Sun Belt Conference Football news and notes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sun Belt Conference Football news and notes

From the Sun Belt Conference

Recent Results

 

September 9

FIU 24, Louisville 17 - 6 p.m. (ESPN)

 

September 10

#17 Michigan State 44, Florida Atlantic 0 - 11 a.m. (ESPN2)

Houston 48, North Texas 23 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Georgia Tech 49, Middle Tennessee 21 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Navy 40, Western Kentucky 14 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Louisiana-Monroe 35, Grambling State 7 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Louisiana-Lafayette 20, Kent State 12 - 6 p.m.

Arkansas State 47, Memphis 3 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

 

Upcoming Games

 

September 17

Louisiana-Monroe at TCU - 1 p.m. (The Mtn.)

Arkansas State at Virginia Tech - 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

Central Florida at FIU - 5 p.m. (ESPN3)

Indiana State at Western Kentucky - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Nicholls State at Louisiana-Lafayette - 6 p.m. (Cox4)

North Texas at Alabama - 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

Troy at Arkansas - 6:30 p.m. (CSS)

 

All times Central (CT) and subject to change

* denotes Sun Belt Conference game

TV carrier in parenthesis

 

Sun Belt News and Notes

 

FIU Trumps Louisville Friday; ASU, ULL and ULM win Saturday

Behind an electrifying performance from Heisman hopeful T.Y. Hilton, the FIU football team beat Louisville 24-17 in front of a national audience on ESPN, Friday night in Louisville, Ky. Hilton racked up an FIU-record 201 receiving yards to lead FIU to its first-ever victory over a BCS automatic qualifying opponent. For his efforts, Hilton was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. The win put FIU's record at 2-0 for the first time in program-history.

 

FIU wasn't the only team in the Sun Belt with an impressive performance on the weekend.

 

Arkansas State dominated rival Memphis with a 47-3 win on Saturday. The Red Wolves piled up 611 yards of total offense, while allowing Mephis to gain only 169 yards of total offense.

 

New head coach Mark Hudspeth got his first career win for Louisiana-Lafayette as the Cajuns were able to hold off Kent State 20-12. The Cajuns forced four turnovers including Jemarlous Moten's fumble recovery with 1:47 remaining that allowed the Cajuns to run out the clock. Chris Tucker made two fumble recoveries of his own that led directly to 10 Cajuns points.

 

Louisiana-Monroe put in an impressive all around performance in defeating Grambling 35-7. The Warhawk rushing attack was the catalyst offensively versus Grambling, accounting for 249 yards on 47 carries. ULM registered nine tackles for loss, its most since 2008, in limiting Grambling State to only 144 yards of total offense. The Warhawks also sacked Tigers quarterback D.J. Williams six times.

 

Sun Belt Players of the Week (Selected by Media Panel)

 

Offensive Player of the Week

 

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., WR)

Playing in front of a national ESPN audience, Hilton showed the world why he's considered one of the most dangerous players in the country as he torched the Louisville Cardinals for an FIU-record 201 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. For his efforts, T.Y. was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. After a quiet first quarter, Hilton struck seemingly out of nowhere when he caught a pass on a slant route and darted past the entire Cardinal defense for a 74-yard touchdown. On FIU's next possession, with the Panthers facing third-and-long, Hilton split the Louisville defense and caught a pass over the middle before out-running both safeties into the endzone for an 83-yard score. The two touchdowns are the third and fourth longest receiving scores in FIU history. At the end of the day, despite Louisville head coach Charlie Strong emphasizing the importance of stopping Hilton, FIU's Heisman hopeful had 268 all-purpose yards, giving him 551 through two contests.

 

Defensive Player of the Week

 

Winston Fraser (FIU, R-Jr., LB)

Against Louisville, Winston Fraser had eight tackles, six of them unassisted. More importantly, however, was a play he made in the passing game as he gave FIU an early 7-0 lead with a 71-yard interception return for touchdown in the first quarter. The 71-yard return is tied for the fourth-longest in FIU history.

