Sun Belt Conference Weekly Recap- Week of 10/10

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Photo Cred: KAIT.

It’s time for the first recap of the Sun Belt’s games, starting from Week 7 of college football season. The early game of the week was Louisiana @ Marshall, which happened on Wednesday, October 12th at 7:30 PM ET. Appalachian State and Georgia State get the week off. Everyone else played on Saturday, October 15th, with start times of 12:00 PM- 7:30 PM ET. There’s a ranked team in this conference: the 25th-ranked James Madison Dukes. My prediction for the game of the week is Georgia Southern vs. #25 James Madison. We’ll find out if that game lived up to the hype or not!

Key:

  1. The first record is the overall team record. The record in brackets is the team’s conference record.
  2. Team Abbreviations are provided by Reddit.
  3. FF- Forced Fumble
  4. FR- Fumble Recovery
  5. INT- Interception
  6. TFL- Tackles-for-loss
  7. SK- Sack
  8. FG- Field Goal
  9. TD- Touchdown
  10. 2PT- Two-point Conversion
  11. rec- Receptions
  12. yds- Yards
  13. TK- Tackles
  14. XP- Extra Points
  15. QB HUR- QB Hurries
  16. PD- Passes Defensed
  17. RB- Running Back
  18. QB- Quarterback
  19. WR- Wide Receiver
  20. K- Kicker
  21. LB- Linebacker
  22. DL- Defensive Lineman
  23. S- Safety
  24. DB- Defensive Back
  25. CB- Cornerback
  26. DT- Defensive Tackle
  27. KR- Kick Returner
  28. RS- Return Specialist
  29. PR- Punt Returner
  30. DE- Defensive End
  31. KRet- Kick Returns
  32. PRet- Punt Returns
  33. avg- Average
  34. IN 20- Ball inside the 20-yard line
  35. LONG- Longest completed kick/punt/return/reception/rush
  36. HC- Head Coach

Week 7 Games

Appalachian State (APP)- Off

Record: 3-3 (1-2).

The Mountaineers have a bye week in Week 7. They could use this time to figure out how to rebound from last week’s loss to Texas State (24-36), their biggest one yet. APP is 3-3 overall but 1-2 in conference play, something they’ll need to keep an eye on. They’re an even 2-2 at home and 1-1 away, with both their away games being in Texas so far. They’ll want to keep up their reputation as a top Sun Belt team, one that is a regular contender for the Conference Championship Game.

Photo Cred: Football – App State Athletics

Next Game: vs. Georgia State on October 19th at 7:30 PM ET.

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining: Robert Morris (FCS).

Photo Cred: ESPN

Arkansas State (ARST) @ Southern Miss (USM)- USM Homecoming

Location & Time: M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS. 6:00 PM ET.

Score: 20-19, USM.

This game will be my comeback of the week. USM came back from 12 down to win the game with 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. They shut out ARST while going on their 13-point run as well. USM did not have the best QB play this game, but their rushing attack kept them in the game long enough and bailed them out in the end. It was a good ending for their homecoming weekend. ARST will have a lot to think about… They were still up 19-7 with 12:18 left in the fourth quarter when it all went wrong.

Photo Cred: AP News

First Half vs. Second Half

The first two drives of the game both went ARST’s way, with a TD on their opening drive and an INT on USM’s drive. ARST and USM would trade two punts each before another score would happen, a 31-yard FG by ARST. Now down 10-0 with 8:15 left in the second quarter, the Golden Eagles got their first score of the game for 23 yards on six plays and 75 yards. They took 3:08 to get the TD, which still left 5:07 on the clock to go after another score before the half. They could not take advantage of an ARST punt, though, as they got intercepted yet again. The Red Wolves went into halftime with a 10-7 lead.

Photo Cred: Biloxi Sun Herald

After two punts to start the third quarter, USM had seen enough of QB Zach Wilcke and opted to replace him with QB Jake Lange. It didn’t start out too well for him either, as his first drive resulted in a safety. Before that safety, ARST had a 10-play, 79-yard drive which resulted in a nine-yard TD. Now, they were up 19-7 and in full control of the game despite punting the ball with 12:18 in the fourth. In the next drive, USM had nine plays and 95 yards to score a 30-yard TD. No problem, still 19-14. However, a quick three-and-out resulted in a 61-yard punt that was returned by USM for 30 yards and into ARST territory.

