Sun Belt Conference News and Notes

Sun Belt Conference Recent Results

Sept. 12

Louisiana-Lafayette 17, Kansas State 15 (ESPN360)

ULM 58, Texas Southern 0

Middle Tennessee 31, Memphis 14 (CSS)

Ohio 31, North Texas 30 (2 OT) (KTXA)

#1 Florida 56, Troy 6 (SEC Network)

#22 Nebraska 38, Arkansas State 9 (FSNPPV)

#4 Alabama 40, FIU 14 (PPV)

South Florida 35, WKU 13 (ESPN+)

Sun Belt Conference Upcoming Games

Sept. 19

North Texas at Alabama (SEC Network) - 11:21 a.m.

Middle Tennessee at Maryland (ESPN360) - 2:30 p.m.

UAB at Troy (Troy/ISP Network) - 2:30 p.m.

FIU at Rutgers (ESPN+) - 4 p.m.

Central Arkansas at WKU - 6 p.m.

Florida Atlantic at South Carolina (PPV) - 6 p.m.

Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU (ESPNU) - 6 p.m.

ULM at Arizona State - 9 p.m.

Sun Belt Conference Team News & Notes

Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic used last week as a week of correction and concentrated on individual improvement.

The Owls also work on building upon positives such as line play.  The offensive line provided ample time for the quarterbacks in game one and built lanes for running back Alfred Morris to rush for 95 yards in his first career start.

The Owls will head to Columbia, SC this week marking the second-consecutive week to play in a state capitol. FAU fell to the Gamecocks in 2006.

FIU Golden Panthers

FIU went into Tuscaloosa and gave No. 4 Alabama an early scare as the Panthers held a 14-13 with less than five minutes to go in the first half. T.Y. Hilton got the scoring started for FIU, taking a first-quarter kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. The 96-yard return is the third-longest in FIU history, and it marks the second year in a row that Hilton scores the first time he touches the ball on the season.

In the second quarter, Paul McCall and Greg Ellingson hooked up on a nine-yard score to give FIU the lead. Ellingson finished the game with five catches for 92 yards and the one score. McCall had a solid game, passing for 189 yards, connecting on 16 of his 32 attempts.

Defensively, Scott Bryant led the way with nine tackles, and four Panthers had seven apiece. Anthony Gaitor was one of them, as he recorded seven solo stops.

Next up for FIU is a meeting with Greg Schiano and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. FIU head coach Mario Cristobal was the tight ends/offensive line coach at Rutgers from 2001-03. The Scarlet Knights are 1-1 on the year after beating Howard 45-7 last week.

Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns

The Cajuns started the season with a pair of home games for the first time since 1989 and are 2-0 for the first time since 1990.  The last time the Cajuns were 3-0 was 1988.  Coach Bustle had started 0-2 in six of his first seven seasons.

The Cajuns hosted 41,357 for their home-opener vs. Southern (the largest in Cajun Field and Sun Belt history) and had 16,431 vs. K-State to mark the largest two-game total in Cajun Field history (57,788).  Three of the six largest crowds ever at Cajun Field have come since 2006.

In his second start, Chris Masson put together a pair of two-minute drives - one at the end of each half, to help ULL top Big XII-member Kansas State.  His first drive started with 2:13 remaining in the first half, as he took ULL 73 yards in 12 plays.  He went 5-of-7 for 55 yards and threw a TD pass with five seconds left in the second quarter. After K-State grabbed a 15-14 lead, he took charge once again with 3:50 left in the game.  Masson directed a 10-play, 37-yard drive to set-up the game-winning FG. He is 2-0 in his career as a starter and has a passing efficiency this season of 142.0.

Wide receiver Richie Falgout has as many career touchdown passes (4) as any of the Cajuns top three quarterbacks (Masson - 4, McGuire - 2, Gautier - 0).  Falgout's career passing line is 4-of-4 for 110 yards and four touchdowns.  His career passing efficiency stands at 661.00.

Tyler Albrecht's first career field goal attempt will be talked about for a long time.  His 48-yard game-winning blast with 32 seconds left carried the Cajuns to a 17-15 win over Big XII-member Kansas State.  By comparison, his predecessor Drew Edmiston missed his first career kick, a 35-yard attempt at LSU.  Sean Comiskey preceded Edmiston and, although Comiskey made his first career attempt (from 31 yards), he missed his next kick from 47 yards.

ULM Warhawks

The ULM Warhawks rolled to a 58-0 victory over Texas Southern this past weekend in the Malone Stadium opener.

Trey Revell set ULM records during the game by completing 15 straight passes (first 12 against TSU and final three at Texas last week) and by completing 89.5 percent of his passes (17-of-19). The completion percentage broke Doug Pederson's mark of 88.9 percent set back in 1991.

Running back Frank Goodin moved within 35 yards of 10th place on the all-time ULM rushing list with 1,544.  Goodin extended his rushing touchdown streak to three games with a rushing score 3-yard run in the first quarter (3:02) to push the ULM lead to 14-0 at the time. His three touchdowns give him 13 for his career tying him for 10th place on the ULM career list.  The game against TSU marked the first time that ULM had two 100-yard rushers (Isaiah Newsome 158 and Frank Goodin 105) in a game since Nov. 3, 2007, against Middle Tennessee.

Linebacker Cardia Jackson moved within 27 tackles of 10th place on the all-time ULM tackles list with 277 and ranks sixth among active players in the NCAA with 276 tackles.

