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SBC Football: Week Four Notes & News

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SBC Football: Week Four Notes & News



Arkansas State Red Wolves

The crowd of 23,176 for the ASU-ULM game was the ninth largest in ASU Stadium history. With its victory over the Warhawks, ASU improved to 30-10 all-time at ASU Stadium and 8-1 in home openers under head coach Steve Roberts. ASU recorded a season-high 234 rushing yards last week and had four players (Ryan Aplin, Derek Lawson, Phillip Butterfield and Dwayne Frampton) post an individual season-high rushing total.  A-State also posted three rushing touchdowns to surpass its previous season high of two originally set at Auburn. ASU’s 34 points scored against ULM were its most since the first game of last season (vs. Mississippi Valley State) and its most against an NCAA FBS team since scoring 37 against ULM in the sixth game of the 2008 season. ASU ranks fourth in the nation in passing offense and 31st in total offense. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin is ranked fourth in the nation in passing yards and fifth in the nation in total offense. Senior safety M.D. Jennings recorded a career-high two interceptions against ULM and also posted six tackles.  Jennings leads the team in tackles with 20 for the season. Bobby Zalud accounted for 10 points against ULM with two field goals and four extra points, all career highs. Dwayne Frampton, who matched his career-high with eight receptions against ULM, is ranked tied for 15th in the nation in receptions with 7.0 per game. A-State wraps up a three-game conference swing this week at Troy before hosting Louisville in its Homecoming game.



Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic University went before the Florida Board of Governors on September 16 requesting financing approval for the proposed 30,000 seat on-campus football stadium. The BOG gave its unanimous approval which will allow FAU to seek financing  the first week of October. The official ground breaking ceremony is set for October 15 and the completion of the project is projected for the Fall of 2010.

FAU will play host to North Texas 7 p.m. Saturday, in the Owls second home contest of the season and first played at Lockhart.
Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters will be in attendance as part of the leagues 10 year-celebration. The game will feature junior running backs who finished 2009 as the No. 1-2 SBC rushing yards leaders in FAU’s Alfred Morris (1) and in North Texas’ Lance Dunbar (2). The Owls senior wide receiver Lester Jean is expected to lead FAU’s passing attach as the league’s leading receiver. Jeff Van Camp, who leads the league in passing efficiency, is expected to be under center.



FIU Panthers

This past Saturday, FIU went into Kyle Field and gave the Texas A&M Aggies all they could handle, but fell short of the upset in a 27-20 loss. FIU took a 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t stop the Aggies’ rushing attack as Texas A&M scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to earn the victory.

A week after a dominating performance against Rutgers that had FIU ranked second in the country in total defense, the FIU D proved it’s for real as they held sacked A&M’s Jerrod Johnson six times and picked off the Heisman hopeful four times. The six sacks and four interceptions are both one shy of the FIU single-game record.

Despite the Aggies amassing 400 yards of total offense, FIU is still ranked 28th in the country in total defense with an average of 286 yards per game. After the four picks against the Aggies, FIU now has five for the season, which ranks ninth in the country. The six sacks FIU picked up helped the D move up to 12th in the country in sacks per game (3.50), and the 10 tackles for loss against A&M moved FIU to ninth in the country at 8.50 tackles for loss per game.

Ashlyn Parker’s third-quarter interception was his first since 2007. A knee injury forced Parker to miss all of 2008 and 11 games in 2009. Anthony Gaitor’s third quarter interception was his second of the year and 11th of his career. He is now five behind FIU all-time leader Nick Turnbull.

On the other side of the ball, the offensive line has shown much improvement as they didn’t allow a sack. After allowing just one sack in the opener, FIU’s o-line is ranked 12th in the nation with just .50 sacks allowed per game.



Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

The Cajuns are 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the third consecutive season, and the fifth time overall, thanks to a 31-24 victory over Arkansas State on Sept. 11.

Head coach Rickey Bustle improved to 19-2 at home when leading at the half.

ULL has defeated the Red Wolves in the last three meetings and has won eight straight at Cajun field vs. ASU.  The Cajuns defense was dominant stopping the run, allowing just 18 yards on 19 carries.  ASU didn’t take an offensive snap on the Cajuns side of the field until there was under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Quarterback Chris Masson had a 60-yard touchdown run vs. ASU – his previous career long rush was just 25 yards.  Masson did not throw and interception vs. ASU and ULL is now 7-0 in games where he does not throw a pick.

