2018 Sun Belt Sizzle Week 6: Temperature Rising
Sun Belt Sizzle keeps y’all woke on what’s hot in Sun Belt football.
Before we sip deep from the Sun Belt Chalice, let us mourn the bruised and battered spirit of the Louisiana (ULL) Ragin’ Cajuns, the latest victim of Crimson Tide brutality.
|vs. Top 25||0-5|
The Cajuns notwithstanding, the Sun Belt in Week 5 was an inner-conference affair punctuated by blowouts (good God, Panthers, where did that come from) with the notable exception of Red Wolves vs. Eagles – a defensive slobber-knocker concluded by a nifty reverse that delivered a 28-21 win for Georgia Southern. Are the Eagles legit again? The Sun Belt Troika may have become a quartet on Saturday.
Thursday, October 4
Georgia State vs. Troy, 6:30 on ESPNU at Veterans Stadium
(Trojans -15.5, 85.5% FPI)
Normally, I’d polish my monocle, fill my pipe with Mr. Bubble, and quickly dismiss the Panthers in a home contest with the Trojans. But on Saturday, Georgia State flat out Luke Skywalkered Darth Viator and the Warhawks 46- 14. The Panthers hadn’t scored more than 24 in a single contest all year. What the hell, Shawn Elliot?
Meanwhile, the Trojans enjoyed their own 45-21 jaw-breaking of the Chanticleers, who had seemed like a program ready to cause trouble in the Sun Belt. Troy’s Kaleb Barker kind of took the day off, letting Jabir Daughtry-Frye and B.J. Smith combine for over 240 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The Trojans are sort of like the Warhawks, but with an actual defense. I’m not sure if the Panthers have two 46-point games in them.
Trojans 42, Panthers 16
Saturday, October 6
South Alabama vs. Georgia Southern, 2:30 on ESPN3 at Paulson Stadium
(Eagles -13.5, 87.4% FPI)
South Bama’s Jamarius Way is waaaay good at catching footballs, having already notched up an even 500 yards after five games. Georgia Southern’s Monquavion Brinson is waaaaay good at preventing waaaaay good receivers from catching balls, so somebody is going to have a crappy day on Saturday.
My guess is it’s going to be Way and the 1-4 Jags, who were systematically nutted 52-7 by Appalachian State last week. Mountaineers’ QB Zack Thomas ran for two TDs against the Jaguars, which should have Eagles’ quarterback Shai Werts pretty excited.
Eagles 24, Jaguars 7
ULM vs. Ole Miss, 3:00 on SEC Network at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
(Warhawks -22.5, 5.7% FPI)
I gotta admit, I expected Matt Viator and the Warhawks to make a big leap this season. So far, the offense has regressed and the defense has somehow gotten worse. The once dangerous ULM offense is registering a sad 21 points per contest, while the defense is offering 36 points to whoever wants them. Still, Ole Miss isn’t all that. Let’s be optimists, y’all.
ULM 38, Rebels/Bears/Sharks 35
Louisiana vs. Texas State, 6:00 on ESPN+ at Bobcat Stadium
(Bobcats +3.5, 43.8% FPI)
Both teams are 1-3. Both are 0-1 in conference. Their offenses produce similar amounts of yards. But the Cajun D is giving up a terrifying 500 yards per game. Offenses can count on getting 7.4 yards on every play. Sure, those stats are inflated by a 56-14 nose-busting from Alabama, but man!
The Bobcats have lost their last two games by the combined score of 14 points. It doesn’t appear that Everett Withers has the muscle to pull Texas State out of the Sun Belt basement just yet, but he might have enough power to upend the Cajuns in San Marcos.
Bobcats 31, Cajuns 24
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.