Photo Cred: HubCitySPOKES

The Last Drive

The Golden Eagles burned enough time on the clock while scoring a TD to take the lead, going up 20-19. They did fail their 2PT, so it left room for an ARST FG to end the game. With 2:06 left in the fourth, the Red Wolves took over at their own 33-yard line. After a first down took them to the USM 42, everything went wrong. A false start penalty against ARST was followed by two incomplete passes, a seven-yard sack, and another false start. Now, on 4th & 27 at their own 41-yard line, another incomplete pass ended the game.

Shooting Themselves in the Foot

Penalties ultimately screwed ARST over, as they had 11 that cost them 90 yards. They had three of them in USM’s first drive of the game, which resulted in an INT. While those three didn’t ultimately matter then, maybe USM’s drive could’ve ended earlier, which would’ve resulted in better field position. The Red Wolves’ previous penalties may have just extended USM drives a little bit, but a pass interference call was key in USM’s first TDs in the first and fourth quarters. When they needed to be clutch the most, two false starts pushed ARST back an unnecessary 10 yards.

USM had six themselves that cost 72 yards, including one that led to the eventual safety. They had a key pass interference call against them that led to an ARST FG. The Golden Eagles also had two on a third-quarter drive and on the subsequent punt to ARST.

Statistical Leaders

Passing– ARST QB James Blackman (25/34, 236 yds, two TDs), USM QB Zach Wilcke (11/20, 132 yds, one TD, two INT).

Rushing– ARST RB Johnnie Lang (18 rushes, 47 yds), USM RB Frank Gore Jr. (19 rushes, 96 yds, one TD). (Yes, that is Frank Gore‘s son!)

Receiving– ARST WR Champ Flemings (three rec, 52 yds), ARST WR Jeff Foreman (three rec, 50 yds, two TDs), USM WR Tiaquelin Mims (five rec, 81 yds).

Had to mention Foreman for multiple TDs on the night.

TKs/TFLs/PDs/QB HURs

ARST: LB Kivon Bennett (eight TKs, 1.5 TFLs), CB Leon Jones (two PDs, four TKs).

USM: S Jay Stanley (eight TKs, one TFL, one PD), LB Daylen Gill (eight TKs, one TFL), LB Santrell Latham (eight TKs), DB Natrone Brooks (one PD, two TKs), DL Dominic Quewon (two TFLs, two TKs, one QB HUR).

SKs/INTs/FFs/FRs/TDs– ARST LB Bennett (one SK), ARST S Eddie Harris (one INT, one TK, one PD), ARST CB Kenneth Harris (one INT), USM S Stanley (one SK), USM DL Quewon (one SK), LB Jalil Clemons (one SK, three TKs, 1.5 TFLs), DT Quentin Bivens (one SK, three TKs, one TFL).

Notable Special Teams– ARST RB/RS Lang (three KRet, 72 yds, 33 LONG), ARST P William Przystup (three punts, 159 yds, 53.0 avg, 61 LONG), ARST P Ryan Hanson (three punts, 107 yds, two IN 20), USM DB/PR Brooks (three returns, 31 yds, 30 LONG).

Lang, ARST’s leading rusher, did well in his KRet chances. Both Red Wolves punters had qualities I had to talk about: Przystup had a 50+ yard average distance on his punts and hit a 61-yard yarder as well. Hanson got two punts within USM’s 20-yard line, so he tried to help out however he could. Brooks’ PRet stats don’t seem like much, but his key 30-yard return in a crunch-time situation is what I wanted to highlight.

Next Games:

a) Arkansas State: @ Louisiana on October 22nd at 4:00 PM ET.

b) Southern Miss: @ Texas State on October 22nd at 4:40 PM ET.

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Arkansas State: UMass.

b) Southern Miss: None.

