This Week in the Sun Belt – From the Bird’s Nest
ULM's loss to Georgia State and Arkansas State's loss to Georgia Southern has shown us a couple of things about the Sun Belt: The East is better than the West and Nothing is for certain in this league.
Here's what's happening this week:
GEORGIA STATE (2-3, 1-0) (+15') at TROY (4-1, 2-0) TONIGHT 6:30, ESPNU--A nice (and badly needed ) win for the Panthers last week in their domination of ULM. They may not have an easy time offensively tonight though, as Troy continues to be one of the best the Sun Belt has to offer. The Trojans have won four straight and need to take care of their business in an East Division that has no margin for error.
SOUTH ALABAMA (1-4, 1-1)(+12) at GEORGIA SOUTHERN (3-1, 1-0) 2:30, ESPN3--If there was any question whether Georgia Southern was ready to take a big step forward after last year's 2-10 debacle, it was answered last week in their win over Arkansas State. The trick now is not getting complacent against a South Alabama squad that has played like they're not ready to beat anyone.
ULM (2-3) (+22') at OLE MISS (3-2) 3:00 pm SEC Network--After a 2-0 start, the Warhawks have lost three straight and in order to have any shot at suffering their fourth loss in a row, they had better shore up their offense that has been their own worst enemy. Pre-snap penalties have put ULM in unfavorable down and distance and that shouldn't be happening to an offense that returns nine starters. Caleb Evans is good...but even he can't fix this by himself.
LOUISIANA (2-3, 0-1) (-3') at TEXAS STATE (1-3, 0-1) 6:00 pm, ESPN+--The Cajuns showed some flashes at times against Alabama last week, while Texas State was taking some time to heal. Willie Jones III has had ankle and shoulder issues that have forced the Bobcats to turn to a true freshman at quarterback at times. Expect a big dose of Trey Ragas for the Cajuns, who will need to guard against Texas State's propensity to take some shots downfield.
APPALACHIAN STATE (3-1, 1-0) AT ARKANSAS STATE (3-2, 0-1) 7:00 pm, ESPN2--App State has rolled to three lopsided wins after their near miss against Penn State to open the season. But none of those wins have come against a team the caliber of Arkansas State, who has to be howling mad after losing to Georgia Southern last week. Arkansas State may be the favorite to win the league, but they can't afford to start 0-2 in conference. The reputation is the Red Wolves are awfully tough to beat in "The Vault." Here's their chance to prove it.