From the Sun Belt Conference
Troy at Navy - 2:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
* Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana-Lafayette - 2:30 p.m. (Sun Belt Network)
* FIU at Western Kentucky - 3 p.m.
* Arkansas State at Florida Atlantic - 3 p.m.
Middle Tennessee at Tennessee - 6 p.m.
All times Central (CT) and subject to change; * denotes Sun Belt Conference game; TV carrier in parenthesis
* FIU 23, Troy 20 (OT) - 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
* Western Kentucky 31, Louisiana-Monroe 28 (OT) - 2:30 p.m.
* Arkansas State 37, North Texas 14 - 6 p.m.
* Louisiana-Lafayette 45, Middle Tennessee 20 - 6:30 p.m. (Sun Belt Network)
Sun Belt News and Notes
ASU Remains Perfect in SBC Play; Cajuns now 7-2
With its win over North Texas Arkansas State advanced to 4-0 in Sun Belt Conference play and notched its sixth total win of the season.
The Red Wolves are now bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 and for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. This is the first time that ASU has been bowl eligible after its first games and the six wins matches their most ever as an FBS member (1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008).
Backed by a 45-20 win over Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Lafayette advanced to 7-2 on the season. With the win, the Cajuns have won seven games on the year, the most since 1993 when ULL had eight wins in Jake Delhomme's first season at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Western Kentucky has now won four consecutive games after defeating Louisiana-Monroe– the first four-game winning streak by a WKU squad since 2005. They also reached the .500 mark with the victory at ULM. Hilltopper running back Bobby Rainey reached 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season with his 104-yard effort at ULM. Rainey now has 1,014 yards this season – an average of 126.8 yards per game.
Sun Belt Players of the Week (Selected by Media Panel)
Offensive Player of the Week
Alonzo Harris (Louisiana-Lafayette, Fr., RB)
Harris helped guide the Ragin' Cajuns offense to a season-best 45 points in the win over Middle Tennessee rushing for a career-best 189 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Harris' 189 yards is the third most by a freshman running back in school history, and was two yards more than the highest team game-high prior to Saturday night (187 at FIU). Harris is the first Cajuns running back to post a 100-yard game since 2009 after tallying 140 yards by halftime. His first touchdown, which came on a four-yard run in the second half, was the score the broke the Blue Raiders back as it gave the Cajuns a 21-0 lead going into the half.
Defensive Player of the Week
Melvin White (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DB)
White posted his first multi-takeaway contest of the season and had seven tackles, all solo, in the Cajuns 45-20 win at Middle Tennessee. White helped spark the offense early as he came up with a big interception in the first quarter. After an Aaron Spikes fumble gave Middle Tennessee great field position on the ULL 38, White picked off Kilgore on the very next play at the four yard line to keep the game scoreless. The Cajuns then scored on the ensuing drive to take the lead 7-0. Later in the first half, with the game still hanging in the balance, White posted his first fumble recovery of the season. With the Blue Raiders driving deep in Cajuns territory and the score 14-0, White scooped up a Tavarres Jefferson fumble at the ULL nine yard line to end the threat.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Jack Griffin (FIU, Jr., K)
Jack Griffin tied a career-best with three field goals against the Troy Trojans, propelling FIU to a 23-20 overtime victory. Already with a 32-yard field goal under his belt, Griffin kicked a 20-yarder that tied the score for the Panthers with 3:31 to go in regulation. Griffin then gave FIU the victory with a 22-yard field goal in overtime. For the season, Griffin has 15 field goals, which is just two behind his own FIU single-season record.
Sun Belt in the BCS
The Sun Belt Conference is a BCS Conference. In fact, the Sun Belt Conference is one of just 11 BCS Conferences. The Sun Belt Conference champion will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if that team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings or if that team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the of BCS bowls. In the first 10 years of the BCS arrangement, more than $100 million was distributed to conferences that do not have an annual automatic berth to one of the BCS bowls. Nine percent of the net revenues from the BCS arrangement is guaranteed in aggregate to Conference USA, the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and Western Athletic Conferences for their participation in the BCS arrangement. When a team from one of those five conferences plays in BCS bowl game, those conferences receive an additional nine percent of net revenues. When more than one team from those conferences play in a BCS bowl game, those conferences will receive an additional $4.5 million for each additional team.