Photo Cred: SofaScore                                                              Photo Cred: ESPN

Coastal Carolina (CCAR) vs. Old Dominion (ODU)- CCAR Homecoming

Location & Time: Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC. 12:00 PM ET.

Score: 49-21, ODU.

I’m calling this the upset of the week! Previously undefeated Coastal Carolina could not beat Old Dominion to continue their winning streak. Georgia Southern and Louisiana had upsets of their own, GASO even knocking off an undefeated team themselves. Still, ODU had a losing record, was coming off a loss, and was playing an away game. All very big factors going against them that they had to overcome. What a way to get their first loss at home for CCAR, at homecoming nonetheless…

Photo Cred: Old Dominion University Athletics

First Half vs. Second Half

ODU had a fast start into this game with an opening-drive TD and CCAR missed a 46-yard FG on theirs. The result makes it seem like a blowout, but it was not for a lack of trying by the Chanticleers. After the missed FG, CCAR turned the ball over on downs before tying the game on a 10-play, 80-yard drive with 2:52 left in the second quarter. The Monarchs, who had punted twice before, responded with a three-play, 75-yard TD drive to regain the lead. The game remained 14-7 in favor of ODU after CCAR had another turnover on downs to end the half.

Photo Cred: Underdog Dynasty

The second half is when this game went out of control for CCAR. A fumble on their opening drive of the third quarter was capitalized by ODU. With the game at 21-7, CCAR turned the ball over on downs a third time, and ODU took advantage yet again. The Monarchs’ fourth TD began a string of TDs being traded between the teams for the next 11 minutes and four seconds (from 6:17 left in the third quarter to 10:16 left in the fourth quarter). In this span, ODU had three TDs to CCAR’s two.

Photo Cred: The Virginian-Pilot

The scoring ended for CCAR, as they punted the ball, but ODU had their fifth TD of the second half to go a perfect 5/5 in their drives. CCAR switched from Grayson McCall to Jarrett Guest at QB on the last drive of the game. Despite reaching the ODU six-yard line, the Chanticleers could not score and a false start on fourth-and-two ended the game.

The Monarchs ‘Reigned’ Over CCAR

Running back Blake Watson had the game of his life, as he run amok for 256 yards and three TDs! QB Hayden Wolff had just enough of a contribution passing the ball, and a second ODU QB even got in the action! D.J. Mack Jr. had a rushing and passing TD. The Monarchs’ defense racked up seven sacks, 12 TFLs, and a fumble that stopped CCAR just enough times. The seven overall ODU TDs are even more impressive considering the time-of-possession difference (23:02 to CCAR’s 36:58) and their penalty problems (eight for 88 yards).

Photo Creds: Old Dominion University Athletics (L), Coastal Carolina University Athletics (R)

Grayson McCall could not have had a better game himself, but he did not get any help outside of his receivers. One of his best plays was a 75-yard TD to WR Jared Brown. CCAR only got 88 total rushing yards, although that does factor in sacks as a loss of rushing yards. The Chanticleers’ defense was also not able to do much outside of a solitary sack, four TFLs, and a PD.

Statistical Leaders

Passing– ODU QB Hayden Wolff (12/16, 180 yds, two TDs), CCAR QB Grayson McCall (26/34, 358 yds, three TDs).

Rushing– ODU RB Blake Watson (18 rushes, 256 yds, three TDs, 67 LONG), CCAR RB Reese White (10 rushes, 46 yds).

Receiving– ODU WR Ali Jennings III (six rec, 87 yds, one TD), CCAR WR Sam Pinckney (seven rec, 113 yds).

TKs/TFLs/PDs/QB HURs

ODU: CB Tre Hawkins III (10 TKs, one PD), DT Denzel Lowry (two TFLs, five TKs, one PD), DT Chazz Wallace (two TFLs, four TKs, 0.5 SK), DE Deeve Harris (two TFLs, three TKs, one QB HUR), S R’Tarriun Johnson (one QB HUR, three TKs).

