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The American and Sun Belt Preview – Sept. 14

September 14, 2018 | Nathan Blythe

The American and Sun Belt Preview – Sept. 14

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – There are a number of key clashes in the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference this weekend. The two conferences have a pair of showdowns with Arkansas State at Tulsa and Georgia State at Memphis.

Three games across the two conferences were also cancelled due to the impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas.

[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””]The American vs. Sun Belt Matchups[/dt_highlight]

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GEORGIA STATE (1-1) at MEMPHIS (1-1, 0-1 The American)

Friday, Sept. 14 • 7 p.m. ET • ESPN
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium • Memphis, Tennessee

  • This will be the first meeting between Memphis and Georgia State
  • The schools were scheduled to play Sept. 30 of last season, but the game was cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
  • The Panthers opened the season with a 24-20 win against Kennesaw State and followed with a 41-7 loss at North Carolina State in Week 2.
  • Memphis, the preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference’s West Division, lost its conference opener 22-21 at Navy.

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Saturday, Sept. 15 • 7 p.m. ET • CBS Sports Network
Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium • Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Arkansas State opened the 2018 season with a 48-21 win against Southeast Missouri State, but the Red Wolves fell 57-7 at top-ranked Alabama last Saturday to even their record at 1-1.
  • A-State is the preseason favorite in the Sun Belt West Division with the return of 12 starters from last year’s 7-5 team.
  • Tulsa won its season-opener with a 38-27 decision against Central Arkansas and the Golden Hurricane nearly came away with a 2-0 start, but Texas held on for a 28-21 win in Week 2.

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[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””]The American Matchups[/dt_highlight]

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TEMPLE (0-2) at MARYLAND (2-0)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • Noon ET • Big Ten Network
Maryland Stadium • College Park, Maryland

  • This is the eighth meeting between Temple and Maryland in a series that dates to 1997.
  • The Owls only win in the series was a 38-7 victory in 2011.
  • The Owls fell against Villanova (19-17) and Buffalo (36-29) to start the season.

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RHODE ISLAND (2-0, 2-0 CAA) at UCONN (0-2, 0-1 The American)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • Noon ET • ESPN3
Pratt & Whitney Stadium • East Hartford, Connecticut

  • This is the 95th meeting between Rhode Island and Uconn in a series that started in 1897.
  • The Huskies have faced the Rams more than any other opponent. Uconn holding a 51-35-8 series lead.

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TULANE (1-1) at UAB (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 1 p.m. ET • Stadium/Facebook
Legion Field • Birmingham, Alabama

  • This is the 10th meeting between Tulane and UAB with the Green Wave holding a 5-4 advantage.
  • Tulane has also won five of the last seven meetings.
  • Tulane dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to Wake Forest in Week 1, but the Green Wave had no such drama in its second game, a 42-17 win against Nicholls.

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LEHIGH (1-1) at NAVY (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 p.m. ET • CBS Sports Network
Navy Marine-Crops Memorial Stadium • Annapolis, Maryland

  • Navy holds a 14-6-1 all-time mark in a series that dates back to 1889
  • Navy returned from a long road trip to Hawaii and rallied for a 22-21 win against Memphis in its opener in The American last Saturday.
  • The Midshipmen have gone 9-for-9 in redzone scoring with eight touchdowns.

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USF (2-0) at ILLINOIS (2-0)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Big Ten Network
Soldier Field • Chicago, Illinois

  • The Bulls took the only prior meeting last year 47-23 in Tampa, which was the first win vs. USF against a Big 10 foes in six chances.
  • USF protected its home field with a 49-38 victory against Georgia Tech.
  • USF QB Blake Barnett has figured in four touchdowns in each of his first two games

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SMU (0-2) at MICHIGAN (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Big Ten Network
Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • The Wolverines were 27-16 winners in the only prior meeting in 1963.
  • Though Michigan won that game legend holds that then-Ford executive Lee Iacocca told the SMU locker room that Ford’s new sports car would be called the Mustang, inspired by the play of SMU’s squad.
  • The Mustangs dropped their first two contests against TCU and at North Texas.

