WKU Tops Kentucky; Texas State Wins Sun Belt Debut; Troy Beats UAB in OT
The first week of the college football season saw four Sun Belt teams notch wins, the league claim an early win over an SEC program and start 2-0 against Conference USA.
For the second-consecutive season WKU claimed a victory over in-state rival Kentucky. Bobby Petrino’s debut was everything the Hilltoppers wanted from the coach’s first game. He remains undefeated in season openers, improving to 9-0. The Hilltoppers also beat their in-state rival for a second straight year, though they didn’t need overtime like they did last year in this win over the Southeastern Conference program. They outgained Kentucky 487-419 in total offense and held the ball for 35 minutes.
Elsewhere, Texas State was playing its first game as a Sun Belt Conference member and the Bobcat’s debut was a successful one with a win on the road against Southern Mississippi. Texas State took advantage of six Southern Miss turnovers, including four lost fumbles.
While Texas State had success in Hattiesburg, Troy gave the Sun Belt its other win over a CUSA team with a home overtime win over UAB. Troy quarterback Corey Robinson finished 30-for-32 passing for 319 yards and a touchdown. He set a Sun Belt Conference record for completion percentage and tied a 45-year-old school record with 20 consecutive completions.
Two-time defending Sun Belt champions Arkansas State opened the season hitting on all cylinders. The Red Wolves had four different rushers with over 100 yards in a 62-11 rout of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
A-State will travel to Auburn this upcoming week in a game against former Red Wolf head coach Gus Malzahn. Elsewhere, WKU will try to make it two-in-a-row against SEC teams as they head to Knoxville to play Tennessee.
Western Kentucky at Tennessee - 11:21 a.m. (SEC Network)
Tennessee-Chattanooga at Georgia State - 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
South Alabama at Tulane - 2:30 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Kansas State - 5:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Prairie View A&M at Texas State - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
Savannah State at Troy - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
Grambling at Louisiana-Monroe - 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
Arkansas State at Auburn - 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Network)
Offensive Player of the Week
Corey Robinson (Troy, Sr., QB)
Troy senior quarterback Corey Robinson broke an NCAA record, three Sun Belt records and two Troy records in Troy's dramatic 34-31 victory over UAB. Robinson completed 30-of-32 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown; his 93.8 completion percentage broke Steve Sarkisian’s record of 91.2 percent set in 1995 for quarterbacks with at least 30 completions. Robinson broke the Sun Belt career passing yardage and completions records held previously by Ryan Aplin. Robinson tied Troy's mark for consecutive completions with 20 and set the school mark for completion percentage in a game.
Defensive Player of the Week
David Mayo (Texas State, Jr., LB)
Recorded the first two interceptions of his career at Texas State in the fourth quarter in Texas State’s 22-15 victory at Southern Miss … first interception came with 10:34 left to play on Texas State’s 15-yard line to halt a potential Golden Eagle scoring drive … second interception was at the Bobcat 46-yard line on final Southern Miss possession with five seconds remaining in the game … also recorded a nine-yard quarterback sack on a fourth and 10 play with 1:38 left to play on the Golden Eagles’ previous possession … tied for the team lead with six total tackles, including four unassisted stops.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Will Scott (Troy, Sr., K)
Will Scott booted a 30-yard field goal in overtime to lift Troy past UAB 34-31 in the season opener. Scott also connected on an 18-yard field goal earlier in the game and averaged 46.3 yards on three punts, including a 50-yard kick. It was the second career game-winner for Scott who kicked a 42-yarder against FIU with 11 seconds remaining.