Tight end Ladarius Green caught a game-high seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown vs. ASU…Of his seven catches, six generated a first down, of which three came on third down.  Green has 11 receptions for 184 and two touchdowns already this season and has 65 career receptions for 985 yards.

ULL enjoyed their open date last weekend and will host conference-favorite Middle Tennessee on Sept. 25.  The Cajuns are 5-4 all-time vs. the Blue Raiders in Sun Belt play.



Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Kolton Browning’s 350 yards of total offense were the most since Kinsmon Lancaster has 402 against Middle Tennessee in 2007. It was the fifth most yards of total offensive since ULM joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2001.

Browning’s 267 yards passing were the 12th most in the FBS this past weekend.

Linebacker Jason Edwards finished with double-digit tackles for the second straight game.  He finished the game with 13 tackles after recording 11 against Arkansas last week. He now leads the Sun Belt averaging 12.0 tackles per game.

Luther Ambrose tied a career-high with seven catches against Arkansas State. He also caught a touchdown pass and has now caught a touchdown pass in three straight games.

Brent Leonard also had a career night for the Warhawks with three catches for 67 yards.

ULM opens the Malone Stadium portion of its schedule this weekend when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana in the first meeting between the two schools since 1985.

ULM has had 14 players start their first career game this season after Josh Allen (OL) and Otis Peterson (CB) started against Arkansas State.

ULM’s successful two-point conversion was its first since 2008 when Darrell McNeal caught a Trey Revell pass at Arkansas State.



Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee’s offense entered the Memphis game a perfect 9-for-9 inside the red zone and had extended that streak against Memphis until late in the fourth quarter. The Blue Raiders were 2-for-4 against the Tigers to move their mark to 11-for-13 on the season.

Historically under Rick Stockstill, the Blue Raiders have done an excellent job of protecting the football but that has not been the case in 2010. The Blue Raiders had four miscues against Memphis to run their season total to 10 and the Tigers scored 24 points off those turnovers.

The Blue Raider offensive line has been bitten by a huge injury bug. The Raiders entered Saturday’s game without starting center Alex Stuart and starting guard Brandon McLeroy. In the second quarter, Middle Tennessee lost starting tackle Mark Fisher with an injury.

Senior DE Jamari Lattimore came up with his first sack of the season and the 10th of his career early in the third quarter against Memphis. The 10.0 sacks ties him with Thomas Johnson for ninth place on the all-time list.

Nathaniel Toulson punted late against Memphis and the kick was downed at the 1-yard line to give him three downed at the 1 this season out of six punt attempts and another was downed at the 2-yard line.



North Texas Mean Green

North Texas was held scoreless for the first time since Sept. 30, 2006, when Middle Tennessee blanked NT at Fouts Field.

This was the first career start for sophomore quarterback Derek Thompson.  Thompson was replacing senior Nathan Tune who suffered a season-ending injury last week against Rice.

Army scored a touchdown on its first offensive possession which is the third time in as many games that a North Texas opponent scored a touchdown on its initial possession of the game.

North Texas has not led in the first half of any game this season.  The only lead that North Texas has had this season was a 31-26 advantage over Rice in the fourth quarter.

Starting center Nick Leppo was injured in the first quarter, while Derek Thompson and Christopher Bynes suffered injuries in the second. That makes nine starters in the first three games for North Texas to go down with an injury and not return.

Derek Thompson threw his first career interception when he was picked off by safety Jordan Trimble in the first quarter.



Troy Trojans
The Trojans have played four consecutive games, going back to the 2010 GMAC Bowl, that were decided by three points or less. With the 34-33 loss to UAB, Troy coach Larry Blakeney saw his career record fall to 15-19 in games decided by a field goal or less.

Junior Michael Taylor continued his season-opening hot streak on field goals, hitting from 23 and 20 yards against UAB to improve to eight of nine on the year. Taylor, however, missed an extra point early in the game and had two second half kickoffs out of bounds, giving UAB a short field, which the Blazers turned into points both times.