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HOUSTON (2-0) at TEXAS TECH (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 3:30 p.m. ET • Big Ten Network
Jones AT&T Stadium • Lubbock, Texas

  • Houston holds an 18-12-1 all-time advantage against the Red Raiders, but Texas Tech has taken the last two meetings, including a 27-24 decision last season.
  • The Cougars posted a 45-18 victory against Arizona last week after opening the campaign with a 45-27 win over Rice.
  • The Cougars have scored 45 points and gained at least 500 yards in both games of the 2018 season.

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Saturday, Sept. 15 • 7:00 p.m. ET • ESPN3
Nippert Stadium • Cincinnati, Ohio

  • The Bearcats took the only previous matchup 52-10 in the 2015 season-opener.
  • Cincinnati is off to a 2-0 start for the second time in three seasons after the Bearcats picked up season-opening wins against UCLA (26-17) and Miami (Ohio) 21-0.
  • Cincinnati’s calling card has been its defense, which has held its first two opponents to 8.5 points and 252.0 yards per game.

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[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””]Sun Belt Matchups[/dt_highlight]

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TROY (0-0, 1-1 Sun Belt) at NEBRASKA (0-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 12 p.m. ET •
Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Nebraska has won each of the first four meetings in the all-time series.
  • Last week, the Trojans rebounded with a 59-7 victory vs. Florida A&M after dropping a 56-20 decision at home vs. Boise State on Labor Day weekend
  • In the victory over the Rattlers, Troy finished with 477 yards of total offense, improving to15-0 in regulation games when topping the 400-yard mark of total offense.

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Saturday, Sept. 15 • 12 p.m. ET •
Clemson Memorial Stadium • Clemson, South Carolina

  • Georgia Southern will be the 104th different opponent faced by Clemson all-time. Clemson holds a 61-38-4 all-time record when facing an opponent for the first time.
  • Georgia Southern tight end Ellis Richardson’s father played linebacker at Clemson on the 1981 National Championship Team, and his brother played defensive end for Clemson’s football team from 2007-2010.

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Saturday, Sept. 15 • 7 p.m. ET •
Ladd Peebles Stadium • Mobile, Alabama

  • The home team has won each of the first three matchups in the all-time series with Texas State holding a 2-1 advantage.
  • The Jaguars’ lone win in the series was also the program’s sixth in 2014, making the program bowl eligible for the first time in school history.
  • The Jaguars are 0-2, with defeats against Louisiana Tech and at Oklahoma State.
  • Texas State dropped its season opener at Rutgers and won its home opener vs. Texas Southern.
  • The Bobcats’ five total turnovers forced ranks 13th nationally and second in the Sun Belt.

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Saturday, Sept. 15 • 7:30 p.m. ET •
Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field • Starkville, Mississippi

  • Mississippi State has a 3-1 mark all-time against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
  • Louisiana takes its undefeated record on the road for the first time this season at Mississippi State.
  • This is the first meeting between the programs since 1987 when the Ragin’ Cajuns headed to Starkville, Miss., to play the No. 16 Bulldogs.
  • The win over Grambling increased the Ragin’ Cajuns’ in-state mark to 8-4 against in-state foes over the last four campaigns.

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ULM (2-0) at TEXAS A&M (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 15 • 7:30 p.m. ET •
Kyle Field • College Station, Texas

  • ULM should be good for well over 400 yards, and it can bring the heat from the line with eight sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
  • The Warhawks rank among the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leaders in sacks (8th) and rushing defense (10th).
  • ULM’s last win over an SEC opponent came in the 2012 season opener against No. 8 Arkansas in Little Rock, 34-31, in overtime

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[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””]Cancelled Games Due to Hurricane Florence[/dt_highlight]

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  • UCF (2-0, 1-0 The American) at NORTH CAROLINA (0-2)
  • ECU (1-1) at VIRGINIA TECH (2-0, 1-0 ACC)