TD.
Troy will be off this weekend, and will look to continue their recent success against Southern Mississippi on Sept. 14.
3. Louisiana (0-1): Although Louisiana didn’t get the win over the Mississippi State, they had an impressive showing that the rest of the Sun Belt should take notice of.
Turnovers were the key factor in Louisiana’s loss after QB Levi Lewis threw for two INTs and Louisiana fumbled on three separate occasions.
However, Lewis through for 267 yards and completed 24 passes on 39 attempts and one TD. Look for the Ragin’ Cajuns to bounce back in week two against Liberty.
4. Georgia Southern (0-1): The Eagles had an unimpressive showing against a tough opponent in the fighting Tigers of LSU down in Baton Rouge.
The Eagles struggled with stopping Joe Burrow’s passing capabilities and LSU’s impressive offensive and defensive lines.
Both QB Shai Werts and RB Matt Laroche went down with injuries midway through the second quarter and did not return for the rest of the contest.
Southern will need to have a good week of practice this week with FCS power Maine visiting Statesboro this weekend.
5. Georgia State (1-0): This was the most exciting result of the week for the Sun Belt. In dominating fashion, Georgia State traveled to Knoxville and defeated the Volunteers of Tennessee, 38-30.
The Panthers simply out played the Vols, capitalizing on two Volunteer fumbles and putting up 17 fourth quarter points to seal the win.
Panthers QB Dan Ellington went 11 of 24 with 139 yards and two TD’s. This was a great win for a program that only won two games in 2018.
They look to continue their momentum against FCS foe Furman this Saturday.
6. Arkansas State (0-1): Arkansas State went down in a very close game against an SMU team that was looking to improve off of a 5-7 campaign in 2018.
Junior QB Logan Bonner had a big evening, throwing for 324 yards with four TDs. Senior WR Omar Bayless finished the night with 132 yards on 10 receptions with four TDs.
This was a game that the Red Wolves probably should’ve won. Pending a good week of practice and preparation, Arkansas State should see an improvement in this weekend’s matchup against UNLV.
7. ULM (1-0): ULM started off their 2019 season with a solid win over Grambling. QB Caleb Evans completed 19 passes on 25 attempts with 183 yards, one TD and one INT.
RB Josh Johnson led the Warhawks in rushing yards with 173 yards on 10 carries, followed by 2 TDs. WR Xavier Brown led the team in receiving with 68 yards on six receptions and one TD.
ULM will look to go 2-0 this weekend as they have a big matchup with the Seminoles of Florida State.
8. South Alabama (0-1): This was another surprising game in the Sun Belt in that a struggling South Alabama program performed well against an improved Nebraska team under Scott Frost.
Sophomore QB Cephus Johnson went 19 for 34 through the air and added two TDs. However, Johnson contributed to Nebraska’s turnover margin by throwing two INTs.
Johnson’s turnovers may have been the difference in winning or losing a two-score contest. South Alabama will try to improve on this loss against Jackson State this weekend in their home opener.
9. Coastal Carolina (0-1): The Chanticleers took an opening weekend loss against the 2018 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Runner-Ups in the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Coastal Carolina QB Fred Payton threw for 304 yards and 2 TDs, completing 29 of his 43 attempts, but also gave up four INTs.
It may take some time for new HC Jamey Chadwell to get this program back to the standards they were accustomed to in the FCS ranks.
10. Texas State (0-1): The Bobcats had an extremely tough first game at Kyle Field against the Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday night. Texas State QB Gresch Jensen threw for 160 yards completing 20 of his 31 attempts, with 1 TD and 2 INTs.
There wasn’t much going for the Bobcats on the ground, but there were several Bobcat receivers that attributed through the air, most notably senior wide-out Hutch White who had seven receptions for 60 yards.
Texas State will have a match-up this weekend against Mountain West foe Wyoming this weekend at 7 p.m.