Sun Belt Conference news and notes

Oct. 24

* Middle Tennessee 62, WKU 24 (Sun Belt Network)

* Troy 50, North Texas 26 (Troy/ISP Network)

* Florida Atlantic 51, Louisiana-Lafayette 29

* Arkansas State 27, FIU 10

Kentucky 36, ULM 13 (Fox Sports Net)

Sun Belt Conference Upcoming Games

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 - 2:30 p.m.

* ULM at Troy - 6 p.m.

Sun Belt Conference Team News & Notes

Arkansas State Red Wolves

ASU won its seventh consecutive Homecoming game and improved to 7-1 under head coach Steve Roberts in Homecoming games.  ASU improved to 28-9 at ASU Stadium under Roberts, including a 19-4 record over the last five seasons.  ASU improved to 19-4 under Roberts when holding its opponent to 17 points or less.  ASU won its 28th consecutive game when holding an opponent to 10 points or less.

Quarterback Corey  Leonard rushed for a career-high 120 yards, including his longest rush of the season of 23 yards.  It was his first career 100-yard rushing game.  Leonard threw his sixth touchdown pass of the season and 46th of his career, leaving him two shy of tying the school record for a career.

Running back Reggie Arnold rushed for 104 yards, marking the second time this season and 16th time of his career he's rushed for over 100 yards in a game.  Arnold's 16 100-yard rushing games are the 2nd most in school history and two short of the school record.

Linebacker Demario Davis recorded the first two sacks of his career, which is also the most by an ASU player this year during a game.  Davis and junior safety M.D. Jennings both finished with a game-high eight tackles, marking the second straight game and third game overall Davis has tied or led ASU in tackles.

ASU held FIU to a season-low 10 points, which is also the fewest amount of points given up by the Red Wolves against an FBS opponent since holding North Texas to 10 points during the 2006 season

ASU faces Louisville in its final non-conference game of the regular season, taking a 1-2 non-conference record and 0-3 road record into the game.  The game will be the first ever meeting between ASU and Louisville, which will be just the second Big East opponent the Red Wolves have ever played.

Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic picked up its second win in as many weeks with a 51-29 victory over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Saturday.

The Owls opened the game with a five play 85 yard drive in less than a minute and a half to set the tone of the game, played before 21,135 ULL fans on homecoming.

The first quarter of the game ended with the two teams knotted at 14. FAU would score twice in the second quarter and scored on every drive of the second half.

The Owls had a career day with 624 total yard of offense, were plus one in turnovers, were 9 of -14 in third down conversions and scored four of five time in the red zone.

Individually, quarterback Rusty Smith completed 60 percent of his passes including tossing four touchdowns. Smith hit eight receivers , no one more than four times, for 359 yards.

Alfred Morris continued to showcase his skills with 183 yards with 24 carries and two scores. His longest run was for 47 yards.

Chris Bonner celebrated his 23 birthday with two catches for 134 yards and two TDs.   Ed Alexander had eight including one for a loss of two and he had a big tackle follow a catch in the open field.

Defensively, FAU's Edward Bradwell led all with 10 tackles while Michael Lockley added nine tackles.

FIU Golden Panthers

The FIU football team (1-6; 1-3 SBC) gave Arkansas State (2-4; 1-2 SBC) all it could handle, and had the ball in the fourth quarter down by seven with a chance to tie the game. However, a fumble deep in FIU territory allowed ASU to score a quick touchdown that made the score 24-10 as the Red Wolves eventually pulled away for a 27-10 victory.

FIU's defense played a bend but don't break game, keeping the Panthers in the game despite giving up 433 total yards. However, FIU's offense could never get in a rhythm as they totaled just 223 yards.

Paul McCall finished the game 17-31 passing for 173 yards. Ty Frierson caught three passes for 48 yards to lead all FIU receivers. On defense, Armond Willis made six tackles and had two sacks. Senior safety Jeremiah Weatherspoon had one of his best games this year, leading all FIU tacklers with five solo stops & seven total tackles. He also recovered a fumble deep in FIU territory.

