Sun Belt Sizzle Week Three: Well Done, Please

Sun Belt Sizzle Week Three: Well Done, Please

Western Michigan

Sun Belt Sizzle Week Three: Well Done, Please

Sun Belt Sizzle Week Three: Well Done, Please


So far, the Sun Belt season has lacked flavor, with too many humiliating defeats and not enough signature victories. Maybe we see a reversal of fortune in Week 3? 


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All right, so the first two weeks of Sun Belt action weren’t great. Or good. Or even digestible. So far, we’ve seen two Top 25 cancellations, two FCS upsets, a handful of Power Five beatdowns and a couple of disappointing tilts with peer conference foes. Yuck.

The best thing about a Bad Week One and a Worse Week Two is that we have a Redemptive Week Three. College football is always giving us second chances. Perhaps now, the Sun Belt rises from the cold ashes to seize its golden seat among college football’s elite!

Or maybe not. Call me jaded, but I’m getting skeptical over here.

The Sizzle FIzzled in Week 2

 

Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (1-1) @ Texas A&M Aggies (1-1)

Saturday,  September 16th, 11AM on SEC Network

Here’s what we know about the Cajuns after two weeks: NO DEFENSE. The Cajuns rank 127th in Total Defense, surrendering a whopping 1,181 yards and an incredible fifteen touchdowns to Tulsa and (gulp) Southeast Louisiana. At least Louisiana can score. The offense has racked up 959 yards and 11 TDs, with starting QB Jordan Davis (60% comp., 3 TDs, 1 INT) becoming a stable source of points for coach Mark Hudspeth.

The Texas A&M Aggies might be the perfect P5 opponent for the Cajuns, who exhibited a now infamous lack of close-out ability against UCLA, and barely staved off the Nicholls Colonels in Week 2. Look for this one to be an defense-free, points-a-palooza.

Gut: 45-38, Louisiana

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (1-0) @ UAB Blazers (1-1)

Saturday, September 16th,  12PM (No TV, Say WHAAAAT?)

Oh, hey, Chants! Almost forgot you were here. You, too, Blazers! Didn’t the Alabama Board of Trustees murder you? No? Well, glad you can make it. Anyway, the Chanticleers opened the season and their entry into FBS football by owning the Massachusetts Minutemen. UAB, newly reborn, is coming off a 31-51 loss to Ball State. The Chants have a nifty RB in Osharmar Abercrombie (149 yards and a pairs of scores in Week 1), but honestly, who know who the Chants really are?

Gut: 21-20, Coastal Carolina

Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1) @ Texas State Bobcats (1-1)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:00PM on ESPN3

Scintillating Belt-on-Belt violence! The first conference tilt of the season pits the league’s best (possibly) against its worst (debatable). The Mountaineers rebounded from a Week One crushing at Georgia with a 54-7 bullying of Savannah State. Meanwhile, the Bobcats received a lesson in pigskin from Professor Buffalo in Colorado last week. Texas State starting QB Damian Williams is still figuring things out in San Marcos, barely averaging 100 yards per game, throwing two picks and zero TDs. Life won’t get much better against Apps’ meaty front line.

Gut: 35-6, Appalachian State

UAPB Golden Lions (1-1) @ Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-1)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:00PM on ESPN3

Rarely are lions led to a slaughter, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Jonesboro this Saturday. Denied a home game with the Miami Hurricanes last week (thanks, Irma), the Red Wolves are thirsty for points, and a struggling in-state FCS program like UAPB should satisfy Blake Anderson’s terrible hunger for touchdowns. Look for QB Justice Hansen and defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones to pad their stats against the smaller Golden Lions.

Gut: 75-0, Arkansas State

Idaho Vandals (1-1) @ Western Michigan Broncos (0-2)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:00 PM on ESPN3

About a week ago, this seemed like an extremely intriguing opportunity for Paul Petrino and his Vandals. But after Idaho laid a turd in Moscow in Week 2 against UNLV, one wonders if Petrino presents much of a challenge to the battle-hardened Broncos. PJ Fleck’s former program has already put a scare in both USC and Michigan State. Perhaps the Vandals will catch Western Michigan broken and demoralized. In any case, the Idaho defense will have to pucker up and improve upon the 550 yards it allowed to the Rebels. Plus, the offensive line will need to keep Western Michigan LB Asantay Brown from manhandling QB Matt Linehan, who’s already endured 5 sacks this year. Good luck!

Gut: 35-28, Western Michigan 

Alabama A&M Bulldogs (0-2) @ South Alabama Jaguars (0-2)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:00 PM on ESPN3

Let’s give the Jags credit for opening the season with the toughest two weeks in the Sun Belt – first, a road trip to Ole Miss, then a home game against Oklahoma State and one of college’s most prolific offenses. Take a knee, Jags! You deserve a game with Alabama A&M, who are 0-2 and just lost 42-0 to Vanderbilt. YOU GOT BEAT BY NERDS, BAMA A&M! Cole Garvin, hurt in the game against the Cowboys, is expected to sit this one out in favor of Dallas Davis, who completed only 13 of 23 passes against the Cowboys. Of course, Dallas won’t likely be running for his life agains the Bulldog pass rush.

Gut: 24-10, South Bama

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (1-1) @ ULM Warhawks (0-1)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:00PM on ESPN3

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, ULM’s scheduled murdering at the hairy hands of Florida State was canceled, giving Matt Viator & Co. more time to prepare for QB Kwadra Griggs and the Golden Eagles offense. In two games, Griggs has tossed 4 TDs and is completing 61% of his passes. But the real threat might be Southern Miss’ defense, which has already collected two picks and two fumbles. In the meantime, the news out of Monroe is that Garrett Smith is your new starting QB for the Warhawks, replacing Caleb Evans. If the Warhawks want to collect a sweet victory over CUSA, Smith will need to find his talented receivers without surrendering the ball to the Golden Eagles’ hawkish defense.

Gut: 28-24, ULM

Georgia State Panthers (0-1) @ 5 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)

Saturday, September 16th, 6:30PM on Big10 Network

How do you follow up a humiliating loss to an FCS opponent during the opening of your brand new stadium? Why, with a trip to Beaver Stadium, of course. The Panthers looked small, slow and lousy in a 17-10 loss to Tennessee State. Will a bye in Week 2 provide enough time for new head coach Shawn Elliot to make offensive adjustments against Penn State’s 17th ranked defense? Or will we simply see RB Saquan Barkley build his Heisman case against the Panther’s undersized defensive line? I’m deeply afraid it’s the latter.

Gut: 64-10, Penn State

Troy Trojans (1-1) @ New Mexico State Aggies (1-1)

Saturday, September 16th, 7:00PM on ESPN3

The second conference game of the season may be one of the year’s best. Troy and preseason All Sun Belt First Team QB Brandon Silvers goes head-to-head against current leading Sun Belt TD passer Tyler Rogers of New Mexico State. Daaaamn! After two games, the Aggies offense is averaging 524 yards and are coming off a big win against hated arch enemy, New Mexico. Troy, meanwhile, is coming off a five TD performance against Alabama (State) with Jordan “MEGACHUNN” Chunn ringing up three.

Troy’s 19th ranked defense may be the deciding factor, despite the Aggies’ home field advantage. Still, we can’t guarantee nothing here. Nothing! 

Gut: America

A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space. 

 

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