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This Week in The American and Sun Belt – Sept. 6

September 6, 2019 | Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc

This Week in The American and Sun Belt – Sept. 6

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – The second week of the college football season in the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conferences features 21 games on Saturday, Sept. 7. A battle of Ohio will ensue at noon with Cincinnati, coming off a victory vs. UCLA, traveling to Ohio State. UCF is set to take on in-state foe FAU in Boca Raton at 7 p.m., while Louisiana hosts Liberty at 8 p.m. and Arkansas State travels to UNLV at 10:00 p.m.

The biggest upset in week one happened when Georgia State knocking off Tennessee, 35-23, in Knoxville, and the Panthers return home to face Furman. Memphis also secured a big win by downing Ole Miss in its home opener.

The fifth annual Cure Bowl featuring teams from The American and Sun Belt is set for Saturday, Dec. 21, at Exploria Stadium.


Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0) at No. 5 Ohio State (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 12:00 p.m. | ABC
Columbus, Ohio | Ohio Stadium

Series History: Ohio State leads 14-2

– Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell served as the Ohio State head coach during the 2011 season.
– Quarterback Desmond Ritter threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the Bearcats’ season-opening win vs. UCLA.
– The Bearcats held UCLA to a total of 62 rushing yard and held possession for 38:42.

Southern Jaguars (0-1) at Memphis Tigers (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 12:00 p.m. | ESPN3
Memphis, Tenn. | Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– The Tigers have won their last six games over FCS opponents, including a 66-14 victory last season vs. Mercer.
– Running back Patrick Taylor, Jr., rushed for 128 yards and two scores the lead the Tigers over Ole Miss.
– Memphis has won 16 consecutive non-conference regular season games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

USF Bulls (0-1) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 2:00 p.m. | ACC Network
Atlanta, Ga. | Bobby Dodd Stadium

Series History: USF leads 1-0

– Last year, the Bulls took a 49-38 decision against Georgia Tech in Tampa led by 98 and 97 yard kickoff returns for touchdowns by Terrence Horne.
– Linebacker Patrick Macon had 15 tackles, a sack and forced fumble in his Bulls debut vs. Wisconsin.
– USF quarterback Black Barnett threw for 109 yards against the Badgers.

Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0) at UConn Huskies (1-0)
Saturday Sept. 7 | 3:30 p.m. | CBS Sports
East Hartford, Conn. | Pratt & Whitney Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– UConn is 2-2 against opponents from the Big Ten with a pair of wins over Indiana.
– Running back Kevin Mensah led the Huskies with 144 yards and a touchdown against Wagner.
– The Huskies are looking for their first 2-0 start since 2015.

Charlotte 49ers (1-0) at Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-0)
Saturday Sept. 7 | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Boone, N.C. | Kidd-Brewer Stadium

Series History: Appalachian State leads 1-0

– The Mountaineers posted a 45-9 win last year at Charlotte in the only prior meeting between the two schools.
– The in-state matchup features the sixth-youngest head coach in Appalachian State’s Eliah Drinkwitz and the third-youngest head coach in Charlotte’s Will Healy.
– Appalachian State holds the nations third-longest active winning streak with seven wins behind Clemson (16) and Army (10).

ULM Warhawks (1-0) at Florida State Seminoles (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 5:00 p.m. | ACC Network
Tallahassee, Fla. | Doak-Campbell Stadium

Series History: Florida State leads 2-0

– This is the third meeting between the programs in eight years, all in Tallahassee.
– Warhawk quarterback Caleb Evans is one of only three players to register multiple games with at least 290 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in 2018.
– ULM runnigng back Josh Johnson tallied 173 yards on 10 carries in the win over Grambling State.

Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (0-1) at ECU Pirates (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 6:00 p.m. | ESPN3
Greenville, N.C. | Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– ECU is playing its first opponent from the Big South Conference.
– The Pirates are appearing in thier 122nd game against an in-state opponent.
– Quarterback Holton Ahers led the Pirates ith 168 yards through the air in a loss at NC State.

Maine Blackbears (1-0) at Georgia Southern Eagles (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 6:00 p.m. | ESPN+
Statesboro, Ga. | Paulson Stadium

Series History: Georgia Southern leads 3-0

– This is the first non-playoff meeting in the FCS between the two programs.
– The Eagles have won 22-straight games at ome against non-conference opponents, dating back to 2006.
– Georgia Southern has won 11 of its last 12 home openers.