In addition to problems kicking off, the Trojans opened the game against UAB by turning the ball over on the opening kickoff. UAB kicked off short on every attempt to keep the ball away from return man Jerrel Jernigan. On the opening kickoff, backup linebacker Brannon Bryan took the opening kick at the 34 yard line and fumbled after a return of five yards. The Trojans managed just 13 yards on four kickoff returns in the game.

Penalties continued to be a problem for Troy in the loss at UAB. The Trojans were flagged 15 times in the game for 131 yards. Four of those penalties were for personal fouls and six were called against the offensive line, including four in the fourth quarter.

Since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2004, the Trojans have opened a season with a 1-2 record four times prior to 2010. Troy has gone on to win the league title in three of those previous four years. The only year in which Troy did not earn the conference title or a bowl bid was 2005 when the team finished 4-7.



WKU Hilltoppers

The crowd of 20,772 was the second-largest attendance in the history of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.  It trailed only the 22,297 that saw WKU defeat Murray State on Sept. 20, 2008 in the first game of the renovated stadium.

WKU’s first scoring drive of the game covered 91 yards.  That was its longest drive for a touchdown since going 94 yards for a score at Troy on Nov. 8, 2008.

For the second straight week, the Hilltoppers took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a Bobby Rainey rushing touchdown.

Bobby Rainey accounted for 69 of WKU‘s 91 yards on that drive, rushing for 62 and catching a seven-yard pass.  Rainey — who entered the game as the nation’s fourth leading rusher — finished the game with 105, making him the first Hilltopper since Don Smith in 1990 to open a season with three straight games with over 100 yards rushing.

Marcus Vasquez caught a touchdown pass for the second straight game.  He finished with two touchdown catches in the entire 2009 season.

WKU will close out the nonconference portion of its 2010 schedule on Saturday (Sept. 25) when it travels to Tampa, Fla., to take on South Florida at Raymond James Stadium.  The last time the Hilltoppers defeated USF, quarterback Willie Taggart led the Toppers to a 31-24 win in Tampa during the 1998 season.

Source: Staff Reports
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SBC Football: Week Four Notes & News



Arkansas State Red Wolves

The crowd of 23,176 for the ASU-ULM game was the ninth largest in ASU Stadium history. With its victory over the Warhawks, ASU improved to 30-10 all-time at ASU Stadium and 8-1 in home openers under head coach Steve Roberts. ASU recorded a season-high 234 rushing yards last week and had four players (Ryan Aplin, Derek Lawson, Phillip Butterfield and Dwayne Frampton) post an individual season-high rushing total.  A-State also posted three rushing touchdowns to surpass its previous season high of two originally set at Auburn. ASU’s 34 points scored against ULM were its most since the first game of last season (vs. Mississippi Valley State) and its most against an NCAA FBS team since scoring 37 against ULM in the sixth game of the 2008 season. ASU ranks fourth in the nation in passing offense and 31st in total offense. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin is ranked fourth in the nation in passing yards and fifth in the nation in total offense. Senior safety M.D. Jennings recorded a career-high two interceptions against ULM and also posted six tackles.  Jennings leads the team in tackles with 20 for the season. Bobby Zalud accounted for 10 points against ULM with two field goals and four extra points, all career highs. Dwayne Frampton, who matched his career-high with eight receptions against ULM, is ranked tied for 15th in the nation in receptions with 7.0 per game. A-State wraps up a three-game conference swing this week at Troy before hosting Louisville in its Homecoming game.



Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic University went before the Florida Board of Governors on September 16 requesting financing approval for the proposed 30,000 seat on-campus football stadium. The BOG gave its unanimous approval which will allow FAU to seek financing  the first week of October. The official ground breaking ceremony is set for October 15 and the completion of the project is projected for the Fall of 2010.

FAU will play host to North Texas 7 p.m. Saturday, in the Owls second home contest of the season and first played at Lockhart.
Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters will be in attendance as part of the leagues 10 year-celebration. The game will feature junior running backs who finished 2009 as the No. 1-2 SBC rushing yards leaders in FAU’s Alfred Morris (1) and in North Texas’ Lance Dunbar (2). The Owls senior wide receiver Lester Jean is expected to lead FAU’s passing attach as the league’s leading receiver. Jeff Van Camp, who leads the league in passing efficiency, is expected to be under center.



