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This Week in the Sun Belt

 

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The Cajuns don’t play until Tuesday night at North Texas, but there’s plenty of actionleading up to that, beginning tonight.

Everyone in the league plays this week and there’s nothing but conference action.

WESTERN KENTUCKY (4-1, 1-0) AT TROY (3-2, 2-1)

Since losing to Louisiana in week two, Troy has been better.  They narrowly lost to Mississippi State, beat North Texas on the road and knocked off their “new” football rival South Alabama, also on the road.  The irony for the Trojans is they’re 3-0 on the road and 0-2 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.  Now, here comes WKU to try to hand Troy their third loss at the Vet and if my memory serves, three home losses have never happened since Larry Blakeney became head coach.  Of course, the Trojans had never lost a home opener under Blakeney until this year.  The Hilltoppers got a road win in Jonesboro and that doesn’t happen often.  Troy’s offense hasn’t had a lot of trouble moving the football but they’ve had issues finishing drives at times.  Thus far, WKU has shown the best defense in the league.  Troy desperately needs this one to stay in the SBC race.  Playing at home might be the elixir for the Trojans, but there’s no question who has the better players.

TONIGHT, ESPNU, 6:30

SOUTH ALABAMA  (0-1, 1-4) at ARKANSAS STATE (3-3, 1-1)

ASU got a win they really needed last Thursday night, going to Miami and knocking off FIU.  That should have gotten the taste of the loss to WKU out of their mouths and they get SBC football newcomer South Alabama this week.  The Jaguars still don’t have an FBS win and they’ll have a heckuva time getting one this week.  South Alabama has been surprisingly good on defense, but they’ve really had a tough time scoring.

SATURDAY, 6pm

MIDDLE TENNESSEE (3-2, 1-1) AT FIU (0-2, 1-5)

The Blue Raiders were brought back down to earth last week, losing to Louisiana-Monroe 31-17.  That leaves the Raiders with a pretty important game in Miami this week.  Meanwhile, one of the more puzzling seasons in the Sun Belt, maybe ever, is continuing in Miami, where the pre-season favorites have lost five straight.  Yes, I know, the Panthers lost their quarterback.  But neither Jake Medlock or his replacement, E. J. Hilliard, play defense.  And that’s been the issue all season at FIU.  Now, they played pretty decently on that side of the football, but a couple of turnovers took all the wind out of them last Thursday against Arkansas State.  It’s very simple.  If FIU loses this week, they might go in the tank completely……if they haven’t already.

SATURDAY, 5pm (Central)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (0-2, 1-4) AT LOUISIANA-MONROE (1-0, 3-2)

The Warhawks got it done on the road last week in Murfreesboro and those who had doubts about this team are rapidly having those doubts extinguished.  Kolton Browning is one of the early favorites for Player of the Year honors and ULM shows no signs of slowing down.  FAU is playing decent defense under first year head coach Carl Pellini, but, like South Alabama, they aren’t ready to play a team like the Warhawks.  In case you haven’t seen Browning in action, you’ve got another chance this week.

SATURDAY, 7PM, SUN BELT NETWORK

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