Sun Belt Conference Football news and notes

Oct. 10

* UL-Lafayette 38, North Texas 34 (Sun Belt Network)

* FIU 37, WKU 20

Oct. 13  

* ULM 16, Arkansas State 10 (ESPN2)

Oct. 17

Mississippi State 27, Middle Tennessee 6 (ESPNU)

* Troy 42, FIU 33

* Louisiana-Lafayette 30, WKU 22

* FAU 44, North Texas 40 (Sun Belt Network)

Sun Belt Conference Upcoming Games

Oct. 24

* WKU at Middle Tennessee (Sun Belt Network) - 2:30 p.m.

* North Texas at Troy (Troy/ISP Network) - 2:30 p.m.

* Florida Atlantic at Louisiana-Lafayette - 4 p.m.

* FIU at Arkansas State - 6 p.m.

ULM at Kentucky - 6 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

Oct. 31

* Louisiana-Lafayette at FIU - 11 a.m.

* Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic - 3 p.m.

* WKU at North Texas (Sun Belt Network) - 3:15 p.m.

Arkansas State at Louisville - 3:30 p.m.

* ULM at Troy - 6 p.m.

Sun Belt Conference Team News & Notes

Arkansas State Red Wolves

ASU had scored on 13-of-14 trips into the red zone heading into Tuesday's game, but came away with points on just one-of-three chances against the Warhawks.

Corey Leonard threw his fifth TD pass of the season and 45th of his career against ULM, leaving him three shy of tying the school record for a career (48).

Brandon Thompkins recorded his third TD reception of the season and the sixth of his career vs. ULM.  He has now caught a TD pass in ASU's last three games  and has 17 receptions for 248 yards over that span as well.

Sophomore safety Kelcie McCray finished with a career-high nine tackles, including 2 TFL, and recorded his first career interception against ULM.

While ASU didn't post a single interception its first three games, it now has three over the last two games.

Ryan Wilbourn recorded both his longest punt (65 yards) and field goal (49 yards) of his career against ULM.

ASU takes a 1-1 home record into its Homecoming game against FIU Saturday at ASU Stadium.

Florida Atlantic Owls

FAU captured its first victory of the 2009 season, a Sun Belt Conference victory. The win gives FAU a perfect 6-0 all-time record against UNT and moves the Owls to 1-1 in league play.

Senior quarterback Rusty Smith led the offense but it was sophomore fullback Alfred Morris who ran for a career high 147 yards stole the show. Morris' longest run was 11 yards and he scored twice. His efforts allowed the Owls to control the clock and manage the game.

Senior receiver Chris Bonner also had a career evening. Bonner was credited with six receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown.  134 yards was a career high and his 51 yard reception set up FAU for sixth touchdown of the evening.

Smith was 21-for-40 on the night, tossed three touchdowns and ran for another.

FAU will next travel to Louisiana where they will face ULL.  FAU holds a 3-1 mark against the Cajuns. The only loss was in 2006 a 6-0 shutout at home.  The two teams have also squared off in an overtime game.

FIU Golden Panthers

FIU lost a hard fought game against Troy by the score of 42-33, Saturday night at FIU Stadium. The Panthers took a 10-7 lead with 13:05 left in the first half on a 41-yard field goal by senior kicker Dustin Rivest, which was set up by Tyler Clawson fumble recovery. All in all, three Panthers recovered the first fumbles of their careers on Saturday night. Senior linebacker Tyler Clawson recovered Troy's fumble on its own 24-yard line, which set up FIU's go-ahead field goal in the second quarter. Linebacker Aaron Davis' fumble recovery set up FIU's second field goal of the game, and sophomore defensive end James Jones completed the trio in the fourth quarter.

Despite the three fumble recoveries, FIU's defense wasn't able to contain the Troy offense, which racked up 565 yards. For FIU, Paul McCall completed 27 of 48 attempts for 257 yards and a pair of scores. McCall's performance came with a somewhat depleted receiving core after Greg Ellingson left in the first quarter and with T.Y. Hilton being limited by a knee injury. However, despite the injuries, Ellingson still managed to catch four balls for 58 yards and Hilton hauled in six passes for 44 yards.