With 7 tackles against ASU, Scott Bryant now has 270 for his career, placing him third on FIU's all-time tackles list. He passed Nick Turnbull who had 265.

Despite being limited to one of his lowest offensive outputs of the season, T.Y. Hilton extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 18. He has caught at least one pass in every game of his career except his collegiate debut.

Up next for the Panthers is a home meeting with the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on Halloween at noon. Last year ULL beat FIU 49-20 in Lafayette.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

The Cajuns begin a three-game road trip starting with FIU on Halloween.  ULL is 6-0 all-time versus the Golden Panthers.  Trips at Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee follow before the team returns home to finish the season vs. La.-Monroe and Troy.  Cajun Field saw 21,135 for homecoming last Saturday, increasing the four-game total this season to 91,064 (22,766 avg.) - the highest total attendance in the Sun Belt so far this season.

The Cajuns blocked a pair of kicks vs. FAU (one field goal and one extra point) to increase their total under head coach Rickey Bustle to 40 since 2002.  ULL has feasted on Owls kicking, blocking seven kicks (four FG, three PAT) since 2005.

Dwight Bentley scored on a defensive extra point, just the second such play in school history.  Ironically, a player wearing the same jersey number (#5) scored a defensive PAT at UAB in 2000 - former Cajuns great and current Chicago Bears defensive back Charles Tillman.

Redshirt freshman Yobes Walker ran for 105 yards on 21 carries in his first career start.  Walker became the 12th Cajuns freshman (true or redshirt) to rush for 100 yards in a game.

Brad McGuire scored three rushing touchdowns (on seven carries) - the first three rushing touchdown game by a player not named Fenroy since Chester Johnson scored three vs. Idaho (10/25/03).

Marlin Miller led the team with seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, the first 100-yard receiving game of his career and first by a Cajuns wide receiver since Jason Chery had 123 yards on three catches at North Texas (10/11/08).

ULM Warhawks

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Wells made his first career start and set new career-highs in numerous passing categories including completions (21), attempts (44) and yards (267). Wells also threw his second touchdown pass of the season.   Wells finished the contest 10-of-14 on third downs for 141 yards. Nine of Wells' 10 third-down completions resulted in first downs.

Senior linebacker Cardia Jackson recorded 15 total tackles in the contest, giving him a team-best 67 on the season. Jackson now also has 332 total tackles in his career, moving him into eighth in ULM history and third in Sun Belt history.

ULM recorded two pass break ups in the contest, giving the Warhawks 36 on the season. ULM entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in pass break ups (34).

ULM attempted a season-high 46 passes, the Warhawks previous season-high was 36 against FIU.

Sophomore defensive back Nate Brown intercepted a pass in the first quarter. It is the second-straight contest in which Brown has recorded an interception. Brown has two career interceptions.

Senior wide receiver Darrell McNeal recorded one catch for 18 yards. McNeal has recorded at least one reception in 29 consecutive games.

Junior running back Frank Goodin's third quarter rushing touchdown was his 19th career rushing touchdown, tying him for fourth all-time in ULM history with Joe Profit (1967-70).  The touchdown run was also Goodin's ninth of the season, putting him alone in fifth-place in ULM history in single-season rushing touchdowns. Goodin entered the game ranked fourth in the country in rushing touchdowns this season.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Dwight Dasher, who struggled in his previous two games, was back to his old tricks in the win over WKU. The junior accounted for 421 (5th most in school history) of Middle Tennessee's 646 yards of total offense while adding three touchdown passes and a touchdown run. Dasher entered the game ranked 10th nationally in total offense and first in the Sun Belt Conference. For the year, Dasher now has 2,174 yards of total offense and with his effort against WKU he surpassed Clint Marks, Billy Walker and Andrico Hines on the single-season list to rank eighth.

