July 13, 2020

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• Sun Belt Conference football rolls into the second week of the season with a slate of nine Saturday matchups. Six of the league’s matchups are scheduled for live coverage on ESPN+ with one game on the ACC Network, one on ESPN3 and one on Stadium.

• Appalachian State remained listed among the teams receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Amway Coaches powered byUSA Today Sports Top 25 polls this week. The Mountaineers received four points in each poll. Appalachian State earned the Sun Belt’s second-ever Top 25 ranking last season – 25th in the Oct. 21, 2018 AP Poll. The Mountaineers’ ranking tied the highest-ever ranking for a Sun Belt team with Troy’s ranking of 25th in the Nov. 13, 2016 AP Poll.

• Troy received two votes in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll to remain among the teams receiving votes for a second-straight week. The Trojans have received votes in the Coaches Poll three years in a row.

• Georgia State was the fourth Sun Belt team in conference history to be named the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America. The conference’s previous winners – Appalachian State (2007, Week of Sept. 1), ULM (2012, Week of Sept. 8) and Troy (2017, Week of Sept. 30).

• Four teams are facing opponents for the first time this week – Coastal Carolina at Kansas, Furman at Georgia State, Jackson State at South Alabama and Liberty at Louisiana.

• Georgia State’s win over Tennessee on Aug. 31, its first in program history over a Power Five conference opponent, marked the Sun Belt’s ninth win over a Power Five opponent in the last nine seasons (2011-19). Seven of the league’s nine Power Five wins were on the road.

2011 – North Texas 24, Indiana 21 (Denton, Texas)
2012 – ULM 34, No. 6 Arkansas 31 [ot] (Monroe, La.) and Western Kentucky 32, Kentucky 31 [ot] (Lexington, Ky.)
2013 – ULM 21, Wake Forest 19 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
2014 – ULM 17, Wake Forest 10 (Monroe, La.)
2016 – South Alabama 21, Mississippi State 20 (Starkville, Miss.)
2017 – Troy 24, No. 25 LSU 21 (Baton Rouge, La.)
2018 – Troy 24, Nebraska 19 (Lincoln, Neb.)
2019 – Georgia State 38, Tennessee 30 (Knoxville, Tenn.)

• The Sun Belt is slated to open the 2019 National Football League regular season with 24 former standouts on active rosters, 11 on practice squads and seven on reserved lists. The conference has representatives on 23 different NFL teams. Appalachian State and Georgia State each boast five former players on active rosters to start the regular season.

• The 2019 Sun Belt Football Championship Game pits the East and West Division champions with the best conference winning percentages on Saturday, Dec. 7. The second edition of the league’s football title game is slated for live coverage on ESPN or ESPN2 at 11 a.m. CT/Noon ET.

Dan Ellington, Georgia State (Sr., QB, Olive Branch, Miss.)
Georgia State senior quarterback Dan Ellington threw two touchdown passes and ran for the game-clinching score in the fourth quarter to lead the Panthers to a monumental 38-30 victory at Tennessee, the program’s first-ever win over a Power Five conference opponent. The senior signal caller passed for 139 yards on 11 completions and rushed for 61 yards. After completing just one of his first nine attempts, Ellington recovered to go 10-for-13 the rest of the way, including touchdown strikes of 17 yards to wide receiver Cornelius McCoy in the second quarter and six yards to tight end Aubry Payne in the third quarter. Ellington led the Panthers on two 75-yard touchdown drives in the second half to give GSU a 28-23 lead with nine minutes left, and then he scampered for a spectacular 22-yard touchdown run with 4:45 left that essentially clinched the win. He faked a handoff and then eluded several defenders before running into the left corner of the end zone.

Carlton Martial, Troy (So., LB, Mobile, Ala.)

Troy sophomore linebacker Carlton Martial was a one-man wrecking crew in the season opener with a career-best 13 tackles as the Trojans held Campbell to just 143 yards of total offense, the lowest output by an opponent since 2008. Martial, a Freshman All-America selection last season, had nine more tackles than anyone in a Cardinal jersey on Saturday and made a pair of stops behind the loss to contribute to Campbell’s only 50 rushing yards.

Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina (So., PK, Downingtown, Pa.)

Coastal Carolina sophomore placekicker Massimo Biscardi picked up where he left off last season by making three field goals and scoring nine points in the season opener versus Eastern Michigan. Biscardi scored a point for the 13th-straight game, every game he has played at Coastal Carolina dating back to last season, and make three field goals in the same game for the third time in his 13-game career. His 53-yard field goal in the second quarter was a career-long and tied the Coastal school record for the longest made field goal in program history. He totaled 11 points, second-most in his career for a single game and also recorded five kickoffs, including one touchback.

2019 Weekly Award Winners
Offensive Player
September 2: Dan Ellington, Georgia State

Defensive Player
September 2: Carlton Martial, Troy

Special Teams Player
September 2: Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina

Saturday, September 7
Charlotte at Appalachian State (ESPN+), 2:30 p.m.
ULM at Florida State (ACC Network), 4 p.m.
Maine at Georgia Southern (ESPN+), 5 p.m.
Coastal Carolina at Kansas (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Furman at Georgia State (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Jackson State at South Alabama (ESPN3), 6 p.m.
Wyoming at Texas State (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Liberty at Louisiana (ESPN+), 6:30 p.m.
Arkansas State at UNLV (Stadium), 9 p.m.


Scottie Rodgers

Associate Commissioner
Strategic Communications

About Andy Bryson 705 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach