Welcome back to the weekly Power Rankings of the Sun Belt Conference.
Let’s dive right in...
1. App State (1-0) No movement: App State struggled defensively against a Charlotte team that has improved greatly under HC Will Healy. Although App State won the contest 56-41, they allowed 533 total yards of offense.
App State QB Zac Thomas completed 14 passes on 20 attempts and also gained 182 yards with three touchdowns through the air. Darrynton Evans led the Mountaineers on the ground with 234 yards and 3 TDs on 19 carries and added a return TD.
App State will have an open date this week and will then travel to UNC the following week to face a rapidly improving Tar Heels team under veteran HC Mack Brown.
2. Troy (1-0) No movement: The Trojans had an open date this past weekend.
After a strong showing in their home opener against Campbell, Troy will spend the next week preparing for a home match-up against Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi.
Look for Chip Lindsey to continue to emphasize the pass with Troy senior QB Kaleb Barker.
3. Georgia Southern (1-1) Up one from No. 4: It was a hot evening in Statesboro as the Eagles came away with their first win of the season against a very talented FCS team in the Maine Black Bears.
QB Shai Werts did not play because of an injury sustained last week at LSU, however backup QB Justin Tomlin assured Eagle nation that he could get the job done. Tomlin completed 4 passes on 9 attempts, with 63 yards through the air and added 132 yards on the ground with a TD.
RB Matt LaRoche lead the Eagles on the ground with 154 yards on 9 carries and a TD. The Eagles will need to dig deep this week as they will travel up to Minnesota to face off against the Golden Gophers.
4. Louisiana (1-1) Down one from No. 3: The big story around this game was how Liberty Head Coach Hugh Freeze planned to coach his Flames from a dentist chair in the press box.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took hold of the reigns against a struggling Liberty team for their first win of the season.
QB Levi Lewis had 15 completions on 23 attempts with 179 yards through the air, two TDs and one INT.
RB Trey Ragas led the Cajuns ground attack with 129 yards on 9 carries with one TD. The Cajuns will have another week at home as they face an FCS opponent from across the state line in Texas Southern.
5. Arkansas State (1-1) Up one from No. 6: Arkansas State bounced back against UNLV after a tough loss at the hands of SMU in Week One. This was a much-needed lopsided victory for the Red Wolves as HC Blake Anderson returned to the team after his wife tragically passed away from a long battle with cancer.
QB Logan Bonner had a good showing against the UNLV defense as he went 22 of 37 with 284 yards and found the end-zone twice. WR Omar Bayless led in receiving with 149 yards on 6 receptions with one TD.
RB Ryan Graham rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries and also found the end-zone. Arkansas State will need a good week of preparation as they will go on the road again to face a very talented Georgia squad in the confines of Samford Stadium in Athens.
6. Georgia State (2-0) Down one from No. 5: After an earth-shattering victory over the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville last week, the Panthers showed the rest of the CFB world they are still working out some of their own problems as they struggled against FCS Furman at home.
However ugly, the Panthers will take the win regardless of the circumstance. Senior QB Dan Ellington had a big day as he threw for 362 yards on 37 attempts with 5 TDs. Ellington also led the team in rushing as he ran for 86 yards.
WR Cornelius McCoy led the Panthers in receiving with 143 yards on 10 receptions and one TD. Georgia State will travel to Kalamazoo this weekend to face off against Western Michigan.
7. Coastal Carolina (1-1) Up two from number 9: This Coastal program is on the rise as they pulled off their first win against a P5 opponent as they defeated Les Miles’ Kansas Jayhawks, 12-7.
In this low scoring affair, Coastal QB Fred Payton went 6 of 9 for 98 yards through the air and one TD. RB CJ Marable led the ground attack as he ran for 148 yards on 24 carries with one TD.
Coastal Carolina will look to build off this momentum as they return home this week to face Norfolk State.
8. ULM (1-1) Down one from No. 7: The Warhawks tried to take advantage of a struggling Florida State team but came up just shy as Jacob Meeks missed PAT secured the 1-point victory for the Seminoles in double overtime.
ULM QB Caleb Evans continues to be a dominant presence on the field as he went 23 for 38 with 241 yards through the air and two TDs. Wide-outs Josh Pederson and Xavier Brown both added a touchdown through the air as well.
ULM will need to not get discouraged by a close loss as they will need time to prepare during their off-week as they will face improved Iowa State team in Ames on September 21st.
9. South Alabama (1-1) Down one from No. 8: The Jaguars continued to show that they are an improving team this week as they took care of FCS opponent Jackson State, 37-14.
USA QB Cephus Johnson went 11-for-18 with 120 yards and one TD, but also gave up two INTs. RB Tra Minter added 189 yards on the ground with two scores on 16 carries.
South Alabama will face a very good American Athletic Conference foe in Memphis this week.
10. Texas State (0-2) No movement: The Bobcats showed improvement this week against .Wyoming, but they still fell to the Cowboys in a 23-14 contest.
Texas State QB Gresch Jensen had a pair of INTs to give Wyoming an advantage, but he also threw for 394 yards on 54 attempts with one TD.
The Bobcats’ receiving core was balanced throughout the game but Senior WR Hutch White stood out, hauling in 96 yards on 10 receptions.
Texas State will face SMU this week on the road.