Sophomore PK Alan Gendreau ran his consecutive made field goal streak to nine to establish a new school record when he nailed a 38-yarder in the first quarter against WKU. Gendreau broke the previous mark set by himself last year and again this year and by Kelly Potter in 1984. His first quarter field goal put his career point total at 102 to surpass M.A. Robinson for 10th place on the Blue Raiders' all-time points scored by kickers list. He needs seven more points to take over eighth from Dick Martin who had 117 points from 1985 to 1986.

Middle Tennessee churned out 646 yards of offense and 62 points in the win over WKU. The yardage total went down as the most under Rick Stockstill, breaking the previous best mark of 555 yards set against Louisville in 2007. The 62 points also went down as the most ever by a Rick Stockstill coached team and the most by the Blue Raiders since they put up 70 in a win over Idaho on Oct. 6, 2001. The 646 yards rank third on the program's all-time list and is the second most Middle Tennessee has put up in a Sun Belt Conference game, trailing only that Idaho game when the Blue Raiders gained 685 yards.

Middle Tennessee's defense has been known for its disruptive play under Manny Diaz and it was on full display against WKU. The defense accounted for 12 tackles for loss, five sacks and gave up just 250 yards with most of that coming in the second half.

North Texas Mean Green

Junior quarterback Nathan Tune started the second game of his career, replacing injured starter Riley Dodge.  Tune earned his first career start earlier this season against No. 2 Alabama.

The 17-0 deficit for North Texas in the first quarter was the most points the Mean Green has been down in the first quarter this year.  The Mean Green was down 14-0 at Alabama after one period.

Sophomore running back Lance Dunbar recorded his 11th rushing touchdown of the year on a 3-yard run in the second quarter.  With that score Dunbar now has 11 of the team's 15 rushing touchdowns.

Tune broke his career-best passing day in the first half when he had 152 yards passing.  His previous high was last week when he had 129 yards in the loss to Florida Atlantic.

North Texas gave up six plays of 20 yards or more in the first half, including five passing plays of 20 yards or more.

Jamaal Jackson had a 53-yard kickoff return in the first half which was the second-longest by a Mean Green player this year.

Tune threw his second interception of the season when he was picked off in the second quarter.  He hadn't thrown an interception since his third attempt of the year in the second game of the season against Ohio.

Troy Trojans

With the victory over North Texas, the Trojans improved to 6-1 all-time against the Mean Green and to 25-8-1 against all teams from Texas. Troy has won five straight against UNT and is 10-1 this decade against teams from Texas.

Trojans coach Larry Blakeney improved to 55-17-1 in his career during the month of October, a .753 winning percentage for the month. Blakeney also improved his career mark in homecoming games to 17-1-1 with his 12th consecutive homecoming victory.  In his 19 seasons at Troy, Blakeney is 81-12-1 at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium, an .862 winning percentage.

With the 50-26 victory over UNT, the Trojans improved to 56-1 all-time under Larry Blakeney when scoring at least 35 points.

Troy improved to 22-3 vs. Sun Belt Conference foes over the last three-plus seasons with the victory over North Texas. The Trojans' .880 winning percentage in league games going back to 2006 ranks as the fourth best in the nation over that time, trailing only Boise State (25-1), BYU (25-3) and Ohio State (26-3).

Troy teams under Larry Blakeney improved to 26-9 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 10th time in his 15 career starts and is 7-3 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 UNT, Brown moved up to fourth in career passing yards with 4,278. He also moved into a tie for seventh in TD passes with 25.

WKU Hilltoppers

Jake Gaebler caught finished with a season high in catches with six and receiving yards with 100 Saturday at Middle Tenneseee.  He also caught a pair of touchdowns - the first multi-TD game of his Hilltopper career.

Gaebler is now just 10 catches away from tying Curtis Hamilton's school record of 149.

Despite the loss, the Hilltopper scored a season-high 24 points against the Blue Raiders, racking up 250 yards of offense.

True freshman Kareem Peterson led the Hilltoppers in tackles on Saturday, posting 11.  It was the fourth straight game that a WKU defender has posted 10 or more stops.

Punter Jeremy Moore continued his impressive season as he averaged 42.1 yards per kick on his eight punts.  That included tying a career-long with a 56 yard punt.