South Alabama, Troy play for bowl eligibility, No. 23/23 Louisiana aims to complete unblemished conference campaign in week 13
Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Though the Sun Belt Football Championship Game is set—App State at No. 23/23 Louisiana at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4, on ESPN—several of the conference’s teams have much to play for on the final weekend of the regular season.
Paramount among them are South Alabama and Troy, which can secure bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016 and 2018, respectively, with victories. No. 23/23 Louisiana can extend its program-record winning streak to 11 games, while App State can reach the 10-win plateau for the fifth time in the last seven years.
For exclusive Sun Belt Football content on game days and throughout the 2021 season, follow @SunBeltFB on Twitter.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- AMONG THE ELITE – Since the start of the 2020 season, three Sun Belt programs rank among the Top 10 nationally in winning percentage. No. 23/23 Louisiana (20-2) and Coastal Carolina (20-3) sit third and fourth in the nation, trailing only Alabama (23-1) and Cincinnati (20-1), while App State rounds out the Top 10 at 18-6.
- MARTIAL LAW – Troy junior linebacker Carlton Martial is one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s top player who began his career as a walk-on. Martial is the nation’s leading tackler since the start of the 2018 season with 436 tackles, 69 more than the next closest player, and is 1-of-2 players in the country to have at least 115 tackles and 9.0 tackles for loss this season. A two-time Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist, Martial was the Preseason Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year entering the 2021 campaign and is the nation’s active leader averaging 9.46 tackles per game during his career.
- IRON MAN – App State will host rival Georgia Southern at 1:30 p.m. CT Saturday on Senior Day. Among the Mountaineers Senior Day honorees will be super senior wide receiver Thomas Hennigan—the all-time FBS record-holder with 62 starts to date. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 20-15-1, including winning four of the last six, seven of the last 10 and 11 of the last 16 meetings. An App State win would allow the program to reach 10 wins for the fifth time in the last seven years.
- CLOSE IT OUT – No. 23/23 Louisiana will aim to close out a perfect conference regular-season with a victory over ULM on Senior Day at 3 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU. Louisiana has never lost to a Sun Belt West Division opponent under head coach Billy Napier. This year’s senior class has already left its mark on the Ragin’ Cajuns program, having won four-straight West Division titles, strung together a program-record 10-game winning streak and earned the right to host the Sun Belt Football Championship Game for the first time in program history.
- BOWL SEASON – Four Sun Belt teams have clinched bowl eligibility—App State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and No. 23/23 Louisiana. Two teams—South Alabama and Troy—can reach the requisite six wins with victories this weekend. South Alabama is 4-1 at home on the season and will host Coastal Carolina at 2:30 p.m. Friday on ESPN+. The home team has won each of the two prior meetings in the all-time series. Troy will visit Georgia State at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+, in its first game under interim head coach Brandon Hall. The Trojans own a 5-3 edge in the all-time series. For complete Sun Belt Football Bowl Season information, click here.
WHERE TO WATCH
|Friday, Nov. 26||Coastal Carolina at South Alabama | Game Notes | Game Notes||2:30 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||Texas State at Arkansas State | Game Notes | Game Notes||1 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||Troy at Georgia State | Game Notes | Game Notes||1 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||Georgia Southern at App State | Game Notes | Game Notes||1:30 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||ULM at No. 23/23 Louisiana | Game Notes | Game Notes||3 p.m.||ESPNU|
All Times CT
For exclusive Sun Belt football content on game days and throughout the 2021 season, follow @SunBeltFB on Twitter.