 

Special Teams Player of the Week

 

Brelan Chancellor (North Texas, So., KR)

Chancellor broke two school records against Houston, setting the mark for all-purpose yardage and kickoff return yards. Chancellor had 286 yards on nine kickoff returns which is the most return yards by any player in NCAA FBS this season. That number also broke his previous school record of 198 which he set last season. Chancellor also broke the school record for all-purpose yards with 332, breaking the record of 327 by Casey Fitzgerald in 2007. That number is also the best by any player in the NCAA this year and vaulted him into the top spot for all-purpose yardage among FBS players after two weeks. Chancellor averaged 27.7 yards every time he touched the ball against Houston – three catches for 49 yards and nine returns for 286 yards.

 

T.Y. Hilton Named Walter Camp National Payer of the Week

FIU senior wide receiver and all-purpose threat T.Y. Hilton was named The Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week for games ending Sept. 10. Hilton recorded a school-record 201 receiving yards and added two touchdown receptions (74 and 83 yards) as the Panthers defeated Louisville, 24-17. Hilton had seven receptions and finished with 268 all-purpose yards.

 

North Texas, Florida Atlantic Debut New Stadiums

North Texas opened its brand new, state-of-the-art art football stadium on September 10th against Houston. Among the features of the new stadium are bowl seating close to the field with maximum sight lines, 21 luxury suites tailor-made for comfort and entertainment and a club level with food and beverage service and chair-back seating.

 

Due to open on October 15, FAU Stadium is the final phase of the university's Innovation Village, a multi-purpose project which will include four additional apartment-style residence halls and 130,000 square feet of retail shopping space. Two buildings from the Innovation Village, the FAU Alumni Center and the new Recreation and Wellness Center, have recently opened.

 

 

Arkansas State News and Notes

Arkansas State's 611 yards of total offense against Memphis was the seventh-highest in school history and the most since ASU put up 601 yards against Lamar in 1984.

 

ASU's 169 yards allowed in the game was the fewest since 2004. The ASU defense did not allow Memphis inside the 20 yard line the entire game and didn't allow the Tigers to cross midfield in the second half. 10 players recorded tackles behind the line of scrimmage for ASU, with five players recording sacks.

 

Quarterbacks Ryan Aplin and Andre Smith combined to complete 29-of-33 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers. Aplin completed 19-of-21 passes for a 90.5% completion rate, which ranks second all-time at ASU, and Smith came into the game in the second half and completed 10-of-12 for 83.3%, which ranks as fifth-best in ASU history.

 

The crowd of 29,872 was the second largest crowd in ASU Stadium history.

 

Ryan Aplin threw his 25th, 26th and 27th touchdown passes of his career to move him into fourth place on the all-time ASU touchdown pass list. Aplin's 71-yard touchdown pass to Josh Jarboe was the longest pass of Aplin's career. It is the longest since 2007 when David Johnson had an 84-yard reception from Corey Leonard.

 

Josh Jarboe's 162 yards receiving ranks 10th all-time in school history for a single game. The last time an ASU receiver had more than 150 yards occurred in in 2000 when Robert Kilow gained 152 yards.

 

Frankie Jackson surpassed 100 yards rushing for the first time in his career. The last time an ASU running back had over 100 yards was in 2010 when Derek Lawson surpassed the mark against Middle Tennessee.

 

Bobby Zalud's 56-yard field tied for the third longest field goal in school history. Joe Duren kicked a 56-yard field goal against McNeese State in 1974.

 

Florida Atlantic News and Notes

Florida Atlantic traveled to East Lansing, MI where they faced the Spartans for the third time in four years, 2008, 2010 in Detroit, and 2011. The game also marked the second game of the young 2010 season that FAU faced a top-25 opponent.

 

FAU fell to MSU 44-0 but saw two seniors turn in a yeoman's effort. Sixth-year veteran Willie Floyd tallied five kick returns for 130 yards including a career long 53 yards. Fellow senior and special teams member Mickey Groody recorded a career high nine punts for a total of 363 yards and averaged 40.3 yards per punt.

 

Defensively, the Owls were led by David Hinds who tallied 13 tackles, including one for a loss and Marcus Bartels who recorded 12. Bartels is just three shy of becoming the program's all-time tackles leader among defensive backs. Newcomer and true freshman Andrea Kirk drew his first start at linebacker.