CCAR: LB JT Killen (nine TKs, 0.5 TFL), LB Adrian Hope (one TFL, three TKs), DT Ja’Quon Griffin (one TFL, two TKs), S Jahmar Brown (one PD, two TKs).

SKs/INTs/FFs/FRs/TDs– ODU DT Lowry (two SKs), ODU DE Harris (two SKs), ODU CB Hawkins III (one FF, one FR), CCAR LB Hope (one SK).

Notable Special Teams– ODU CB/KR LaMareon James (one return, 27 yds), CCAR CB/KR Matthew McDoom (three returns, 68 yds).

Nothing really notable for ODU, as this wasn’t a game where they needed to depend on much kicking, punting, or returning. A 27-yd KRet by James is the only thing I found worthy of putting up here. Honorable mention to ODU K Ethan Sanchez for making all seven of his XP attempts. McDoom had ok return stats for CCAR.

Next Games:

a) Coastal Carolina: Off.

b) Old Dominion: vs. Georgia Southern on October 22nd at 3:30 PM ET (Homecoming).

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Coastal Carolina: Virginia.

b) Old Dominion: None.

Photo Cred: ESPN

Georgia Southern (GASO) vs. #25 James Madison (JMU)

Location & Time: Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, GA. 4:00 PM ET.

Score: 45-38, GASO.

I was right, GASO vs. JMU was definitely the game of the week! It was a fun and entertaining game throughout, with the lead switching quite a few times between the teams. There were many times when it looked like GASO was in over their heads but they stood strong and kept pushing long enough to take the victory away! For more info, head over to my report on the GASO-JMU game here.

Photo Cred: Georgia Southern Athletics

Next Games:

a) Georgia Southern: @ Old Dominion on October 22nd at 3:30 PM ET.

b) James Madison: vs. Marshall on October 22nd at 3:30 PM ET (Homecoming).

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Georgia Southern: None.

b) James Madison: Louisville.

JMU only has three non-conference games, compared to four for the 13 other Sun Belt teams.

Photo Cred: ESPN                                      Photo Cred: James Madison University Athletics

Georgia State (GAST)- Off

Record: 2-4 (1-1).

Georgia State also gets a bye week like APP. Things are looking on the up for them after starting the season 0-4. Facing Carolina-based teams (South Carolina, North Carolina, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina) has not gone well for them so far, and they still have one more remaining. Can they break the “Carolina curse” against APP in an away game? Wins against non-conference Army and state rival Georgia Southern have them trending in the right direction. They’ll need to keep up the momentum, especially within the Sun Belt. A 1-1 conference record is buoying their 2-4 overall record up. The Panthers are 1-3 in home games and 1-1 away.

Photo Cred: Georgia State Athletics

Next Game: @ Appalachian State on October 19th at 7:30 PM ET.

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining: None.

Photo Cred: Georgia State Athletics

Louisiana (UL-L) @ Marshall (MRSH)

Location & Time: Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV. 7:30 PM ET.

Score: 23-13, UL-L.

According to CBS Sports, the Thundering Herd were 10.5-point favorites. The game did have a 10-point difference, just in the opposite direction… The Ragin’ Cajuns right their ship again after a three-game losing streak. Louisiana took advantage of Marshall quite a few times, with two FFs, a FR, an INT, 11 TFLs, and five SKs on the night. On the other hand, Marshall RB Khalan Laborn tried his best to will his team to victory, acting almost like a one-man wrecking crew.

Photo Cred: Action Network

First Half vs. Second Half

The game started out slow, with Louisiana getting on the board with a 42-yard FG after the teams traded punts on their opening drives. After another Marshall punt, UL-L had a turnover on downs that MRSH could not capitalize on. Marshall missed a 45-yard FG attempt but got the lead on their next drive after 10 plays and 87 yards. A 7-3 MRSH lead is how the game looked at halftime, but things were about to drastically change.

Photo Cred: numberFire

UL-L scored in their first four drives of the second half: a six-yard TD, a 33-yard FG, a 52-yard FG, and a 32-yard TD. After these 20 unanswered points, Marshall managed to get a TD with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter. They failed on their 2PT to make it a one-possession game, so the score was 23-13. Even after a UL-L punt, MRSH could not get back in the game, fumbling the ball away with 3:19 left. In the fourth quarter, MRSH switched from Henry Colombi to Cam Fancher at QB due to an injury.