Sun Belt Football Membership
The Sun Belt Conference is currently comprised of nine football playing members – Arkansas State (founding football member in 2001), Florida Atlantic (joined league as football member in 2005), FIU (joined league as football member in 2005), Louisiana-Lafayette (founding football member in 2001), Louisiana-Monroe (founding football member in 2001), Middle Tennessee (founding football member in 2001), North Texas (founding football member in 2001), Troy (joined league as football member in 2004) and Western Kentucky University (joined league as football member in 2009). The league will expand to 10 football playing members when South Alabama enters in 2012.
Sun Belt Conference Bowl Partners
The Sun Belt Conference is currently in the second year of four year partnerships with the GoDaddy.com Bowl and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Sun Belt teams will represent the league in the games following the 2011, 2012 and 2013 regular seasons.
Since the 2005 football season – the first season following major college football realignment – the Sun Belt Conference ranks fifth out of the 11 FBS conferences in postseason bowl game winning percentage. In fact, the Sun Belt Conference ranks ahead of noted "Big Six" leagues – the Big 12, ACC and the Big Ten. Furthermore, the Sun Belt Conference outpaces its non-automatic qualifying BCS partners in the WAC, Conference USA and the MAC.
Sun Belt Conference Bowl Appearances Since 2005 (6-5 Record)
2005 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Southern Miss 31, Arkansas State 19
2006 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Troy 41, Rice 17
2006 Motor City Bowl – Central Michigan 31, Middle Tennessee 14
2007 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Florida Atlantic 44, Memphis 17
2008 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Southern Miss 30, Troy 27 (OT)
2008 Motor City Bowl – Florida Atlantic 24, Central Michigan 21
2009 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Middle Tennessee 42, Southern Miss 32
2009 GMAC Bowl - Central Michigan 44, Troy 41 (OT)
2010 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Troy 48, Ohio 21
2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - FIU 34, Toledo 32
2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl - Miami (Ohio) 35, Middle Tennesee 21
Dunbar, Rainey Featured in USA Today
The Sun Belt Conference's two most noted running backs, who also happened to be among the national rushing leaders in 2010, were featured in USA Today during the 2011 offseason. Will comparing the two running backs in his August 16 article, Greg Rosentien wrote "Dunbar and Rainey both believe they are primed for big senior seasons. But no matter how the two running backs fare this year, one thing is certain: It'll be fun to watch."
Schnellenberger to Retire at Seasons End
Florida Atlantic University's Head Football Coach Howard Schnellenberger announced Thursday, August 11 that he will retire after the 2011 football season.
Schnellenberger, the only head coach in the FAU football program's existence, welcomed the idea of bringing football to FAU in 1998 and has been the driving force behind the Owls. Since 2001, the Owls have had eight All-Americans, three National Player of the Week honorees, two bowl victories, two bowl MVPs, one defensive MVP, one Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, one preseason Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year and one Sun Belt Conference title. An average of 18.7 football players have earned a 3.0+ each semester, and more than 20 players have signed professional contracts, while two were drafted by the NFL.
Schnellenberger's career has been highly chronicled throughout the years, from winning the first National Championship as coach at the University of Miami in 1983 to ushering the University of Louisville from near obscurity to a top-20 national ranking. The legendary program-builder has been at the helm for six bowl games and has a perfect 6-0 bowl game record, the most bowl victories for a coach with a perfect record.
Schnellenberger is also among the top-10 active coaches in total victories, and one of 10 active coaches who have captured a national title. Schnellenberger has one national title as a head coach and three national titles while an assistant at the University of Alabama under Head Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Schnellenberger also was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and was a part of the staff that earned a perfect 17-0 season, the only team in the NFL's history to finish the season undefeated and move on to win a Super Bowl championship.
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.
Opened 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.
Blakeney, Schnellenberger in Active Coaches Top Ten
Troy's Larry Blakeney and Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger find themselves in elite company as both rank in the top ten for active career wins by head coaches. The Sun Belt Conference is the only conference with two coaches in the top ten.
