Sun Belt squads ready for busy Week 3 football slate
• The Week 3 slate for Sun Belt Conference football features eight Saturday games – one on ESPN2, one on ESPNU, one on the Big Ten Network, two on ESPN+ and three on ESPN3.
• Appalachian State remained listed among the teams receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Amway Coaches powered by USA Today Sports Top 25 polls this week. The Mountaineers received two points in the AP Poll and six points in the Amway Coaches Poll. Appalachian State has appeared among the teams receiving votes in both polls every week so far this season. The Mountaineers earned the Sun Belt’s second-ever Top 25 ranking last season – 25th in the Oct. 21, 2018 AP Poll. Appalachian State’s 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 once again received two votes in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll. The Trojans have appeared among the teams receiving votes in every Coaches Poll so far this season.
• Just two weeks into the season, the Sun Belt has recorded multiple wins against Autonomy Five conference opponents for the first time since 2012. This season, Georgia State’s win at Tennessee was its first over a Southeastern Conference opponent and first against an Autonomy Five opponent in the program’s 10-year history. Coastal Carolina’s win at Kansas was its first over a Big 12 Conference opponent and first in eight tries against an Autonomy Five opponent in the program’s 17-year history.
• Coastal Carolina’s win over Kansas on Sept. 7 gave the Sun Belt a win over an Autonomy Five conference school for the second-straight week after Georgia State’s upset at Tennessee on Aug. 31. The Chanticleers’ win marked the conference’s 10th win over an Autonomy Five opponent in the last 10 seasons (2011-19). Eight of the league’s 10 Autonomy Five wins have been 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.) and Coastal Carolina 12, Kansas 7 (Lawrence, Kan.)
• Following Georgia State’s upset win at Tennessee, the Panthers were the fourth team in Sun Belt history to receive Reveal Suits National Team of the Week honors by the Football Writers Association of America and head coach Shawn Elliott was named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, in conjunction with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
• The Sun Belt is building on its non-conference success from a year ago with 11 wins and the third-best winning percentage among the Group of Five conferences through the first two weeks this season.
1. Mountain West – 15-7 (.681)
2. American – 14-8 (.636)
3. Sun Belt – 11-8 (.579)
4. Mid-American – 10-13 (.435)
5. Conference USA – 11-15 (.423)
• Troy senior quarterback Kaleb Barker was one of three players named the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Week for his performance during the Trojans’ opener against Campbell. Barker is now eligible for the 2019 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, which is presented by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), The Associated Press and the Fiesta Bowl.
• The 2019-20 National Football League season opened with 40 former football standouts on rosters across the league’s 32 teams – 23 on active rosters, 10 on practice squads and seven on reserved lists. The conference has representatives on 23 different NFL teams.
• 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.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State (Jr., RB, Oak Hill, Fla.)
Appalachian State junior running back Darrynton Evans’ career-high 234 rushing yards (on 19 carries), 298 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns (three rushing, one kick return) propelled the Mountaineers to a 56-41 win over Charlotte. Evans’ 234 rushing yards and 298 all-purpose yards were the most by an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player so far this year, while his rushing total was the fifth-highest in school history for a game with less than 20 carries. His 87-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage was a career-long run, the fourth-longest in the nation this year and the fifth-longest in school history. Evans’ other three scores each came immediately after second-half Charlotte touchdowns to keep Appalachian State at least a touchdown ahead each time. After two games, Evans tops the nation with 166.5 rushing yards per game.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chandler Kryst, Coastal Carolina (Sr., DB, Tega Cay, S.C.)
Coastal Carolina redshirt senior defensive back Chandler Kryst matched his career interceptions total over his first four years in just one night with two picks in the road win at Kansas. Kryst, who joined a small company of Chanticleers to record two interceptions in the same game, ended two of the Jayhawks’ offensive series in a tight contest. Kryst and the Coastal Carolina defense held Kansas, which was averaging 241 passing yards per game entering the game, to just 107 passing yards and an average of only 5.6 passing yards per reception. Kryst’s first interception came in the second quarter with the Chants trailing 7-0. Kryst picked off a pass on Coastal’s own four-yard line as Kansas looked to double its lead. His second interception of the game came in Kansas’ first possession of the second half with the Chants down 7-6. He returned it 25 yards to help set up what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown on the next offensive series. Following his second pick, the Jayhawks attempted just four passes over the final 26:25 of the game. The win over the Jayhawks is Coastal’s first-ever win over an Autonomy Five conference school (1-7) and a Big 12 opponent (1-0).
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern (Sr., PK, Irmo, S.C.)
Georgia Southern senior placekicker Tyler Bass made a career-high four field goals, including another of 40+ yards in the Eagles’ win over Maine. His field goals of 37, 20, 31 and 40 yards proved to be the difference in the game. Bass also had six touchbacks in seven kickoffs with the one non-touchback coming on an onsides kick.
2019 Weekly Award Winners
September 2: Dan Ellington, Georgia State
September 9: Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State
September 2: Carlton Martial, Troy
September 9: Chandler Kryst, Coastal Carolina
Special Teams Player
September 2: Massimo Biscardi, Coastal Carolina
September 9: Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern
Saturday, September 14
Arkansas State at Georgia (ESPN2), 11 a.m.
Norfolk State at Coastal Carolina (ESPN3), 1 p.m.
Georgia Southern at Minnesota (BTN), 2:30 p.m.
Memphis at South Alabama (ESPNU), 2:30 p.m.
Southern Miss at Troy (ESPN+), 5 p.m.
Georgia State at Western Michigan (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Texas State at SMU (ESPN3), 6 p.m.
Texas Southern at Louisiana (ESPN3), 6:30 p.m.
All Times Central and Subject to Change
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