Sterling Young named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week
NEW ORLEANS (SunBeltSports.org) - UL-Lafayette and Texas State are the first two Sun Belt Conference teams to meet the bowl eligible mark this season as both teams won their sixth games of the year.
For the Cajuns, it is the third consecutive year that Mark Hudspeth's team has been bowl eligible. The Cajuns are winners of six consecutive games and are currently 3-0 in league play.
For Texas State, it is the first time that the Bobcats are bowl eligible and it comes in only their second year playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision and first year in the Sun Belt.
Two critical league matchups are on tap for this week. On Thursday night, the Cajuns host Troy for an ESPNU primetime affair. Troy is just one win away from being bowl eligible.
UL-Monroe is also only one win away from bowl eligibility and will host Arkansas State. The Red Wolves need two more wins to get to the bowl eligible mark after winning this past Saturday at South Alabama. WKU faces Army in non-conference action.
November 9 Western Kentucky at Army - 11 a.m. (CBS College Sports) * Arkansas State at UL-Monroe - 6 p.m (ESPN3.com)
November 16 * UL-Lafayette at Georgia State - 1 p.m. South Alabama at Navy - 2:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) * Texas State at Arkansas State - 6:30 p.m. (Sun Belt Network) Troy at Mississippi - TBA
All times Central (CT) and subject to change * denotes Sun Belt Conference game
Recent Results November 2 * Western Kentucky 44, Georgia State 28 - 12 p.m. (Sun Belt Network) Texas State 37, Idaho 21 - 4 p.m. UL-Lafayette 49, New Mexico State 35 - 4 p.m. (RCN/ESPN3) * Arkansas State 17, South Alabama 16 - 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
October 26 * Troy 32, Western Kentucky 26 - 3 p.m. (ESPN3) * Texas State 33, South Alabama 31 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3) * UL-Monroe 38, Georgia State 10 - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
October 22 * UL-Lafayette 23, Arkansas State 7 – 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sun Belt Conference Players of the Week (as selected by media panel)
Offensive Player of the Week
Alonzo Harris (UL-Lafayette, Jr., RB) Harris tied a school record with five rushing touchdowns, including four in the second half and three in the fourth quarter, to help Louisiana rally from a 21-point deficit to defeat New Mexico State, 49-35. Harris carried 16 times for 106 yards, his third straight 100-yard performance, and tied Brian Mitchell's school record with five touchdowns. The Cajuns found themselves down 28-7 six minutes into the second quarter. Harris however scored on a two-yard run to make it a 28-14 game at half, and his 6-yard TD run made it a 28-20 game in the third quarter. Trailing 28-27, Harris scored on runs of 5 and 3 yards just 30 seconds apart to give Louisiana the lead for good. His 30-yard TD run with 52 seconds left made it a 49-35 final.
Defensive Player of the Week
Sterling Young (Arkansas State, S, Jr.) Arkansas State junior safety Sterling Young recorded nine tackles and a key interception against South Alabama to help lead the Red Wolves to a 17-16 road victory. Young's nine tackles were only one shy of his season high, while his interception marked the fourth of his career. His interception came at a critical junction of the game and sparked a second-half comeback by A-State. Leading 6-0, South Alabama drove to the ASU 22-yard line on the opening possession of the second half when Young picked off Jaguars' quarterback Ross Metheny in the back of the end zone. Not only did it keep it a one-possession game, it swung the momentum back to the Red Wolves as they responded with an 80-yard drive to take a 7-6 advantage. Young was part of ASU's defense that held South Alabama 75 yards under its season total offense average and to its lowest scoring output this season.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Justin Manton (UL-Monroe, K / P, Jr.) Justin Manton was successful on all seven of his PAT attempts during ULM's 49-37 win at Troy on Oct. 31… With his seven XPs he moved into seventh place in school history in points scored (164 points) and points kicking (164) he is now in sole possession of fourth place… Manton also averaged 47.2 yards per punt (six punts, 283 yards) including a long of 54 yards with one landing inside the 20 yard line… He also registered 515 yards on eight kickoffs for a 64.4 avg with five touchbacks.
Around the Sun Belt Conference Sun Belt Membership The Sun Belt Conference will contest the 2013 football season with eight members – Arkansas State, Georgia State, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy and Western Kentucky University. UALR and UT Arlington compete as non-football members. Come the 2014 season, the Sun Belt will have four new members in the league as Appalachian State and Georgia Southern were added as all-sports members and Idaho and New Mexico State have been added as football playing members. Both Appalachian State and Georgia Southern bring with them highly successfully football programs and each team will begin the process of transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) immediately. The 2014 Sun Belt football season will mark the debut of both in the league schedule and standings. Additionally, both the Mountaineers and Eagles will be able to compete for the league championship in football for the 2014 season. Both teams will first be eligible to compete in a spot for a postseason bowl game come the 2015 season. Idaho and New Mexico State are familiar partners of the Sun Belt Conference, having been football members from the league's inaugural year of football in 2001 through the 2004 season. Both members played an integral part of forming the Sun Belt Conference for football and now add strength to the league. Both teams will be immediately eligible to compete for the Sun Belt football championship and also for a spot in postseason bowl games.