Sun Belt Conference Debuts Three New Coaches in 2011
Arkansas State, North Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette all brought in new head coaches during the 2011 offseason. The league has never brought in more than two new coaches in a single season while brining in two new coaches in three seasons (2009, 2002, 2001), one new head coach on four occasions (2006, 2005, 2004, 2003) and twice going through an offseason of no head coaching changes (2008, 2007).
2011 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Awards Candidates
The Maxwell Award – College Player of the Year: Bobby Rainey, WKU, Sr., RB; The Bednarik Award – Nation's Top Defensive Player: Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, Jr., DE; The John Mackey Award – Nation's Top Tight End: Jack Doyle, WKU, Sr., TE and Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., TE; Fred Biletnikoff Award – Nation's Top Wide Receiver: Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., TE and Dwayne Frampton, Arkansas State, Sr., WR and T.Y. Hilton, FIU, Sr., WR; Lou Groza Award – Nation's Best Placekicker: Jack Griffin, FIU, Jr., K; Bronko Nagurski Award – Nation's Top Defensive Player: Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, Jr., DE; Outland Trophy – Nation's Best Interior Lineman: James Brown – Troy, Sr., OT; Rimington Trophy – Nation's Best Center: Tom Castilaw – Arkansas State, Sr., C and Colin Boss – Middle Tennessee, Sr., C; Walter Camp – College Player of the Year: Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, Jr., DE; Davey O' Brien Award – Nation's Best Quarterback: Corey Robinson - Troy, So., QB; Lombardi Award – Nation's Lineman of the Year: Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, Jr., DE; Doak Walker Award – Nation's Best Running Back: Lance Dunbar, North Texas, Sr., RB and Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic, Sr., RB and Bobby Rainey, WKU, Sr., RB; Manning Award – Nation's Best Quarterback: Corey Robinson - Troy, So., QB.
Sun Belt Conference Setting Records for Television Broadcasts
Over the last five years the Sun Belt Conference has seen its television appearances double. In fact, the Sun Belt set a new record for single season telecasts during the 2010-11 season with a total of 72 Sun Belt controlled broadcasts. ESPN has helped with the rise in television numbers as the league saw a record 21 football games feature Sun Belt teams during the 2010 season. That record number of 21 games has already been broken for the 2011 season as 22 games have already been selected to hit the ESPN airwaves - and even more games could be selected for this season.
MT's Gendreau on Lowe's Senior Class Award list
Middle Tennessee placekicker Alan Gendreau is one of 30 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athletes who excel both on and off the field selected as a candidate today for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release. Gendreau is a two-time First Team All-SBC pick and currently ranks third all-time in field goals made and extra points. The Apopka, Fla., native is the most accurate kicker in school history at 79.1 percent (38-48) which includes a career long 55-yard boot in a win at ULL in 2010. Gendreau is a music major who participates in the Schola Cantorum which is designed for upper division voice majors.
Sun Belt vs. Non-Conference foes
The Sun Belt Conference's 11 non-conference wins thus far in the 2011 football season ties for the second most all-time in the 11-year history of the Sun Belt Conference. There are still five non-conference games remaining in the season and at least two bowl appearances. The Sun Belt Conference has a 4-2 record against Conference USA this season with one game remaining on its schedule (UAB at Florida Atlantic). The Sun Belt Conference has a 2-0 record against the Mid-American Conference this season with no regular season games remaining. Sun Belt Conference teams have also recorded wins against Big Ten (Indiana) and Big East (Louisville) teams this season.
Ragin' Cajuns Hot Start
Louisiana-Lafayette's 6-1 start was the best in Sun Belt history and was ULL's best start since 1970. The Cajuns rattled off six consecutive wins after their opening game loss to Oklahoma State. The last time a ULL team won six straight was 1993 (Jake Delhomme's freshman season). The 1993 team's six game streak was ended at No. 9 Florida.