Photo Cred: The Daily Advertiser

The Lone Fighter

Despite the bad play at QB, Laborn had 120 of the team’s 139 rushing yards and the Thundering Herd’s only TDs of the game. He tried his best to keep his team in it, but it wasn’t enough. UL-L’s defense was just too much handle on the night, disrupting plays left and right.

Photo Cred: On3.com

Statistical Leaders

Passing– UL-L QB Ben Wooldridge (17/30, 230 yds, two TDs), MRSH QB Cam Fancher (7/9, 69 yds).

Rushing– UL-L QB Wooldridge (10 rushes, 45 yds), MRSH RB Khalan Laborn (26 rushes, 120 yds, two TDs).

Receiving– UL-L WR Michael Jefferson (three rec, 71 yds, one TD), MRSH WR Corey Gammage (four rec, 58 yds).

TKs/TFLs/PDs/QB HURs

UL-L: LB Jourdan Quibodeaux (14 TKs, 1.5 TFLs, 0.5 SK), LB Kris Moncrief (two TFLs, 10 TKs, one SK), S Kam Pedescleaux (two TFLs, four TKs), CB Eric Garror (one PD, one TK).

MRSH: LB Abraham Beauplan (11 TKs, 1.5 TFLs, one QB HUR), DB Micah Abraham (one PD, six TKs), DB Steven Gilmore (one PD, five TKs), LB Charlie Gray (one PD, four TKs, one TFL, one QB HUR), DL Owen Porter (two QB HURs, five TKs, one TFL), DL Koby Cumberlander (two QB HURs, three TKs).

SKs/INTs/FFs/FRs/TDs– UL-L LB Moncrief (one SK), UL-L DL Zi’Yon Green-Hill (one SK, five TKs, 1.5 TFLs), UL-L S Courtline Flowers (one SK, one FR, four TKs, one TFL), UL-L S Bralen Trahan (one INT, 12 TKs), UL-L S Pedescleaux (one FF), UL-L DL Mason Narcisse (one FF, three TKs), MRSH LB Eli Neal (one SK, seven TKs, one TFL, one QB HUR), MRSH DL Cumberlander (one SK).

Notable Special Teams– UL-L K Kenneth Almendares (3/3 FG, 2/2 XP, 52 LONG), MRSH WR/KR Jayden Harrison (three returns, 69 yds, 34 LONG).

Making three FGs, including a 52-yarder, is why I have Almendares listed. Harrison did well enough in his kick return chances.

Next Games:

a) Louisiana: vs. Arkansas State on October 22nd at 4:00 PM ET.

b) Marshall: @ James Madison on October 22nd at 3:30 PM ET.

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Louisiana: Florida State.

b) Marshall: None.

Photo Cred: ESPN                                   Photo Cred: ESPN

Louisiana-Monroe (ULM) @ South Alabama (USA)- USA Homecoming

Location & Time: Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV. 7:30 PM ET.

Score: 41-34, USA.

As the scoreline indicates, it was definitely an offensive treat for both sides, but I don’t think I expected to see the types of stat lines I did. Four wide receivers just stole the show, one from ULM (Tyrone Howell) and three from USA (Devin Voisin, Caullin Lacy, Jalen Wayne). These four had a combined 645 yards and six TDs out of a total of 1,053 yards and nine TDs! They all had over 100 receiving yards, with Howell even topping 200! The Jaguars also got some RB help from two guys and an INT on defense to get the extra edge and pull away.