 

Off the field, the Athletics Department recently received $700,000 in naming gifts and corporate sponsorshps from Delray Acura and Delray Hyundai for the new on-campus stadium. The sponsorship agreement includes stadium-wide advertising, while the gift agreement allows the dealerships to have naming rights to the two club levels, which will be known as the Delray Acura Premier Club and the Delray Hyundai Priority Club.

 

FAU will take advantage of an off week and will use the time to prepare for its third opponent, Auburn, the defending National Champions, and the third opponent in as many games that the team was ranked in the top-25.

 

FIU News and Notes

Behind an electrifying performance from Heisman hopeful T.Y. Hilton, the FIU football team beat Louisville 24-17 in front of a national audience on ESPN, Friday night in Louisville, Ky. Hilton racked up an FIU-record 201 receiving yards to lead FIU to its first-ever victory over a BCS automatic qualifying opponent. For his efforts, T.Y. was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. The win put FIU's record at 2-0 for the first time in program-history.

 

FIU senior quarterback Wesley Carroll completed 14-of-21 passes for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Carrol has now completed 20-of-43 passes (69.8 %) for 441 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

 

Defensively, FIU was led by Jonathan Cyprien's 11 tackles, and Winston Fraser's eight to go along with an interception that he returned for a score. On the season, Fraser has a team-best 19 tackles, 14 of them unassisted.

 

Playing in front of a national ESPN audience, Hilton showed the world why he's considered one of the most dangerous players in the country as he torched the Louisville Cardinals for an FIU-record 201 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.

 

After a quiet first quarter, Hilton struck seemingly out of nowhere when he caught a pass on a slant route and darted past the entire Cardinal defense for a 74-yard touchdown. On FIU's next possession, with the Panthers facing third-and-long, Hilton split the Louisville defense and caught a pass over the middle before out-running both safeties into the endzone for an 83-yard score. The two touchdowns are the third and fourth longest receiving scores in FIU history.

 

At the end of the day, despite Louisville head coach Charlie Strong emphasizing the importance of stopping Hilton, FIU's Heisman hopeful had 268 all-purpose yards, giving him 551 through two contests.

 

Louisiana-Lafayette News and Notes

The Cajuns return home this week to host the first game of the Coach Hudspeth era at Cajun Field against Nicholls State. The Cajuns will play in front of the largest season ticket base in school history. The Cajuns and Colonels last met on Sept. 1, 2001, a 20-0 Cajuns victory.

 

The Cajuns 20-12 victory at Kent State is the first non-conference road win since a 31-28 upset at Houston on Oct. 7, 2006. It also marks the first win for new head coach Mark Hudspeth.

 

Lionel Stokes put the Cajuns on the board at Kent State with a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown. It marks the Cajuns third "pick six" in the last two games. The Cajuns already have 162 yards on four interception returns this season. Last year, the team had 80 interception return yards on 14 picks. In 2009, the team had 183 interception return yards via 16 interceptions.

 

Jemarlous Moten led the team with nine total tackles and had a big fumble recovery with 1:47 remaining that allowed the Cajuns to run out the clock. Chris Tucker made two fumble recoveries that led directly to 10 Cajuns points. He was part of a defense that held Kent State to 72 yards rushing, 114 yards passing and forced four turnovers. The longest drive by KSU was only 44 yards. The Golden Flashes were held to negative yardage on five different possessions and compiled only three drives of more than 20 yards. KSU had just 10 first downs, of which two were awarded via penalty.

 

True freshman running back Qyen Griffin has scored a rushing touchdown in each of his first two games. He's led the Cajuns in rushing in each game this season.

 

Despite a downpour at Kent State, kicker Brett Baer was 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points. He also punted eight times for a 43.5 yard average with three punts inside the 20-yard line. His first of two 55-yard punts pinned Kent State at their four-yard line. The Cajuns forced a fumble on the next play that led to a touchdown. His second 55-yard punt put KSU at their 18-yard line. The Cajuns again forced a fumble on the ensuing drive which turned into three more points. Baer is now 4-for-4 on field goals and 6-for-6 on extra points this season and leads the SBC in scoring.

 

Louisiana-Monroe News and Notes

Defensive end Troy Evans led all ULM defenders with six tackles against Grambling, including five for loss, and 2.0 sacks. The five stops behind the line of scrimmage were 0.5 TFL off Steve Foley's school record of 5.5 in a single game set in 1997.