Defensively, Scott Bryant once again led the way, picking up nine tackles. Bryant now has 263 career-stops, which ties him with the late Lance Preston for fourth place on FIU's all-time tackles list. He is now two tackles away from tying Nick Turnbull for third, and 36 from Keyonvis Bouie's all-time record of 299.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

The Cajuns meet Florida Atlantic for the fifth time in program history.  ULL is 0-2 vs. FAU at Cajun Field and just 1-3 overall.  The Owls have had a ton of FBS success in the State of Louisiana, holding a 5-0 record in games played in the Pelican State.

The Cajuns are 2-0 in Sun Belt play for the second time in school history and for the second straight season.  Saturday's game will mark the 63rd Homecoming for the Cajuns.  ULL met FAU on homecoming in 2007, falling in overtime by a final score of 39-32.  The Cajuns are 4-3 on homecoming under head coach Rickey Bustle, including last season's 49-20 win over Florida International.

Fullback Matt Desormeaux and wide receiver Javone Lawson each had their first career touchdown catch on their third career reception in the Cajuns game at WKU.

Quarterback Brad McGuire did not attempt a pass at WKU, but had 11 rushing attempts for 59 yards.  McGuire ran six times on third down, converting five times.  He also picked-up first downs on two other rushes, meaning seven of his 11 rushing attempts garnered a first down.

The Cajuns offense has done very well under pressure this season, scoring four times with less than 90 seconds left in either the second or fourth quarter.  ULL drove 80 yards in nine plays, scoring a TD with 1:27 left in the second quarter vs. Southern.  Against Kansas State, ULL drove 73 yards on 12 plays to score a TD with 0:05 left in the second quarter and then drove 37 yards on 10 plays to kick the game-winning field goal with 0:32 remaining in the game.  Versus North Texas, ULL drove 58 yards on eight plays to score the game-winning TD with 0:27 left in regulation.

ULM Warhawks

Trey Revell's pass to LaGregory Sapp during the Warhawks opening drive was the second longest touchdown catch of the season and third longest play of the season.

Nate Brown's interception in the second quarter was his first of the season and first of his career

Arkansas State's -9 yards in the first quarter were the lowest total yards by any Warhawk opponent in a quarter during the Weatherbie era

James Truxillo's interception in the second quarter was his second of the season and fourth of his career

Troy Evans two sacks with less two minutes in the fourth quarter pushed his career total to 3.5.

Frank Goodin's 1-yard rushing touchdown gives him nine running scores on the season and ties him for second place among active NCAA rushers.  Goodin's 97 yards rushing pushed his career total to 1,937 yards on the ground. He is now 393 yards shy of tying fourth place all-time in ULM history and 424 yards shy of tying 10th place in ULM single season rushing yards.

Cardia Jackson's 14 tackles gives him 317 in his career and moves him into third place in total tackles among active players in the NCAA.  Jackson's nine solo tackles gives him 189 career solo tackles and moves him into second place among active NCAA players in terms of solo tackles.

Cody Wells 67 yards passing was a career-high and his long pass of 39 yards was also a career-best. Wells five completions and nine attempts were also career-highs.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Saturday's announced attendance of 23,882 went down as the fifth largest in school history. Three of the top five attendance games have come under Rick Stockstill, including six of the top 10. The back-to-back game total of 51,987 fans marks the most in consecutive games in school history.

Alan Gendreau ran his streak to eight consecutive field goals made with his two field goals today against Mississippi State. The streak matches the longest in school history set by Gendreau in 2008 and Kelly Potter in 1984. Gendreau is now 8-for-8 on the season and 18 of 22 for his career. The 18 made field goals moves him into ninth place all-time surpassing Kenny Nolan (1971-72).

With 74 all-purpose yards today Mississippi State, senior Desmond Gee surpassed Kerry Wright for eighth place on the all-time list. Gee entered the game with 3,587 career all-purpose yards and ran that total to 3,661 with his effort today. Gee is now tracking Vince Hall for seventh place. Hall had 3,796 yards during his career (1981-84).

