Rough start for Sun Belt

JONESBORO (KAIT & AP) - It hasn't been the greatest start to the 2013 season for the Sun Belt. Conference teams have lost Thursday and Friday to FCS teams.

Samford 31, Georgia State 21

Fabian Truss scored two touchdowns to lead Samford past Georgia State 31-21 on Friday night.

The senior running back returned the opening kickoff 100 yards to shock the Panthers. He broke a tackle at the 25, bounced outside, juked the last defender and didn't look back. The return was Truss' career best return. In the fourth quarter, he put the Bears ahead for good with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell teamed with receiver Kelton Hill for two scores and a 14-7 lead at halftime. But Samford's Jaquiski Tartt intercepted Bell in the third quarter and returned it 33 yards to tie the game at 14. The play sparked Samford to a run of 24 unanswered points.

Bell passed for 392 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. Georgia State's Albert Wilson had nine catches for a game-high 168 yards and a TD.

Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21

Colton Cook's 28-yard field goal on the game's final play lifted Southern Utah to a 22-21 win over South Alabama at Ladd- Peebles Stadium Thursday night.

It was Southern Utah's second win over an FBS team in three seasons. The Thunderbirds, from the Big Sky Conference, won at UNLV in 2011 when they were members of the Great West Conference.

Cook kicked three field goals in the upset.

Southern Utah had pulled within 21-19 on Aaron Cantu's 2-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Norris with 6:13 left to play, but the Thunderbirds failed to tie the game on an attempt for a two-point conversion.

After holding South Alabama to a four-and-out series, the Thunderbirds regained the ball and drove 54 yards to the Jaguars' 11 in the final 4:43.

Cantu finished 13-of-24 for 183 yards. Raysean Martin rushed for 107 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.

South Alabama was a start-up program on the FCS level in 2009. The Jaguars are in their second season as Sun Belt Conference members.