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This Week in the Sun Belt

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Evidently this is a good week for an open date.  Troy, FAU, South Alabama and Western Kentucky are all resting this week.

Besides the Cajuns and Tulane, there are only three other games involving Sun Belt schools and one of them is on Thursday:

ARKANSAS STATE (2-3, 0-1) AT FIU (1-4, 0-1)–The team that won the league last year is facing the team that was picked to win the league this year.  And, as it’s turned out, it is, for all intents and purposes, an elimination game in the league.  FIU has to be reeling from being dominated by Louisiana last week, and Arkansas State is probably looking for the license number of the truck that ran over them in the second half of last week’s game against WKU.  The Red Wolves led 13-0 at the half at home in Jonesboro, before the Hilltoppers strangled them in the second half.  The winner of this game is still in the conference race.  The loser has two losses and, even more importantly, puts itself behind the eight ball for bowl eligibility.  ASU can probably afford an overall loss more than FIU can.


LOUISIANA-MONROE (2-2, 0-0) AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE (3-1, 1-0)–After destroying Tulane last Saturday, the Warhawks have their conference opener this week in Murfreesboro.  Is there any bigger surprise than the Blue Raiders?  After dropping their opener to FCS opponent McNeese State, MT beat two teams they should beat in Memphis and FAU and one they shouldn’t when they surprised Georgia Tech last week as Benny Cunningham rushed for over 200 yards and five touchdowns.  They’ll have a tougher time this week against a pretty good and very physical ULM defense.  The big question is, can the Raiders’ defense slow down Kolton Browning?  The winner of this one officially has some momentum.


NORTH TEXAS (2-3) AT HOUSTON (1-3)–The Mean Green beat Florida Atlantic last week to even its Sun Belt record at 1-1.  The Mean Green has played pretty good defense so far this season but have sometimes struggled offensively.  To illustrate, UNT has scored 27 points in two conference games while giving up 28.  The Sun Belt has dominated play against Conference USA teams this year, but North Texas goes into Robertson Stadium as an underdog against the Cougars, who got their first win of the season last week against Rice.  The Green defensive unit will be tested in this one.  North Texas needs to control the football and they’ve got a chance against the Houston defense which may have held Rice to 14 last week, but has been pretty porous this season.




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