ASU's Davis Named Lou Groza Award Star of the Week
Following his record-setting performance in Arkansas State's 53-24 victory over Central Arkansas, sophomore placekicker Brian Davis was named as one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week. Davis set new Sun Belt Conference and ASU records when he was perfect on six field goals and five extra-point attempts against the Bears. His six field goals made were an ASU and Sun Belt Conference record and his 23 points scored in the game was also an SBC and ASU record for points scored in a single game by a kicker. Davis did not miss on the night, connecting on field goals of 24, 32, 33, 34, 21 and 33 yards, and was 5-of-5 on extra point attempts. Both his six field goals and 23 points were the most by a kicker in the nation this season, and he was just one field goal and one point shy of tying the NCAA records as well.
Baer Named Groza Award Star of the Week
Ragin' Cajuns kicker/punter Brett Baer was named to the Lou Groza Star of the Week Award after the Cajun's win over Florida Atlantic. There's nothing tougher for a kicker than to have the game's outcome riding on his leg with the game clock ticking down to zero. Baer's 26-yard field goal as time expired lifted ULL to its first 4-1 start since 1988 as the Ragin' Cajuns fended off a late Florida Atlantic rally to secure a 37-34 victory at Cajun Field. The Brandon, Miss., native also connected from 47 and 46 yards and converted four extra point tries. He tied his career mark with three field goals in the game and registered his first game with two 40-plus yarders.
ASU's Jarboe Added to Biletnikoff Award Watch List
Arkansas State junior wide receiver Josh Jarboe has been added to the watch list for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's outstanding college football receiver. Following his performance in ASU's 47-3 victory over Memphis Sept. 10, Jarboe was selected as one of nine wide receivers from across the nation to be named to the honorable mention list for the College Football Performance Awards' Wide Receiver of the Week award. Jarboe hauled in seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Red Wolves' win over the Tigers. His 162 receiving yards ranked as the 10th-best single game performance all-time at ASU. His 162-yard performance was also the best by an ASU player since 1999.
Blissard, Stewart Named Courage Award Nominees
Middle Tennessee receiver Shane Blissard and athletic trainer Robbie Stewart are the first weekly nominees for the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Blissard was injured March 26 when tackled after a catch. Two defensive players hit him; a helmet speared him. Blissard suffered a ruptured spleen, fractured rib and bruised kidney. In addition, the hit caused pneumothorax, a collection of air in the pleural cavity (between the lungs and the chest wall). Blissard returned to the sideline, but Stewart continued to monitor him. When Blissard vomited and then reported dizziness, Stewart took notice. Blissard's blood pressure abruptly changed, too. Stewart had previous experience with a ruptured spleen. Blissard was quickly transported to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery less than 90 minutes after the hit. He lost more than 3-1/2 liters of blood from internal bleeding from the spleen, and underwent a second surgery the next morning after losing more blood because of a damaged vessel. Doctors told Blissard's mother Stewart's quick actions saved her son's life. For the sixth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The recipient of the Courage Award will be announced in December and presented with the trophy in conjunction with this year's Discover Orange Bowl.
WKU's Doyle Named John Mackey Tight End of the Week
Western Kentucky University junior tight end Jack Doyle was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission. Doyle recorded six receptions for 100 yards — a career best in single-game receiving yards — in WKU's 36-33 double-overtime win at Middle Tennessee.
Arkansas State News and Notes
Arkansas State is now bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 and for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. This is the first time that ASU has been bowl eligible after its first games and the six wins matches their most ever as an FBS member (1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008).
The victory gave Arkansas State its best record through its first eight games since 1986 when it went 6-1-1 at a member of the I-AA Southland Conference.
The 4-0 record in conference play is the best for ASU as any league member since 1986 when it started 5-0 in the Southland Conference.
ASU has its first five-game winning streak since 1986 when it won eight in a row that season.
Junior QB Ryan Aplin has taken over third place at Arkansas State for career total offense with 7,083 yards. He passed Roy Johnson who had 6,779 yards from 1988-91. Aplin moved into third place on the all-time career touchdown pass list. He now has 34 career touchdown passes, passing James Hamilton (1968-71) who had 32. Aplin became the third player in ASU history to complete 500 or more passes in his career. He now has 509 completions for his career. Aplin has gone over 300 yards of total offense for the 5th time this year (including the last 2 games in a row) and 10th time of his career. He finished the night with 391 yards of total offense.
Arkansas State finished with 540 yards of total offense against North Texas, the third most this season. (611 vs. Memphis and 646 vs. UCA).
