What happened in all the Week 1 Sun Belt games? Where are all the teams ranked, and what’s the quick take on each game? Check out the Sun Belt rankings and analysis.
Sun Belt Week 1 Rankings, Predictions & Quick Takes
How are the Sun Belt Predictions so far? SU: 7-4, ATS: 1-5
1. Appalachian State (0-1)
Final Score: Tennessee 20, Appalachian State 13 OT
Prediction: Tennessee 44, ASU 17, Tennessee -20.5, o/u: 57.5
Up Next: Old Dominion
Quick Take: All the talk will be about how Tennessee came close to blowing the home loss to a Sun Belt team, but it should be more about how Appalachian State almost pulled off the shocking upset in a hostile environment. The missed kicks, inability to get into field goal range in the final seconds, and a bad break on an overtime fumble in the end zone did in the Mountaineers, but they put themselves in a position to win. They really were good enough, and now they have to show it at home against Old Dominion.
– Tennessee beats Appalachian State: 5 Things That Matter
2. Georgia Southern (1-0)
Final Score: Georgia Southern 54, Savannah State 0
Prediction: Georgia Southern 62, Savannah State 13
Up Next: at South Alabama
Quick Take: Playing Savannah State makes everything better. The Eagles needed to warm up with its new head coach Tyson Summers in his first game, and it got all the kinks out with a predictably dominant performance. Both quarterbacks Favian Upshaw and Kevin Ellison were nearly perfect, the running game rolled for 420 yards and six scores, and everything should be set to go for what now has turned into a showdown against South Alabama.
3. South Alabama (1-0)
Final Score: South Alabama 21, Mississippi State 20
Prediction: Miss State 48, South Alabama 13, MSU -29.5, o/u: 56.5
Up Next: Georgia Southern
Quick Take: The Jaguars just never gave up. They got down 17-0 in the first half and couldn’t seem to get much going, but the defense kept coming up with stop after stop on third down, and the offense kept grinding out the clock coming up with a few late scores – and helped from a missed MSU field goal – pulled off a season-definer in just the first week. Dallas Davis was wonderful completing 24-of-34 passes for 285 yards and two scores, and on the road, there weren’t any turnovers. Now USA has to keep it going by beating Georgia Southern. This was nice, but it doesn’t matter if the Jaguars start out 0-1 in conference play.
4. Arkansas State (0-1)
Final Score: Toledo 31, Arkansas State 10
Prediction: Arkansas State 31, Toledo 27, ASU -3.5, o/u: 64.5
Up Next: at Auburn
Quick Take: What was that? For a good Sun Belt team getting a MAC team at home – even a strong one – this was a total dud. Chad Voytik didn’t get the job done in his first game as the new quarterback, but the Pitt transfer was under way too much pressure. He only completed 11-of-24 passes, but he wasn’t the only problem. The ASU defense didn’t do anything to slow down the Toledo passing game, and the O didn’t help. The Red Wolves were outgained 556 yards to 226.
5. Texas State (1-0)
Final Score: Texas State 56, Ohio 54, 3 OT
Prediction: Ohio 37, Texas State 13, Ohio -21
Up Next: at Arkansas
Quick Take: Check out the wild and crazy new Texas State offense. Everett Withers got his first win as the head coach because Tyler Jones bombed away for 418 yards and four scores and a rushing touchdown. The offense turned it over three times, but it spread out Ohio, sped the game up, and it overcame a disastrous day from the Bobcat defense to pull off one of the most shocking Group of 5 upsets of the weekend. At the very least, Texas State will be fun to watch all year.
6. Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1)
Final Score: Boise State 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 10
Prediction: Boise State 45, ULL 27, Boise State -20, o/u: 64
Up Next: McNeese State
Quick Take: The defense didn’t have a prayer. Boise State was able to throw at will in the first half, the offense couldn’t go on enough drives to take the pressure off, and it got ugly in hurry. The 35-3 halftime deficit ended any hope of relying on the ground game, with Elijah McGuire held to 46 yards on 14 carries. Boise State is good enough to go 13-0 – it’s a special team. The Ragin’ Cajuns can’t worry about this one blowout to an elite offense.
7. Troy (1-0)
Final Score: Troy 57, Austin Peay 17
Prediction: Troy 48, Austin Peay 10
Up Next: at Clemson
Quick Take: Okay Troy, are you ready for Clemson? This was supposed to be a walk in the park against Austin Peay, and the offense showed made it just that as Jordan Chunn and Josh Anderson ran wild – each taking off for over 12 yards per carry – while Brandon Silvers was fantastic for a Trojan passing game that did whatever it wanted to. The D had a hard time against the midrange Governor passing attack, but the offense answered everything without a problem.
8. Georgia State (0-1)
Final Score: Ball State 31, Georgia State 21
Prediction: Georgia State 34, Ball State 30, GSU -3.5, o/u: 52.5
Up Next: at Air Force
Quick Take: The defense couldn’t seem to get off the field. The Panthers got a good passing day from Conner Manning, and a good running day from fellow QB Aaron Winchester – and now the derby is back on. The O just didn’t move well enough with Manning in, and the defense couldn’t slow down the Ball State running game that took control in the second half.
9. ULM (1-0)
Final Score: ULM 38, Southern 21
Prediction: ULM 34, Southern 23
Up Next: at Oklahoma
Quick Take: It was the Garrett Smith show. The offense was put in the quarterback’s hands – and legs – and he delivered, running for 150 yards and a score, while throwing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Southern wouldn’t go away, but the Warhawks came up with 533 yards of total offense – thanks to Smith – and a running game that averaged over seven yards per crack. Next up? Oklahoma – it’s going to take something special to hang around, but it’ll all be on Smith again.
10. Idaho (1-0)
Final Score: Idaho 20, Montana State 17
Prediction: Idaho 45, Montana State 41
Up Next: at Washington
Quick Take: Really? Idaho is going to win on defense?! The program that hasn’t played defense in years will take the day against a high-powered Montana State team, but the offense went bye-bye in the second half. The running game was terrific – led by Aaron Duckworth’s 108 yards and two scores – but Matt Linehan was awful competing just 8-of-22 passes. The D isn’t going to do that too often – Linehan has to be sharper.
11. New Mexico State (0-1)
Final Score: UTEP 38, New Mexico State 22
Prediction: UTEP 37, New Mexico State 31, UTEP -9.5, o/u: 60.5
Up Next: New Mexico
Quick Take: Where was the offense? The defense was supposed to be a problem from the start – and it wasn’t even close to slowing down the Miners – but the O was expected to kick in the production. What was the problem? No Larry Rose III. The star RB was out with a sports hernia, and the O went nowhere. Tyler Rogers did what he could with a team-leading 63 yards to go along with 206 passing yards, but it wasn’t even close to being enough.