FIU Panthers

This past Saturday, FIU went into Kyle Field and gave the Texas A&M Aggies all they could handle, but fell short of the upset in a 27-20 loss. FIU took a 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t stop the Aggies’ rushing attack as Texas A&M scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to earn the victory.

A week after a dominating performance against Rutgers that had FIU ranked second in the country in total defense, the FIU D proved it’s for real as they held sacked A&M’s Jerrod Johnson six times and picked off the Heisman hopeful four times. The six sacks and four interceptions are both one shy of the FIU single-game record.

Despite the Aggies amassing 400 yards of total offense, FIU is still ranked 28th in the country in total defense with an average of 286 yards per game. After the four picks against the Aggies, FIU now has five for the season, which ranks ninth in the country. The six sacks FIU picked up helped the D move up to 12th in the country in sacks per game (3.50), and the 10 tackles for loss against A&M moved FIU to ninth in the country at 8.50 tackles for loss per game.

Ashlyn Parker’s third-quarter interception was his first since 2007. A knee injury forced Parker to miss all of 2008 and 11 games in 2009. Anthony Gaitor’s third quarter interception was his second of the year and 11th of his career. He is now five behind FIU all-time leader Nick Turnbull.

On the other side of the ball, the offensive line has shown much improvement as they didn’t allow a sack. After allowing just one sack in the opener, FIU’s o-line is ranked 12th in the nation with just .50 sacks allowed per game.



Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

The Cajuns are 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the third consecutive season, and the fifth time overall, thanks to a 31-24 victory over Arkansas State on Sept. 11.

Head coach Rickey Bustle improved to 19-2 at home when leading at the half.

ULL has defeated the Red Wolves in the last three meetings and has won eight straight at Cajun field vs. ASU.  The Cajuns defense was dominant stopping the run, allowing just 18 yards on 19 carries.  ASU didn’t take an offensive snap on the Cajuns side of the field until there was under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Quarterback Chris Masson had a 60-yard touchdown run vs. ASU – his previous career long rush was just 25 yards.  Masson did not throw and interception vs. ASU and ULL is now 7-0 in games where he does not throw a pick.

Tight end Ladarius Green caught a game-high seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown vs. ASU…Of his seven catches, six generated a first down, of which three came on third down.  Green has 11 receptions for 184 and two touchdowns already this season and has 65 career receptions for 985 yards.

ULL enjoyed their open date last weekend and will host conference-favorite Middle Tennessee on Sept. 25.  The Cajuns are 5-4 all-time vs. the Blue Raiders in Sun Belt play.



Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Kolton Browning’s 350 yards of total offense were the most since Kinsmon Lancaster has 402 against Middle Tennessee in 2007. It was the fifth most yards of total offensive since ULM joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2001.

Browning’s 267 yards passing were the 12th most in the FBS this past weekend.

Linebacker Jason Edwards finished with double-digit tackles for the second straight game.  He finished the game with 13 tackles after recording 11 against Arkansas last week. He now leads the Sun Belt averaging 12.0 tackles per game.

Luther Ambrose tied a career-high with seven catches against Arkansas State. He also caught a touchdown pass and has now caught a touchdown pass in three straight games.

Brent Leonard also had a career night for the Warhawks with three catches for 67 yards.

ULM opens the Malone Stadium portion of its schedule this weekend when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana in the first meeting between the two schools since 1985.

ULM has had 14 players start their first career game this season after Josh Allen (OL) and Otis Peterson (CB) started against Arkansas State.

ULM’s successful two-point conversion was its first since 2008 when Darrell McNeal caught a Trey Revell pass at Arkansas State.



Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee’s offense entered the Memphis game a perfect 9-for-9 inside the red zone and had extended that streak against Memphis until late in the fourth quarter. The Blue Raiders were 2-for-4 against the Tigers to move their mark to 11-for-13 on the season.

Historically under Rick Stockstill, the Blue Raiders have done an excellent job of protecting the football but that has not been the case in 2010. The Blue Raiders had four miscues against Memphis to run their season total to 10 and the Tigers scored 24 points off those turnovers.