ASU's defense still has not allowed a player to go over 100 yards rushing this season.
ASU's defense held its opponent under 300 yards of total offense for the second straight game and for the third time this season (FIU and Memphis).
Florida Atlantic News and Notes
Florida Atlantic will play host to Arkansas State University 4 p.m. Saturday in a game designated as FAU's homecoming. While the Owls currently stand at 0-7, they are 6-4 in homecoming games. FAU defeated ASU 29-0, in 2006, a game also designated as homecoming. The all-time series, which included the NCAA's first overtune game following a 0-0 score (FAU won 3-0), stands at 3-3.
As the Owls cross the halfway point of the 2011 schedule it also marks a time when the seniors begin to hurdle records. Senior Alfred Morris is the most notable with just 190 yards standing between him and Charles Pierre for the program's all-time rushing yards leader. Willie Floyd has progressively moved up both the all-time kick returner chart and the all-purpose yards leader board. Defensively, Kevin Cyrille continues his attach in sacks, tackles for a loss and quarterback hurries. Marcus Bartels is currently the program's all-time tackle leader among defensive backs and is closing in on the all-time mark held by three linebackers. Punter Mickey Groody holds the all-time average yards per punt but is also working to hold his two-year average among the nation's top-20.
FIU News and Notes
FIU is coming off a 23-20 overtime victory over Troy, marking the second-consecutive year FIU scores a win over the Trojans. Kedrick Rhodes and Jack Griffin led the way for the Panthers as Rhodes set a career-high for rushing yards, and Griffin kicked the game-tying and game-winning field goals.
Rhodes led the FIU offense against the Trojans, rushing for a career-best 172 yards on 30 carries for a 5.7 YPC average. Rhodes also caught two passes for 22 yards. 21 of Rhodes's yards came in overtime as he got the ball on all six plays before FIU kicked the game-winning fieldgoal. On the season, Rhodes is ranks second in the Sun Belt with 96.5 yards per game.
Griffin tied a career-best with three field goals against the Troy Trojans, propelling FIU to a 23-20 overtime victory. Already with a 32-yard field goal under his belt, Griffin kicked a 20-yarder that tied the score for the Panthers with 3:31 to go in regulation. Griffin then gave FIU the victory with a 22-yard field goal in overtime. For the season, Griffin has 15 field goals, which leads the Sun Belt and is just two behind his own FIU single-season record. Griffin is one of two Sun Belt kickers to be named a Lou Groza Award semi-finalist.
In the receiving game, Wayne Times had a career-night catching six passes for a career-best 97 yards and one score. The touchdown came on a career-long 74-yard reception.
On defense, Tourek Williams tied a career-high with two sacks against the Trojans, and finished with six tackles to help FIU beat Troy for the second year in a row. Both of Williams' sacks came in the second half, including one in the fourth quarter that forced a three-and-out for the Trojans and led to the game-tying field goal for FIU on its next possession. With the two sacks, Williams is now third all-time at FIU with 12 career sacks.
Up next for FIU is a trip to Bowling Green to face the WKU Hilltoppers, a team that FIU has beat the last three years.
Louisiana-Lafayette News and Notes
The Cajuns routed Middle Tennessee by a score of 45-20 after a career day by freshman running back Alonzo Harris. Harris posted 189 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
With the win, the Cajuns have won seven games on the year, the most since 1993 when ULL had eight wins in Jake Delhomme's first season at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Quarterback Blaine Gautier threw for 139 yards and a touchdown and also had an 80-yard touchdown run.
ULL posted 500-plus yards of total offense for the second time on the year after totaling 526 yards against the Blue Raiders. The Cajuns had a season-best 338 yards on the ground in the win.
Devon Lewis-Buchanan became the fifth Louisiana defender to post a "pick six" on the year with his 55-yard interception return in the first quarter. The Cajuns six "pick sixes" leads the nation through nine weeks.
Melvin White had an interception and fumble recovery against Middle Tennessee at crucial points in the game keeping the Blue Raiders off of the board twice. White also had seven solo tackles including a tackle-for-loss.
