NEW ORLEANS (SunBeltSports.org) - Arkansas State had a bye after beating Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday, but it was a busy Saturday in the Sun Belt.
Western Kentucky 14, FIU 6
MIAMI - Antonio Andrews rushed for a 3-yard score with 2:24 remaining, and the Western Kentuckydefense forced its fourth turnover of the contest on the final play in a 14-6 win over FIU Saturday night.
After the Hilltoppers (6-2, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) went up, the Golden Panthers (1-8, 0-5) drove to their 33 in the waning seconds. One play after being sacked, Jake Medlock hit Willis Wright for a 14-yards on fourth-and-12 to give FIU one more chance. After the play, Medlock collapsed to the ground and left the game.
His backup E.J. Hilliard, the freshman who subbed for Medlock for parts of three games when he broke his foot against Louisville, came in for his only play with eight seconds left. He fumbled the snap, picked it up and then fumbled it away while rolling out to his right as Western Kentucky's Jamichael Payne recovered to end the game.
Louisiana-Monroe 38, South Alabama 24
MONROE, La. - Brent Leonard caught four touchdown passes from Kolton Browning as Louisiana-Monroe defeated South Alabama 38-24 Saturday night.
The Warhawks are now bowl eligible for third time in the FBS era and looking for its first bowl bid in program history. ULM extends its winning streak to five-games, matching the third longest in program history.
Browning finished 23-for-35 passing for 250 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and also rushed for 41 yards. Leonard finished his career night with nine garbs for 126 yards and four touchdowns. Monterrell Washington led the team in rushing with 59 yards. Gerrand Johnson led the defense with eight total tackles.
Demetre Baker broke free for a 61-yard run, the longest play from scrimmage this season for South Alabama, before Ross Metheny found Jereme Jones in the corner for a 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Jags a 7-0 lead with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
ULM answered with 15-play, 81-yard, 6:28 capped with a three-yard touchdown pass from Browning to Leonard to tie the game at 7-7 with 11:49 left in the first half.
The Jaguars used a 32-yard pass to Gabe Loper on 3rd & 10 to move into the red zone before Jones caught his second touchdown of the night to give South Alabama a 14-7 advantage with 8:24 left in the half.
Leonard caught his second touchdown of the night on a 15-yard pass from Browning to tie the game at 14-14 with 1:27 left in the half. The play capped a 6-play, 25-yard 2:46 drive.
Preston Coleman blocked a Jaguar punt to give possession back to the Warhawks with under a minute to play in the half. Leonard broke free again for his third score, this one for 16 yards; of the night to give ULM a 21-14 lead with six seconds left in the half. That would be the score at the break.
ULM outgained South Alabama 227 to 175 in the first half while the Warhawks collected 14 first downs to the Jaguars' nine.
A pass interference penalty on ULM gave South Alabama a new set of downs from the Warhawks two-yard line. Trey Fetner carried it in from two yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.
Mitchell Bailey checked into the backfield and sprinted down the sideline for a career-long 32-yard touchdown run to give ULM a 28-21 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter.
DaCorris Ford caught a tipped pass for an interception to slow the Jaguars ensuing drive. Two plays and 22 seconds later, Browning found Leonard for the fourth time, tying a career record, to give ULM a 35-21 lead, with 13:49 left in the game.
ULM added three more points with a 35-yard field goal from Justin Manton to extend the home lead to 38-21 with 7:55 left in the game.
The Jaguars connected on a 27-yard field goal from Michael Chapuseaux to bring the score 38-24 with 5:18 left in the game.
Middle Tennessee 38, North Texas 21
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Logan Kilgore threw three touchdowns as Middle Tennessee defeated North Texas 38-21 Saturday, snapping a two-game skid against the Mean Green.
Kilgore threw touchdown passes of 18 and 72 yards in the first quarter. His 49-yarder to Kyle Griswould in the second quarter gave the Blue Raiders (5-3, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Griswould finished with 140 yards and two touchdowns on three catches. Middle Tennessee's Anthony Amos led all receivers with 121 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. It was Amos' fourth 100-yard receiving game this season.
Kilgore, who threw for 349 yards and added a 45-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, has topped 200 passing yards in all but two games this season.
Derek Thompson paced North Texas (3-5, 2-2) with 179 passing yards and Antoinne Jimmerson rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns but the Mean Green had three turnovers.
Florida Atlantic 34, Troy 27
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Graham Wilbert's fourth touchdown pass, a 22-yarder to William Dukes with 17 seconds remaining, lifted Florida Atlantic to a 34-27 victory over Troy on Saturday night.
Wilbert, who then completed a two-point conversion pass, drove the Owls (2-6, 1-4 Sun Belt Conference) 74 yards in nine plays after the Trojans (4-4, 3-3) went ahead 27-26 on Shawn Southward's 31-yard run with 1:49 remaining.
The victory ended a six-game skid for the Owls, who lost 37-34 in double overtime to South Alabama last week. It also ended their streak of 14 conference losses, dating to 2010.
FAU led 17-0, but Troy tied it after scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half. The second was set up by an Owls fumble at their 29.
Mitch Anderson's 47-yard field goal broke the tie and Wilbert's third touchdown pass made it 26-17 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.