 

The Warhawk rushing attack was the catalyst offensively versus Grambling, accounting for 249 yards on 47 carries. Centarius Donald enjoyed a breakout performance on the ground, gaining a career-best 144 yards on only 12 carries, the first ULM 100-yard runner since Frank Goodin gained 108 yards against UL-Lafayette in 2008. Jyruss Edwards added 90 yards on 22 attempts to bookend the balanced rushing effort.

 

Darius Prelow extended his team-leading (offense & defense) starting streak to 16 games. Prelow's interception in the second quarter was his second of the season and fourth of his career.

 

ULM's blocked punt in the first quarter was the first time the Warhawks had blocked a punt since Nov. 8, 2008, vs. Middle Tennessee.

 

ULM has forced a turnover in 23-of-26 games under defensive coordinator Troy Reffett. ULM has an interception in 19-of-26 games and in 13 of the past 15 games.

 

Kolton Browning's 42-yard pass to Tavarese Maye was the longest play of the season for ULM. Browning moved into ninth place on the ULM career pass attempts list with 412.

 

The nine tackles for loss by the ULM defense were the most in the Troy Reffett era as defensive coordinator. ULM finished the game with five sacks -- tied for the most in the ULM Sun Belt era.

 

The Warhawks rank 7th in the NCAA in sacks, 15th in rush defense and 23rd in total defense; Darius Prelow is 3rd in interceptions and Troy Evans is 6th in TFL.

 

Middle Tennessee News and Notes

The announced crowd of 30,502 is a new Floyd Stadium record, breaking the previous mark of 28,105 set against Memphis on Sept. 12, 2009. The top three crowds in Blue Raider history have now occurred under Head Coach Rick Stockstill.

 

Senior D.D. Kyles scored his first touchdown of 2011 and the eighth rushing of his career when he bowled in from 15 yards out in the second quarter. Kyles' 15-yard run was the longest of the season.

 

KR Eric Russell became just the sixth player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in career kickoff return yards with 93 yards in the loss to Georgia Tech. Russell currently ranks sixth on the all-time list and is chasing fifth place Orlando Crenshaw (1,042), finishing the game 32 yards shy of catching him.

 

WR Andrew Banks completed his second career pass when he connected with Benny Cunningham on a 27-yard strike in the fourth quarter. Banks is now 2-for-3 all-time in the passing department for 30 yards. His previous completion came during the 2009 season against Clemson, also from the ACC.

 

Junior DE Omar McLendon not only led all players with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops, he also smashed his previous career-best effort. His 10 tackles topped his previous best of four, set in the last two season openers against the Big Ten's Minnesota in 2010 and at Purdue last week. He previously had a high of three solo tackles, recorded against the Boilermakers.

 

North Texas News and Notes

North Texas opened its new $78 million venue, Apogee Stadium, against the Houston Cougars. The Mean Green had played in Fouts Field since 1952.

 

North Texas wide receiver Brelan Chancellor leads the nation in all-purpose yards after back-to-back weeks of outstanding performances. Chancellor had 262 all-purpose yards in the season opener against FIU and then went a step further with 332 yards against Houston. His performance against the Cougars was a school record and also the best single-game all-purpose performance in the NCAA this year. Of his 332 yards, 286 came on kickoff returns, which was also a school record. Chancellor is averaging 24.8 yards every time he touches the ball this through two games with six receptions for 104 yards and 17 kickoff returns for 483 yards.

 

Dating back to last season, Brelan Chancellor has now had a kick return of 47 yards or longer in four straight games. He returned two kicks for touchdowns in 2010, including a 93 yarder.

 

Lance Dunbar's fourth quarter touchdown against Houston ties the senior with Patrick Cobbs (2001-05) for the most career touchdowns in school history at 38.

 

The attendance of 28,075 for the Houston game ranks as the third-largest crowd to ever see a North Texas on-campus home game. It was the largest crowd since the Mean Green set the attendance record of 29,437 with a 52-14 win over Baylor in 2003.