No. 17 UCF Knights (1-0) at FAU Owls (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | CBS Sports
Boca Raton, Fla. | FAU Stadium

Series History: UCF leads 2-0

– The Knights are playing for the first time in Boca Raton.
– Three UCF quarterback threw touchdown passes in the season-opening win vs. FAMU.
– UCF has scored at least 30 points in 27-straight games, the longest such streak since 1936.

North Texas Mean Green (1-0) at SMU Mustangs (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | ESPN3
Dallas, Texas | Gerald J. Ford Stadium

Series History: SMU leads 31-6-1

– The Mustangs have won the past 14 meetings in Dallas.
– SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., posted 11 receptions and 180 yards in the season-opening win at Arkansas State.
– The Mustangs turned momentum following a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by wide receiver CJ Sanders.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (0-1) at Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | ESPN+
Lawrence, Kan. | David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– Coastal Carolina kicker Massimo Biscardi hit a 53-yard field goal, tying the longest in program history, against Eastern Michigan.
– With just 11 fourth and fifth-year players, the Chanticleers are tied with Appalachain State for fourth among teams with the fewest seniors.
– Coastal Carolina moved its practice site to Greenville for the week with Hurrican Dorian approaching Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Furman Paladins (1-0) at Georgia State Panthers
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | ESPN3
Atlanta, Ga. | Georgia State Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– The Panthers are coming off a 35-23 upset at Tennessee, which included Georgia State out-scoring the Vols 24-13 in the second half.
– GSU left tackle Hunter Atkins ranks among the national leaders with 37-consecutive starts.
– Head coach Shawn Elliott has faced the Paladins 15 times as an assistant coach at Appalachian State and South Carolina.

Jackson State Tigers (0-1) at South Alabama Jaguars (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | ESPN3
Mobile, Ala. | Ladd-Peebles Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– The Jaguars are 3-0 against scools from the SWAC.
– South Alabama running back Tra Minter tallied 158 all-purpose yards.
– Minter is the fifth player in program histroy to surpass 2,500 all-purpose yards.

Wyoming Cowboys (1-0) at Texas State Bobcats (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:00 p.m. | ESPN+
San Marcos, Texas | Bobcat Stadium

Series History: Wyoming leads 2-1

– The winning team in the series has talled 40 or more points and won by double digits.
– Texas State linebacker Bryan London II registered his first career interception at Texas A&M.
– Head coach Jake Spavital guides the Bobcats and is the second yongest head coach in the nation.

Liberty Flames (0-1) at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Lafayette, La. | Cajun Field

Series History: First meeting

– The Ragin’ Cajuns have one of the most experienced offensive lines in the nations, combining for 133 starts and ranking second behind Oregon.
– Louisiana wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley has caught a pass in 28-straight contests.
– Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze coached his first game of the season vs. Syracuse from his hospital bed inside the coaches box.

Tulane Green Wave (1-0) at No. 10 Auburn Tigers (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 8:00 p.m. | ESPN2
Auburn, Ala. | Jordan-Hare Stadium

Series History: Tulane leads 17-14-6

– First meeting since 2006, but the schools played annually from 1922-1955 as SEC members.
– The Green Wave have rushed for 350 yards vs. FIU and have hit at least 100 yards rushing in 42 consecutive games, dating back to the end of the 2015 campaign.
– Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan tossed 199 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over FIU.

Prarie View A&M (1-0) at Houston Cougars (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 8:00 p.m | ESPN3
Houston, Texas | TDECU Stadium

Series History: First meeting

– The Cougars have posted a 6-0 mark against members of the SWAC.
– Houston has forced at least on turover in all 18 consecutive games, the second-longest streak nationally.
– Safety Grat Stuard paced the Cougar defense with a career-high 14 tackles vs. Oklahoma.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-1) at San Jose State Spartans (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 9:00 p.m. | ESPN3
San Jose, Calif. | CEFCU Stadium

Series History: Tulsa leads 4-3

– The Golden Hurricane won the most recent meeting at home, 45-10, in 2016.
– Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith completed 16 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown at Michigan State
– Michigan State was held to just one offensive touchdown by the Golden Hurricane defense.

Arkansas State Red Wolves (0-1) at UNLV Rebels (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 7 | 10:00 p.m. | Stadium
Las Vegas, Nev. | Sam Boyd Stadium

Series History: Tied, 1-1

– In prior meetings, the Red Wolves claimed a 27-20 home victory last season, while UNLV won 28-23 back in 1995 when both programs were members of the Big West.
– A-State quarterback Logan Bonner set career marks for touchdown passes (4), completions (32) and yards (324).
– Wide Receiver Omar Baylass caught all four touchdown passes from Bonner and finished with 10 receptions for 132 yards.