Walk-on freshman wide receiver Harold Turner saw his most action as a collegian against Mississippi State. The Decatur, Ga., native hauled in his first career receptions to finish with three catches for 45 yards.

North Texas Mean Green

Lance Dunbar reached the 100-yard plateau after just 10 carries and 7:41 of game clock. Last week's Sun Belt Player of the Week racked up 187 at Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 10, and tallied 238 yards on 25 carries against FAU.

Dunbar's 238 rushing yards are the most by a North Texas player since Jamario Thomas racked up 291 yards against Idaho on Nov. 13, 2004.

Darius Carey's 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring was the first touchdown of his career, and marked the first time since the season opener against Ball State that NT reached the endzone on its opening drive.

Carey also caught a third-quarter touchdown, marking the first time this season that a North Texas team threw for multiple touchdown passes.

Nathan Tune stepped in for the injured Riley Dodge at quarterback, and had a career day. Tune topped his previous career-highs of 16-of-23 for 126 yards at Alabama by tossing for 129 yards on 13-of-17 passing with one touchdown.

Jamaal Jackson's 69-yard touchdown catch from Riley Dodge was the longest offensive play of the season for North Texas. The pass was the longest by North Texas since Nov. 10, 2007, when Giovanni Vizza hit Sam Dibrell for 75 yards against Navy.

Troy Trojans

With the victory over FIU, the Trojans remain perfect all-time against the Golden Panthers. Troy now leads the series 6-0.

Troy improved to 15-9-1 all-time under Blakeney following an open week with the win over FIU.  The Trojans have now won five straight regular season games after an open weekend.

With the 42-33 victory over FIU, the Trojans improved to 55-1 all-time under Larry Blakeney when scoring at least 35 points.

Troy senior linebacker Boris Lee started his 40th consecutive game for the Trojans in the win over FIU. Lee was credited with seven tackles and a pass breakup in the win over FIU. With his seven tackles, Lee moved into the career top 10 at Troy with 315 career stops.

Troy improved to 21-3 vs. Sun Belt Conference foes over the last three-plus seasons with the victory over FIU.   The Trojans' .875 winning percentage in league games going back to 2006 ranks as the fourth best in the nation over that time, trailing only Boise State (24-1), BYU (25-2) and Ohio State (25-3).

Troy teams under Larry Blakeney improved to 25-9 all-time when the team has a player pass for at least 250 yards in a game. Senior Levi Brown hit that milestone for the ninth time in his 14 career starts and is 6-3 when he passes for at least 250 yards in a game.

QB Levi Brown continues to climb the career passing charts at Troy. With his performance against FIU, Brown moved up to sixth in career passing yards with 3,709. He also moved up with ninth in TD passes with 24.

WKU Hilltoppers

Sophomore running back Bobby Rainey had the first 100-yard rushing game of his career as he carried 19 times for 115 yards and a touchdown last week against Louisiana-Lafayette.  Rainey has picked up 99 yards in each of the last two game.

Kawaun Jakes had the first multi-touchdown passing game of his career, throwing for two scores against the Cajuns.  The first of those touchdowns was a 29-yard strike to backup tight end Rod Johnson on the opening drive of the game.  For Johnson - a junior converted full back - it was the first catch of his Hilltopper career.

Senior receiver Jake Gaebler caught two passes against ULL - including his first touchdown reception of the season.  That moved him alone into second place on the WKU career receptions list.

Senior punter Jeremy Moore averaged 41.6 yards per kick last week, and dropped two of his five punts inside ULL's 20-yard line.  He also tied a career-long with a 56-yard punt.

Senior linebacker Taurean Smith finished with 12 tackles last week, marking the third straight game he has made double-digit stops.  In the last three games, Smith has tallied 35 tackles - an average of 11.7 tackles per game.

Two of WKU's three scoring drives last week were under two minutes.  In fact, five of WKU's 14 scoring drives of the season have taken less than three minutes off the clock.

While WKU and Middle Tennessee meet for the third straight season on Saturday, this will be the first time since 1981 that the teams will play with a league victory on the line.  From 1952-81, the two teams battled annually as members of the Ohio Valley Conference.