Photo courtesy of Western Kentucky Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
ARKANSAS STATE: For the second time this season, the Red Wolves (1-2) lost on the road to a nationally-ranked team, falling in convincing fashion to Nebraska, 42-13. The defense had no answer for the Cornhuskers, allowing 527 yards of total offense, and the usually-potent offensive attack was lackluster as well, compiling less than 300 yards in the game. Ryan Aplin completed 16- of-30 passes for 138 yards, with the majority of his completions going to J.D. McKissic (eight receptions, 73 yards). Rocky Hayes made the most of his six carries, gaining 47 yards to lead the team. Arkansas State's only touchdown came early in the third quarter on a Qushaun Lee one-yard fumble recovery for a score. The Red Wolves will have a solid chance to pull even on the season when they play host to FCS foe Alcorn State this Saturday.
FIU: The Golden Panthers were outscored 23-0 in the first half of their game on Saturday and could not overcome the deficit, eventually falling to UCF by a score of 33-20. The running game was the biggest success for FIU, as its 152 yards accounted for nearly half of its total offensive production. Darian Mallary gained 71 yards on just 11 carries, running in a pair of touchdowns from 28 and four yards out, respectively. Although he did not throw an interception, Jake Metlock was ineffective in the game, completing just 13- of-28 passes for 154 yards. Metlock's lone touchdown strike came on a five- yard pass to Kedrick Rhodes in the third quarter. Jordan Hunt was active on defense, racking up 15 tackles. FIU (1-2) is in for another tough assignment this week when it hosts nationally-ranked Louisville.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC: The Owls managed to hang with the nationally-ranked Georgia Bulldogs for most of the first half, knotting the score at 14-14 in the second quarter on a Dorvilus Nexon touchdown. It was all Georgia from there however, as FAU dropped its second straight road game, 56-20. The end result wasn't pretty, having allowed 713 total yards of offense to the SEC power. Graham Wilbert completed 18-of-33 passes for 183 yards and the touchdown to Nexon. Damian Foster rushed for 81 yards on 14 carries and scored the only another Owl touchdown, and William Dukes led the team in receiving with five catches for 98 yards. FAU (1-2) converted 8-of-12 third downs in the first half, but managed to go only 1-of-7 after the break. Things only get more difficult this Saturday when the Owls fly into Tuscaloosa for a date with No. 1 Alabama.
LOUISIANA: In a tough road game against nationally-ranked Oklahoma State, Louisiana lost its first bout of the year, 65-24. The Ragin' Cajuns offense had a decent day (376 yards), but the defense had no answer for the Cowboys, surrendering a astounding 742 yards on the afternoon. Blaine Gautier threw for 236 yards and had one touchdown passing and another rushing, but he completed just 16-of-31 of his passes. Javone Lawson (eight catches, 92 yards), Harry Peoples (six catches, 69 yards) and Daryl Surgent (two catches, 83 yards, TD) were all busy in the receiving game. Louisiana (2-1) is idle this week, returning to action against visiting FIU on Sept. 29.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE: In a fantastic all-around effort, Middle Tennessee went on the road to defeat in-state rival Memphis, 48-30. Logan Kilgore was on point, completing 22-of-30 passes for 253 yards, tossing two touchdowns while throwing no interceptions. Anthony Amos was his favorite target on the night, reeling in nine balls for 128 yards, but it was Christian Collis (three catches, 32 yards) who caught both touchdown passes. The running game amassed 179 yards, with Benny Cunningham (11 carries, 57 yards, two TDs) and Drayton Calhoun (nine carries, 38 yards, TD) doing the most damage. The defense played excellent as well, forcing four turnovers, including a Kevin Byard interception that was returned 68 yards for a touchdown. Middle Tennessee (2-1, 1-0 SBC) has off this week before traveling the Atlanta to play Georgia Tech on Sept. 29.
NORTH TEXAS: The Mean Green put up a valiant effort in a very difficult road game against nationally-ranked Kansas State, but ultimately lost, 35-21. They played to 7-7 tie for most of the first half and were down just 14-13 midway through the third quarter, but the Wildcats pulled away from there. Derek Thompson was great on the night, missing on just three pass attempts (25- of-28) en route to 208 yards and a touchdown. Ivan Delgado was the leading receiver with nine catches for 86 yards, and Brelan Chancellor (five catches, 33 yards) caught a touchdown pass. The running game was bottled up for the most part, but Antoinne Jimmerson (eight carries, 68 yards, TD) had an effective game in limited reps. Lairamie Lee (11 tackles) led an impressive defensive effort that allowed 373 yards of total offense. North Texas (1-2) will kick off its Sun Belt Conference slate this Saturday when it entertains the Troy Trojans.
SOUTH ALABAMA: The Jaguars (1-2) followed their first win of the season a week prior with a 31-7 loss at NC State, thus falling to the Wolfpack for the second time in as many years. The South Alabama defense actually played pretty well, allowing only 257 yards of total offense, but after giving up a pair of big passing touchdowns to Mike Glennon in the first quarter it simply could not recover. C.J. Bennett (10-of-15, 74 yards, INT) started the game before backup Ross Methen (14-of-20, 189 yards, TD, INT) came in to see some action. Both signal callers were sacked three times. Demtetre Baker led the team with 100 all purpose yards, gaining 45 on the ground and another 55 through the air. Alex Page recorded two of the team's four sacks. The Jags have another tough non-conference game this week when it travels to Starkville to challenge SEC foe Mississippi State.
TROY: The Trojans put forth a fantastic effort in their first-ever home game against an SEC opponent, tallying 572 yards of total offense, but a fourth- quarter rally fell just short as they lost to Mississippi State, 30-24. Corey Robinson continued his early-season aerial exploits, completing 32-of-45 passes for 343 yards (giving him 992 yards in three games), but he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. Shawn Southward rushed the ball 20 times for 137 yards and a pair of scores, his seventh multi-touchdown game of his career. Chip Reeves caught nine passes for 79 yards and Eric Thomas hauled in seven for 74. The offensive line continued to do a great job protecting their quarterback. They did not allow a sack and Robinson has only been taken down in the backfield once this season. Troy (1-2, 0-1 SBC) will head back to its Sun Belt schedule this Saturday, traveling to Denton to play North Texas.
ULM: The Warhawks nearly knocked off an SEC program for the second consecutive week, battling back from 21 down against Auburn to force overtime, but ultimately fell in a 31-28 final. Once again, quarterback Kolton Browning was the catalyst, completing 28-for-46 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 58 yards and a score on the ground. Jyruss Edwards ran for 76 yards to pace a solid night rushing for the team (165 yards). Brent Leonard (seven receptions, 53 yards) and Je'Ron Hamm (five receptions, 57 yards) each had decent receiving days. ULM (1-1) will continue its difficult non-conference schedule on a short week as it is set to host Baylor on Friday night.
WESTERN KENTUCKY: The Hilltoppers nearly coughed up a 17-0 first-half lead to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night, allowing them to come back and force overtime in the final minute of regulation. Following a UK touchdown in the extra frame. WKU answered with a touchdown of its own, but instead of playing for another overtime period, it went for the win with a successful trick play two-point conversion to claim a 32-31 victory. Antonio Andrews was instrumental in the victory, gaining 125 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns. He also helped orchestrate the trick play. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes lateraled the ball to Andrews, and he then completed a pass back to Jakes for the win. Jakes finished 16-of-22 for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The defense stepped up as well, picking off UK quarterback Maxwell Smith four times. WKU (2-1) tries to keep the momentum going on Saturday when it hosts Southern Miss.