clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Three Things we learned about the Sun Belt in Week Five

Troy continues to impress, Georgia State is having problems, and what can we say about South Alabama?

NCAA Football: South Alabama at San Diego State
South Alabama celebrates after knocking off then-#19 San Diego State. The Jags are just one of many Sun Belt teams making headlines with big victories this year.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Troy is the real deal

No, not because they beat Idaho, we already knew that was going to happen. Rather, this was the week that Clemson— which squeaked by Troy by a mere 6 points— went toe-to-toe with Louisville and came out on top. Back in Week Two, any casual observer could chalk up Clemson’s poor showing to maybe being overrated this year, but the victory against Louisville proves they are anything but.

Louisville had the exceptional Lamar Jackson under center and yet they lost to the Tigers by the same margin as the Trojans— six points in regulation. We can’t wait to watch Troy take on South Alabama on Oct. 20th, but more than that, maybe Georgia Southern (Dec. 3) should start preparing for the Trojans right away.

Georgia State probably won’t be back to a bowl this year

Yes, we know, their schedule so far this year hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk, with early losses to Ball State, Air Force, Wisconsin, and Appalachian State. But the Panthers had to really work at it last year to even get to 6-6, finishing the season on a 4-game win streak to pull it off.

With eight games to go, and some of those wins from last year are far from a sure thing this year due to huge improvements from Troy, New Mexico State, and South Alabama. Every passing week shows the window is closing rapidly for the Panthers.

We learned we have no idea what is going on in Mobile

A victory against Mississippi State. Losses to Georgia Southern, UL-Lafayette, and an overtime, 1 point victory over FCS Nicholls State. And now a decisive victory over the formerly-ranked San Diego State Aztecs.

For any other team we’d use the word “inconsistent,” but when you’re knocking down the big dogs like that, it’s hard to find anything negative to say. Just four weeks after the Jaguars’ all-time signature win, they eclipse even that performance and sent a ranked opponent packing.

In both of these victories, the Jags had less than 100 yards rushing but still averaged 31.5 points. So the only possible answer for the offense’s strength is the QB situation. Starter Dallas Davis got out to a good start on the season, throwing for 285 yards against Mississippi State. In their loss to Georgia Southern, Davis threw for 279 yards but only one touchdown (again, less than 100 yards rushing). Davis also threw for 264 yards against UL-Lafayette.

This week? Backup Cole Garvin stepped in for Davis who was sidelined with a lower body injury. Garvin threw for alarmingly similar numbers, 16/21 with 242 yards passing.

If anything, this shows the Jags are nothing BUT consistent, as their stats for all these games, both victories and losses, are about the same. So really, maybe the explanation for the Jags’ roller coaster season is more about who can or can’t defend against the pass, and who just outright underestimates South Alabama than anything else. One thing we do know: The Jags have a bye week next week, then they travel to play at 0-4 Arkansas State. And we still have no idea what to expect.