The Cajuns close out the home slate on Saturday when they host Louisiana-Monroe at 2:37 p.m. on Senior Day at Cajun Field. ULL has won the last three meetings between the two teams, while both teams have five wins apiece in the all-time series since the Cajuns joined the Sun Belt conference in 2001.
Louisiana-Monroe News and Notes
The Warhawks forced an opponent to punt on its opening drive for the sixth time in eight games this season against Western Kentucky.
A 23-yard keeper by Kolton Browning in the first quarter was the second-longest rush of his career. He gained 24 yards on a carry against Arkansas State Oct. 8.
Darius Prelow earned the start at hawk in his 32nd consecutive game. Prelow's interception in the first quarter was his team-leading fourth of the season. The Warhawks have forced a turnover in 28 of 32 games played under defensive coordinator Troy Reffett.
Mitchell Bailey's 5-yard scoring run in the second quarter was the third offensive touchdown of his ULM career.
Ken Dorsey's blocked kick following Western Kentucky's first touchdown in the second quarter was the first missed PAT in any ULM game this season.
Browning set a career-high with 29 completions and 365 yards passing, and overtook ULM great Stan Humphries for sixth place all-time in yards of total offense with an eight-yard completion to Brent Leonard in the second quarter (4,722). Browning also moved into solo seventh place in career touchdown passes with 25.
Colby Harper set new career-highs in receptions and receiving yardage, hauling in eight passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Harper is the third Warhawk receiver to go over 100 yards in a game this season (Leonard and Tavarese Maye have each cracked the century mark twice).
This was ULM's first overtime game of 2011. The Warhawks are now 5-2 all-time in the extra period.
Middle Tennessee News and Notes
Senior Malcolm Beyah registered seven receptions against ULL to run his career total to 109. The 109 receptions moved him past Cleannord Saintil for eighth place on the all-time list and into a share for seventh with Hansford Johnson (1998-2001). With 86 receiving yards against ULL, Beyah moved past George Dykes for seventh place on the Blue Raiders' all-time list. Beyah now has 1459 career receiving yards and is chasing Vince Parks in sixth place (1,558 yards).
Sophomore QB Logan Kilgore set his personal-best in rushing against ULL with 66 yards on eight attempts. Kilgore's previous high in rushing was 19 yards against both Purdue and Georgia Tech.
Middle Tennessee struggled with turnovers in 2010 and seems to be having the same problem in 2011. After having seven turnovers in its first four games, MT has had nine giveaways over its last three outings. Last year, MT had 38 miscues.
With two points against ULL, senior Alan Gendreau became Middle Tennessee's all-time leading scorer among kickers. Gendreau, who now has 281 career points, surpassed Garth Petrilli for the record. Petrilli had 280 points from 1991 to 1994.
North Texas News and Notes
Lance Dunbar moved past Patrick Cobbs with his 37th all-time rushing touchdown. Dunbar is now the all-time leader at North Texas in career rushing touchdowns.
Dunbar needs only 129 more rushing yards to become only the sixth player in NCAA history to have 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. Dunbar is only 180 away from becoming the all-time leading rusher at North Texas.
Freshman QB Andrew McNulty had a career-long 34 yard run, which is the longest rush by a North Texas quarterback since 2009. McNulty also had a career-best in completions, attempts, and he threw his first career touchdown pass.
Ryan Downing recorded a career-high 16 tackles, which is also a season-high for a North Texas defender this season.
Richard Abbe had his first career interception against Arkansas State. Abbe's pick was the first by a North Texas defensive lineman since 2007.
North Texas did not win the time of possession battle for the first time this season against Arkansas State.
Troy News and Notes
The Trojans led FIU 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, marking the first time this season that Troy has led after one period of play.
On their first drive of the second half, the Trojans picked up three first downs, compared to just four which they gained in the entire first half.
Shawn Southward's 33-yard rush late in the third quarter was his longest of the season.
The Trojans third quarter touchdown drive covered six plays, all of which were rushes as the Trojans covered 62 yards in 2:13.
Late in the third quarter, the Trojans scored their third defensive touchdown of the season. Ethan Davis forced a fumble on a pass to the sideline, Tony Davis scooped the loose ball and returned it 29 yards for a Troy score.