Photo Cred: ESPN

First Half vs. Second Half

The scoring did not start until the second drive of the game, which is when USA kicked a 34-yd FG. ULM got a 75-yard TD on one play on their second drive, to which USA responded with a 64-yard TD on a three-play, 75-yard drive. After trading punts, ULM tied the game with a 24-yard FG. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except this was on fourth-and-goal at the USA seven-yard line. Maybe this missed TD chance could’ve been a difference-maker for the Warhawks. The next four drives saw two lead changes, with ULM scoring a 25-yard TD and a 40-yard FG and USA only getting a four-yard TD. On the last play of the half, USA turned the ball over on downs. Facing fourth-and-two at the ULM 11, QB Carter Bradley could not complete a pass to WR Voisin. ULM held a 20-17 lead.

Photo Cred: AL.com

The second half is when USA had their hot streak, scoring 24 unanswered points over four drives that lasted until there was 10:37 left in the fourth quarter. After an interception and three punts, ULM then scored 14 unanswered points of their own to bring the game within seven points. There were still five full minutes left in the game, so a good defensive stop by the Warhawks would’ve given them a chance to tie or even win. However, the Jaguars stayed alive despite facing two third downs in the last drive of the game. They traveled 75 yards on 10 plays to reach the ULM eight-yard line, which is where the game ended with two kneels.

Photo Cred: AL.com

What a Game!

Seriously, this is almost a contender for game of the week, in my opinion. It was a great way for the Jaguars to celebrate their homecoming! So many great statistical performances that needed to be addressed, and there was an interesting second half to keep fans entertained. Ultimately, the defense and special teams fell short in this particular blowout on both sides, so it was well and truly just an offensive masterpiece. Special mention to USA RB Omni Wells for a 44-yard carry on an 85-yard rushing day. He combined with RB Marco Lee to get 178 of the team’s 195 rushing yards.

Photo Cred: AL.com

Statistical Leaders

Passing– ULM QB Chandler Rogers (20/27, 371 yds, four TDs, one INT), USA QB Carter Bradley (25/33, 420 yds, three TDs, one fumble).

Rushing– ULM RB Malik Jackson (13 rushes, 39 yds), USA RB Marco Lee (15 rushes, 93 yds, two TDs).

Receiving– ULM WR Tyrone Howell (nine rec, 244 yds, three TDs, 83 LONG), USA WR Devin Voisin (seven rec, 141 yds), USA WR Caullin Lacy (12 rec, 133 yds, one TD), USA WR Jalen Wayne (five rec, 127 yds, two TDs, 64 LONG).

I couldn’t not mention all three USA WRs. We had a yards leader, someone who caught over 10 passes, and a TD leader, so their stats needed to be shown.

TKs/TFLs/PDs/QB HURs

ULM: DE Kenard Snyder (11 TKs, one TFL), LB Tristan Driggers (two TFLs, eight TKs), DB Jabari Johnson (one PD, five TKs), DE Anthony Campbell (one PD, four TKs, one TFL), LB Fitzroy Gardner (one QB HUR, one TK).

USA: LB James Miller (nine TKs), DL Brock Higdon (1.5 TFLs, two TKs), DL Jamie Sheriff (two PDs, five TKs), LB CJ Rias (one QB HUR, two TKs).

SKs/INTs/FFs/FRs/TDs– ULM LB Wembley Mailei (one SK, one TK, one TFL), ULM LB Driggers (one SK), USA LB A.J. DeShazor Jr. (one SK, three TKs, one TFL), DL Wy’Kevious Thomas (one SK, two TKs, one TFL), S Yam Banks (one INT, five TKs).

Notable Special Teams– ULM P Devyn McCormick (five punts, 239 yds, 62 LONG), USA WR/RS Caullin Lacy (two KRets, 70 yds, 35.0 avg, 49 LONG, two PRets, 33 yds).

McCormick’s 62-yard punt was definitely worth mentioning. As if ULM hadn’t seen enough of Lacy on the night, they had to see him on KRets and PRets. Honorable mentions to both kickers (ULM’s Calum Sutherland and USA’s Diego Guajardo) for making all their FG and XP attempts.

Next Games:

a) Louisiana-Monroe: @ Army on October 22nd at 11:00 AM ET.

b) South Alabama: vs. Troy on October 20th at 6:30 PM ET (The Battle for the Belt).

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Louisiana-Monroe: Army.

b) South Alabama: None.

