Saturday Scores from the Sun Belt
In the first week, Sun Belt Conference schools went a combined 4-6. The league got a historic win from Georgia State, but dropped a pair of games to peer conference schools. On Thursday, #11 Texas A&M dominated Texas State 41-7 and you can read about Louisiana's performance against Mississippi State here.
In the other games:
GEORGIA STATE 38, TENNESSEE 30--The Panthers dominated play in the second half and outrushed Tennessee 213-93 to stun the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Quarterback Dan Ellington threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the win. It was the first-ever win over a Power 5 school for the Panthers.
SMU 37. ARKANSAS STATE 30--Omar Bayless hauled in four touchdown passes to tie a school record, but Arkansas State fell to SMU 37-30. The Red Wolves had a 23-16 lead in the second half, but special teams were the Red Wolves undoing as SMU returned a kickoff for a touchdown and recovered a fumble on a punt return to set up the go ahead score.
EASTERN MICHIGAN 30, COASTAL CAROLINA 23--The Chanticleers jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Eastern Michigan intercepted Fred Payton four times in the comeback victory. Massamino Biscardi kicked three field goals, including a 52 yarder for Coastal in the loss.
#6 LSU 55, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 3--Joe Burrow threw for five first half touchdowns in LSU's new spread offense and the Tigers' defense was well prepared for the Eagles' option attack. The Tigers held the Eagles to just 98 total yards in offense for the game.
ULM 31, GRAMBLING STATE 9--Josh Johnson raced for 171 yards on only ten carries and ULM's defense pitched a second half shutout as the Warhawks opened the season with a win. Johnson had touchdown runs of 51 and 37 yards in front of a crowd of 28,327, the fourth largest crowd in Malone Stadium history.
TROY 43, CAMPBELL 14--The Trojans got 527 yards total offense to get the Chip Lindsey era at Troy off to a good start. Kaleb Barker threw for a pair of touchdowns and B. J. Smith rushed for 108 yards in the win.
#24 NEBRASKA 35, SOUTH ALABAMA 21--The Jaguars' defense stymied Nebraska all afternoon, but the Jaguars allowed three touchdowns on defense and special teams as the Cornhuskers got the victory. Nebraska led 14-7 at halftime, but an interception return and a punt return ballooned the lead to 28-7 Cephus Johnson threw a pair of touchdown passes, but Nebraska recovered a fumble in the end zone to seal the win.
APPALACHIAN STATE 42, EAST TENNESSEE STATE 7--The Mountaineers got an easy victory in Eliah Drinkwitz' first game as head coach. App State rushed for 277 yards in the game and the Mountaineers played turnover free football in their win.