ULM executed seven plays of 20-plus yards against Texas Southern and scored 21 points in a quarter for the second-consecutive season.  The last time held an opponent scoreless was on Nov. 11, 2006 when ULM defeated FIU, 35-0, in Miami, Fla.   ULM's 58 points was the most since the Warhawks scored 55 against Nicholls State (W, 55-18) in 1981.  ULM's 58 point margin of victory was the second highest in program history.  The highest margin of victory was a 61-0 win over Ouachita Baptist in 1951.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Junior quarterback Dwight Dasher thrilled the home crowd in the first game of the season at Floyd Stadium by accounting for 320 yards of Middle Tennessee's 436 yards of total offense in the win over Memphis. Dasher, who was responsible for 410 of the team's 490 total yards in the 2007 victory over Memphis, had his second straight 200-yard passing game with 231 yards, nine shy of his career high, and two touchdowns against the Tigers. It was also the fourth 200-yard passing game of his career and two have come against Memphis.

With tonight's win over Memphis, Middle Tennessee is now a perfect 3-0 under Rick Stockstill against in-state schools. Since joining the FBS in 1999, the Blue Raiders are now 8-1 against in-state competition with the lone loss coming in 2002 at Tennessee.

Middle Tennessee's defense rose to the occasion against Memphis. The Blue Raiders held the Tigers to just 14 points and 219 total yards of offense while collecting 11 tackles for loss and two sacks. It marks the fewest yards allowed by the Middle Tennessee defense since it surrendered only 138 to Arkansas State on Oct. 20, 2007 - a 14-game span. The Blue Raiders won that contest 24-7 at Floyd Stadium.

Middle Tennessee running back Phillip Tanner found the end zone for the first time this season on the Blue Raiders' opening drive of the game. It was Tanner's 22nd career touchdown and the Dallas, TX native needs just two more to tie for 10th on the all-time touchdowns scored list.

Backup running back D.D. Kyles scored his first collegiate touchdown when he ran one in from seven yards out in the fourth quarter against Memphis. Kyles went on to enjoy a career game with five carries for a personal-best 32 yards.

North Texas Mean Green

Saturday's contest against Ohio was just the second overtime game in North Texas history. The only other overtime game was a 25-22 (7OT) win over Florida International on Oct. 7, 2006, which tied for the longest game in NCAA history.

Kenny Jackson's 69-yard interception return with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter put Ohio on top 20-17, and put North Texas behind on the scoreboard for the first time this season.

Jamaal Jackson hauled in the first touchdown of his NT career on a 16-yard pass from Riley Dodge at the 8:43 mark of the 3rd quarter. A clutch catch from freshman Darius Carey on 3rd-and-12 kept the drive alive, and allowed the touchdown pass just two plays later.

North Texas has outscored its opponents by a combined 20-3 in the first half of its two games. As a matter of fact, the Mean Green didn't allow Ohio in the redzone in the first half. Last year, NT was outscored by its opponents 377-123 in the first half.

Safety DaWaylon Cook capped off a wild 4th-&-1 play for Ohio by collecting a Theo Scott fumble and returning it to the Bobcat 16-yard line. It was the first fumble recovery of Cook's career.

Royce Hill grabbed his second interception of the season with 1:02 remaining in the 1st quarter. The sophomore picked off a pass at Ball State and was credited with a 57-yard return.

That interception set up a 4-yard touchdown run from Cam Montgomery. His first touchdown of the season put the Mean Green up 10-0 with 12:25 remaining in the second quarter.

Troy Trojans

With the loss to the Gators, Troy is off to its first 0-2 start since the 2007 season. It is the fourth time Troy has opened a season 0-2 since the Trojans' moved to Division I (FBS) in 2001.

Troy senior quarterback Levi Brown (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) threw his third interception of the young season on Saturday. In addition to extending Florida's streak of games with a pick to 14, it also gave Brown three on the year, equaling the total he had all of last year.

Freshman wide receiver Josh Jarboe (Decatur, Ga.) made his first career start. He recorded two catches for six yards on the day.

Troy trailed Florida 35-3 at halftime of the game. When the Trojans visited UF in 2007, Troy trailed 49-7 at halftime.

For the second consecutive game Jerrel Jernigan (Eufaula, Ala.) took a snap at quarterback. In his first play he optioned right before pitching to Shawn Southward (Florence, Ala.) for an eight-yard gain. A couple of snaps at QB was about all the junior had to offer against the Gators. Jernigan, who suffered a sprained shoulder in the season-opening loss at Bowling Green, failed to record a catch during the loss to Florida, halting a streak of 20 straight games with a reception. Jernigan had recorded a reception in every game he had played in since October 6, 2007, against FIU.

Troy has rushed for just 114 yards through two games this season. The Trojans rushed for more than 114 yards in all but four games last season.

WKU Hilltoppers

WKU opened the 2009 home season with a crowd of 20,568 Saturday at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.  That ranks as the second largest crowd in school history behind the 22,297 that watched the 2008 home opener against Murray State.

Hilltopper quarterback Brandon Smith rushed for a team and career-high 105 yards against South Florida on 21 carries.  Heading into the game, Smith had just 53 career rushing yards on 38 carries.

Sophomore kicker Casey Tinius was good on the first two kicks of his Hilltopper career - including knocking through a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter to open the game's scoring.  It was the longest made field goal by a Hilltopper kicker since Tanner Siewert was good from 48 yards last season at Kentucky.

Bobby Rainey went over 100 all purpose yards for the second straight game, tallying 166 yards against USF.  That included 56 rushing yards and 110 yards in kickoff returns.  The sophomore running back finished with 149 all-purpose yards in the season opener at Tennessee.

WKU will host a second straight game this Saturday when Central Arkansas visits Bowling Green for the first-ever meeting between the two schools.  The Bears are one of three first-time opponents on the Hilltoppers schedule in 2009.