Photo Cred: ESPN                                                 Photo Cred: ESPN

Texas State (TXST) @ Troy (TROY)- TROY Homecoming

Location & Time: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL. 2:30 PM ET.

Score: 17-14, TROY.

After all the fireworks we saw throughout the conference, we finally saw a low-scoring affair where there were only three lead changes in the entire game. The offense was there, there was the potential for more points (I can think of at least two situations). It’s not like this was much of a defensive masterclass either. In fact, TXST was the only one to even have some defensive impact in the game (three sacks, one INT). On the other hand, both punters seemed to have a great day (more to be mentioned below)! There was a noticeable repetitive event in this game: short drives. 13/25 total drives lasted two minutes or less, and only eight were above three minutes. Well, that’s one way to win a homecoming game, I guess! Good job to Troy!

Photo Cred: ESPN

First Half vs. Second Half

We had the first scoreless quarter of the week, which happened in the first quarter. Both teams only got into each other’s territories once in the first 15 minutes. A TROY INT was followed by two punts, a TXST turnover on downs, and two more punts. The second quarter is where the scoring opened up, though, and with a bang too. TROY took one play to drive 74 yards down the field for a TD.

7-0 was how the game stayed from 13:56 in the second until there was 2:48 left. The Trojans hit a 24-yard FG, to which the Bobcats replied with a three-yard TD. TROY had the ball with 19 seconds left to end the half, where the drive stopped at the TXST 13-yard line. TROY finished the half 10-7.

Photo Cred: WTVY

The Bobcats did not give up one bit. They opened the second half with a 64-yard TD and kept that lead into the fourth quarter. TROY had to go through a forced change at QB, with Gunnar Watson making way for Jarret Doege due to injury. After the game, it was found out that Watson and HC Jon Sumrall had ok’d Doege to take over for the rest of the game. Doege’s first full drive resulted in a TD and a 17-14 lead, which is how the game ended.

I mentioned earlier how there were very few long drives in this game, but two of them did happen within the last four drives. TXST took 3:11 to punt the ball and TROY ran 10 plays for only 31 yards but it lasted 5:28. That 5:28 was the final remaining time left in the game, so the Trojans effectively ran the clock out on nine straight plays and a kneel.

Photo Cred: The Troy Messenger

A Special Mention and Injury Updates

The special mention will go to TROY WR Devonte Ross, who just missed out on being the team’s receiving leader by three yards. Ross and fellow WR RaJae’ Johnson were able to steady the ship once WR Tez Johnson went down with an injury. Speaking of whom, Johnson recorded stats on only two plays in the second half. Sumrall thinks his injury wasn’t serious enough, though. Watson is said to be ok and could be ready next week in the Thursday evening game.

Photo Cred: Troy University Athletics

Statistical Leaders

Passing– TXST QB Layne Hatcher (21/32, 207 yds, one TD, one fumble), TROY QB Gunnar Watson (12/22, 240 yds, one TD, one INT).

Rushing– TXST RB Lincoln Pare (18 rushes, 67 yds, one TD), TROY RB DK Billingsley (16 rushes, 70 yds).

Receiving– TXST RB Pare (three rec, 71 yds, one TD, 64 LONG), TROY WR Tez Johnson (four rec, 94 yds, one TD, 74 LONG).

TKs/TFLs/PDs/QB HURs

TXST: LB Jordan Revels (nine TKs, two TFLs, one QB HUR), DL Nic Ezidore (two TFLs, five TKs, one PD, one SK), CB Chris Mills (three PDs, three TKs), DL Levi Bell (two QB HURs, three TKs).

TROY: LB Carlton Martial (11 TKs), DT Shakel Brown (one TFL, five TKs), DE T.J. Jackson (one TFL, three TKs, one PD), LB Javon Solomon (one QB HUR, three TKs).

SKs/INTs/FFs/FRs/TDs– TXST LB Revels (two SKs), TXST S DeJordan Mask (one INT, seven TKs).

Notable Special Teams– TXST P Seamus O’Kelly (nine punts, 374 yds, two IN 20, 58 LONG), TROY P Mike Rivers (six punts, 265 yds, four IN 20).

