While you were away

Hayden Boudreaux

While the Eagles were taking their must deserved break the rest of the Sun Belt was hard at work, deciding who would take the lead in the conference standings and represent the conference in December.

Ten Sun Belt teams faced off in five conference games this weekend and most of the results didn’t come as much of a surprise. South Alabama was able to edge past Idaho 52-45 in a 24 point fourth quarter comeback to improve their conference record to 2-2. Troy had a stellar performance against a down and out 1-8 Louisiana Monroe team in a 51-14 blowout. Georgia State continued their season of close losses as they fell to Louisiana Lafayette 23-21 on a field goal. At the bottom of the conference, New Mexico State topped Texas State in a 31-21 affair that puts the Bobcats in a tie for last place in the conference.

The game of the weekend actually occurred on Thursday and pitted two conference undefeated teams in Arkansas State and Appalachian State. Both teams entered the game tied for the number one spot in the conference and each had a winning streak on the line. App State was coming off of a big win over Georgia Southern and a tight overtime win against Troy and Arkansas State was riding a five game win streak. In the end, the Red Wolves bested the Mountaineers in a 40-27 contest that allowed them to elevate to the top spot in the Sun Belt.

Winning the Sun Belt is obviously the top priority for the Eagles but, to do that, a few things must fall into place. First, and most clear cut, the Eagles must win out the rest of their conference schedule which includes this week’s game against Troy and in-state Georgia State. Next, is the matter of Arkansas State losing: they have three conference games left and while two losses may be ideal, one may possibly be enough for the Eagles. App State also has to drop one more loss and with games against Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama it is likely they will be given a run for their money.

Eagle starters sit at the top several statistical categories in the conference. Safety Antonio Glover is having one of the best defensive seasons in college football as he sits atop the conference with six interceptions so far this season. Junior running back Matt Breida dropped to second in the conference in total rushing yardage during the week off, but will likely regain that title this weekend as he leads the conference in yards per carry. Additionally, the Eagle special teams unit are among the top teams in the country in punt yards allowed.