The Trojans last overtime game was in the 2010 GMAC Bowl when Troy lost to Central Michigan in two overtimes. The Trojans have now played four overtime games since joining Division I. Troy is 0-4 in those games.
The 17 completions by Corey Robinson were a season-low and his lowest since 16 on October 30, 2010 at ULM.
The loss moves the Trojans to 12-4 all-time on the major ESPN networks. Three of those four losses have been overtime games.
The loss gives the Trojans their third straight loss in Sun Belt play for the first time since joining the league in 2004.
WKU News and Notes
WKU won its second overtime game of the season, picking up a 31-28 victory in an extra session over ULM Saturday afternoon in Monroe. Freshman Jesse Roy connected on a 24-yard game-winning field goal to give the Hilltoppers the victory.
WKU also won in double overtime at Middle Tennessee earlier this season. In fact, three of WKU's last four road victories have come in overtime – it took extra time to win at Arkansas State in 2010.
The Hilltoppers have now won four consecutive games – the first four-game winning streak by a WKU squad since 2005. They also reached the .500 mark with the victory at ULM.
Bobby Rainey reached 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season with his 104-yard effort at ULM. Rainey now has 1,014 yards this season – an average of 126.8 yards per game.
Rainey also moved into third place on WKU's career rushing list in the contest. With 3,861 career yards, he now trails just Willie Taggart (3,997) and Lerron Moore (4,396).
Freshman tight end Mitchell Henry caught a touchdown pass for the second straight week as he hauled in a 13-yard scoring pass from Kawaun Jakes for WKU's first score of the afternoon.
Derrius Brooks intercepted his fourth pass of the season at ULM – coming at the biggest time in the game. With ULM set up first-and-goal at the three in overtime, Brooks stepped in front of a pass, keeping the Warhawks off the board and allowing WKU to win the game with a field goal on its overtime possession.
Coming in 2012 - South Alabama News and Notes
When the Jaguars take on Mississippi Valley State Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Mobile, they will play their second Thursday night contest of the season and the fourth in school history — USA is 3-0 on the day, including a season-opening victory over West Alabama on Sept. 1. … This match-up is the third in as many years that USA will play with less than a week to prepare for; the Jaguars have won their regular-season finale each of the last two seasons on a Thursday immediately following a Saturday contest. … The Jags enter this game with a 4-0 record in November all-time. … The Jaguar defense forced Henderson (Ark.) State into seven turnovers in Saturday's victory over the Reddies, the most takeaways the unit has produced in the program's first two-plus seasons of competition. While it was the second straight week — and third occasion this fall — that USA has recovered three fumbles, the four interceptions recorded by the group were the most since the Jags picked off four passes in a 64-0 win over Edward Waters (Fla.) on Sept. 25 a year ago. The Jaguars turned those miscues into 16 points, with nine more points coming after the defense stopped the Reddies on fourth down. … The 55 rushing yards, as well as the 210 overall, that HSU posted last weekend were both the fewest allowed by USA in 2010. It marked the second time this year that the Jaguars have held the opposition below 100 yards on the ground, as they improved to 13-1 all-time when giving up less than 100 rushing yards. … On the other hand, the Jags' 252 yards on 50 carries were the most the offense has collected via the ground attack since gaining 293 yards in an Oct. 30 win over Georgia State last season. USA — which is now averaging 235.2 rushing yards in its 22 all-time victories — improved to 15-0 when gaining at least 200 yards on the ground. … Senior PK Jordan Means had a career day last time out, converting a personal-best three field goals while matching a previous high —first set on Oct. 2 last year against Kentucky Wesleyan — with 10 total points. His last field goal, which came three seconds before the intermission and provided the Jags with their final points, was his 12th this fall, tying the school season standard first set by Lawson McGlon in '10. … Demetre Baker sparked the Jag ground attack last weekend, going over 100 yards for the first time this season as he gained 111 yards on 20 carries against the Reddies. It was the redshirt freshmen's two touchdowns in the first quarter — he scored from seven yards out midway through the period, then on a one-yard rush with just under two minutes to go — that helped break open the contest, as it was the third time this season he has reached the end zone on multiple occasions.