Multiple IN 20s by both punters is very notable, and O’Kelly even came close to a 60-yarder.

Next Games:

a) Texas State: vs. Southern Miss on October 22nd at 4:00 PM ET (Homecoming).

b) Troy: @ South Alabama on October 20th at 6:30 PM ET (The Battle for the Belt).

Non-conference Game(s) Remaining:

a) Texas State: None.

b) Troy: Army.

Photo Cred: ESPN                                            Photo Cred: Jag Media

Updated Conference Standings

East

  1. ODU 3-3 (2-0): 2-1 at home, 1-2 away.
  2. CCAR 6-1 (3-1): 4-1 at home, 2-0 away.
  3. JMU 5-1 (3-1): 3-0 at home, 2-1 away.
  4. GAST 2-4 (1-1)
  5. APP 3-3 (1-2)
  6. GASO 4-3 (1-2): 3-0 at home, 1-3 away.
  7. MRSH 3-3 (0-2): 2-1 at home, 1-2 away.

West

  1. USA 5-1 (2-0): 3-0 at home, 2-1 away.
  2. TROY 5-2 (3-1): 4-0 at home, 1-2 away.
  3. USM 3-3 (1-1): 2-1 at home, 1-2 away.
  4. UL-L 3-3 (1-2): 2-1 at home, 1-2 away.
  5. TXST 3-4 (1-2): 3-0 at home, 0-4 away.
  6. ARST 2-5 (1-3): 2-1 at home, 0-4 away.
  7. ULM 2-5 (1-3): 2-1 at home, 0-4 away.

Players to Watch Out For

Offense

  • APP- QB Chase Brice (131/199, 1674 yds, 18 TDs, three INTs)
  • ARST- QB James Blackman
  • CCAR- QB Grayson McCall
  • GASO- WR Amare Jones & QB Kyle Vantrease (pictured)
  • GAST- RB Tucker Gregg (101 rushes, 460 yds, six TDs)
  • JMU- QB Todd Centeio
  • UL-L- QB Ben Wooldridge
  • ULM- WR Tyrone Howell & QB Chandler Rogers
  • MRSH- RB Khalan Laborn
  • ODU- RB Blake Watson & QB Hayden Wolff
  • USA- QB Carter Bradley
  • USM- RB Frank Gore Jr.
  • TXST- RB Lincoln Pare
  • TROY- QB Gunnar Watson & QB Jarret Doege

Photo Cred: Georgia Southern Athletics

Defense

  • APP- LB Nick Hampton (22 TKs, five SKs, two FFs, one FR, one PD, 7.5 TFLs)
  • ARST- LB Kivon Bennett
  • CCAR- LBs JT Killen & Adrian Hope
  • GASO- DBs Derrick Canteen, Anthony Wilson, & Tyler Bride
  • GAST- LB Jontrey Hunter (34 TKs, one SK, one FF, one FR, two INTs, one TD, one PD, 4.5 TFLs) & CB Quavian White (20 TKs, one SK, four INTs, four PDs, 3.5 TFLs)
  • JMU- S Sam Kidd
  • UL-L- S Courtline Flowers, DL Zi’Yon Green-Hill, LBs Jourdan Quibodeaux & Kris Moncrief
  • ULM- LB Tristan Driggers
  • MRSH- LBs Abraham Beauplan, Charlie Gray, & Eli Neal, DL Koby Cumberlander
  • ODU- DT Denzel Lowry & DE Deeve Harris
  • USA- DL Brock Higdon
  • USM- S Jay Stanley & DL Dominic Quewon
  • TXST- LB Jordan Revels
  • TROY- DE T.J. Jackson

Photo Cred: Twitter

Notable Special Teams

  • ARST P William Przystup
  • GASO P Anthony Beck II
  • UL-L K Kenneth Almendares (pictured)
  • ULM P Devyn McCormick
  • USA WR/RS Caullin Lacy
  • TXST P Seamus O’Kelly
  • TROY P Mike Rivers

Photo Cred: Twitter

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