 

Troy News and Notes

Shawn Southward scored his 20th career rushing touchdown in the first quarter. The TD tied him for sixth on the Troy career list with current Trojans defensive coordinator Jeremy Rowell. Two players are tied for fourth in the career list, one ahead of Southward – Arrid Gregory and DuJuan Harris. Southward finished the game with 43 yards rushing, moving him into the career top 20 at Troy for rushing yards. He now has 1,268 career rushing yards and sits 20th on the Trojan career rushing list.

 

Senior Barry Valcin made a triumphant return to the field for Troy by recording his second career interception. Valcin missed the entire 2010 season after suffering an ankle injury two days prior to the season-opener. His 50-yard return set up a Troy field goal.

 

Senior Michael Taylor missed his first PAT attempt of the year, hitting the right upright. Taylor came into the season having hit 93-of-97 PAT kicks in his career.

 

Junior D.J. Taylor ended the third quarter with a career-best 56-yard run. His previous best rush was 35 yards at Florida Atlantic in 2010.

 

The Trojans gave up 30 points in the second half, the most they have surrendered in the closing half since LSU scored 37 on November 15, 2008. Troy gave up 31 in the second half and overtime to Central Michigan at the 2010 GMAC Bowl.

 

After holding Clemson without a conversion on third down in the first half (0-8), the Tigers came back converting five of eight third down chances in the second half.

 

WKU News and Notes

WKU's 2011 home opener was spoiled as Navy racked up 510 yards of total offense in a 40-14 victory Saturday at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

 

Senior Bobby Rainey extended his streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games to seven as he posted a game-high 131 yards on 21 carries against the Midshipmen. He also scored his first two touchdowns of the year – the eighth two-TD game of his career. Rainey is just one game shy of tying the school record for consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards.

 

The Hilltopper defense has three player record double-digit tackles. Ben Duvall and Xavius Boyd set career highs with 14 and 10 stops, respectively. Andrew Jackson also had 10 tackles after finishing with 12 in the season opener against Kentucky. It was the first time WKU has seen three players register 10 or more tackles in the same game since the Louisiana-Lafayette game in 2009.

 

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Doughty made his first career appearance in the third quarter of Saturday's game, leading the Toppers to a touchdown on his first drive. The Davie, Fla., native completed five of nine passes for 70 yards on the drive, completing a 13-yard pass on fourth down late in the drive. Doughty finished the game 12-for-21 passing for 102 yards.

 

Coming in 2012 - South Alabama News and Notes

A week after turning the ball over four times in the first half, USA did not commit a miscue in Saturday's 30-8 victory over Lamar. It was the first time since defeating Kentucky Wesleyan on Oct. 2 a year ago that the Jaguars did not lose the ball, and the fourth occasion in the program's first 19 contests that the offense has played turnover-free football. … The Jaguars allowed LU quarterbacks to complete just 7-of-20 (35 percent) of their pass attempts for 123 yards last weekend, marking the third straight contest that they have held opposing signal callers below a 50 percent completion rate and 125 passing yards. … USA scored on its first eight trips to the red zone — reaching the end zone seven times — this season after posting four touchdowns and a 22-yard Jordan Means field goal through the first three minutes of the final quarter last time out; the Jags' final possession reached the LU-20 before taking a knee on the last snap of the contest. … Sophomore ILB Enrique Williams was one of three Jags to post a team-high-tying five stops in the win over LU, the third time in the last four games that he has paced the unit in the category. Two of those were for a loss — the first time he has recorded tackles behind the line in back-to-back outings since Oct. 9 and 16 last season — while he also recovered a fumble on the USA-2 for the only turnover in the game. … Demetre Baker carried the ball 13 times for a game-high 82 yards against the Cardinals to lead the squad on the ground in his second career contest. In addition to contributing 41 yards on USA's first scoring drive, the redshirt freshman scored on an 11-yard run with two minutes to go in the opening half to cap a 20-point second quarter for the Jaguars. … WR Corey Waldon caught his first career touchdown pass — in his 17th appearance over the last two-plus seasons — on a 10-yard completion midway through the second quarter, helping the Jaguars double their advantage at the time after the two teams played a scoreless first quarter. The sophomore's other catch, which covered 37 yards on USA's next possession and led to another score, gave him a team-best 47 on the day; it was his first time leading the team in the category.

 

 

 

 

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