The Blue Raider offensive line has been bitten by a huge injury bug. The Raiders entered Saturday’s game without starting center Alex Stuart and starting guard Brandon McLeroy. In the second quarter, Middle Tennessee lost starting tackle Mark Fisher with an injury.

Senior DE Jamari Lattimore came up with his first sack of the season and the 10th of his career early in the third quarter against Memphis. The 10.0 sacks ties him with Thomas Johnson for ninth place on the all-time list.

Nathaniel Toulson punted late against Memphis and the kick was downed at the 1-yard line to give him three downed at the 1 this season out of six punt attempts and another was downed at the 2-yard line.



North Texas Mean Green

North Texas was held scoreless for the first time since Sept. 30, 2006, when Middle Tennessee blanked NT at Fouts Field.

This was the first career start for sophomore quarterback Derek Thompson.  Thompson was replacing senior Nathan Tune who suffered a season-ending injury last week against Rice.

Army scored a touchdown on its first offensive possession which is the third time in as many games that a North Texas opponent scored a touchdown on its initial possession of the game.

North Texas has not led in the first half of any game this season.  The only lead that North Texas has had this season was a 31-26 advantage over Rice in the fourth quarter.

Starting center Nick Leppo was injured in the first quarter, while Derek Thompson and Christopher Bynes suffered injuries in the second. That makes nine starters in the first three games for North Texas to go down with an injury and not return.

Derek Thompson threw his first career interception when he was picked off by safety Jordan Trimble in the first quarter.



Troy Trojans
The Trojans have played four consecutive games, going back to the 2010 GMAC Bowl, that were decided by three points or less. With the 34-33 loss to UAB, Troy coach Larry Blakeney saw his career record fall to 15-19 in games decided by a field goal or less.

Junior Michael Taylor continued his season-opening hot streak on field goals, hitting from 23 and 20 yards against UAB to improve to eight of nine on the year. Taylor, however, missed an extra point early in the game and had two second half kickoffs out of bounds, giving UAB a short field, which the Blazers turned into points both times.

In addition to problems kicking off, the Trojans opened the game against UAB by turning the ball over on the opening kickoff. UAB kicked off short on every attempt to keep the ball away from return man Jerrel Jernigan. On the opening kickoff, backup linebacker Brannon Bryan took the opening kick at the 34 yard line and fumbled after a return of five yards. The Trojans managed just 13 yards on four kickoff returns in the game.

Penalties continued to be a problem for Troy in the loss at UAB. The Trojans were flagged 15 times in the game for 131 yards. Four of those penalties were for personal fouls and six were called against the offensive line, including four in the fourth quarter.

Since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2004, the Trojans have opened a season with a 1-2 record four times prior to 2010. Troy has gone on to win the league title in three of those previous four years. The only year in which Troy did not earn the conference title or a bowl bid was 2005 when the team finished 4-7.



WKU Hilltoppers

The crowd of 20,772 was the second-largest attendance in the history of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.  It trailed only the 22,297 that saw WKU defeat Murray State on Sept. 20, 2008 in the first game of the renovated stadium.

WKU’s first scoring drive of the game covered 91 yards.  That was its longest drive for a touchdown since going 94 yards for a score at Troy on Nov. 8, 2008.

For the second straight week, the Hilltoppers took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a Bobby Rainey rushing touchdown.

Bobby Rainey accounted for 69 of WKU‘s 91 yards on that drive, rushing for 62 and catching a seven-yard pass.  Rainey — who entered the game as the nation’s fourth leading rusher — finished the game with 105, making him the first Hilltopper since Don Smith in 1990 to open a season with three straight games with over 100 yards rushing.

Marcus Vasquez caught a touchdown pass for the second straight game.  He finished with two touchdown catches in the entire 2009 season.

WKU will close out the nonconference portion of its 2010 schedule on Saturday (Sept. 25) when it travels to Tampa, Fla., to take on South Florida at Raymond James Stadium.  The last time the Hilltoppers defeated USF, quarterback Willie Taggart led the Toppers to a 31-24 win in Tampa during the 1998 season.

Source: Staff Reports
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