Welcome: Login to StatFox |  Register |  Login to FoxSheets
StatFox.com - Sports Handicapping Community

The Leading Logic In Sports Handicapping

2013 College Football Preview: Sun Belt
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 7/11/2013  at  12:00:00 PM
  Print This Article    

To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2013 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the Sun Belt Conference, which will look completely different in 2013. Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee and North Texas all left for Conference USA, and the SBC added only two more schools to replace them. Texas State left the disbanded WAC and Georgia State will make the jump from the FCS to round out this eight-school conference.

Odds to Win Sun Belt Conference

8-to-5: Louisiana-Lafayette
8-to-5: Louisiana-Monroe
11-to-4: Western Kentucky
5-to-1: Arkansas State
8-to-1: Troy
30-to-1: Texas State
40-to-1: South Alabama
50-to-1: Georgia State

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE RAGIN' CAJUNS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 9-4 (6-2 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 7-4-1
Points Scored: 35.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.1 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
It was a second straight 9-4 campaign for the Ragin’ Cajuns, thanks in large part to QB Terrence Broadway (2,847 pass yds, 17 TD, 9 INT; 769 rush yds, 9 TD). He’ll miss star WRs Harry Peoples and Javone Lawson, but WRs Jamal Robinson (627 rec. yds, 3 TD) and Darryl Surgent (569 rec. yds, 3 TD) are no slouches. Neither is bruising RB Alonzo Harris (881 rush yds, 10 TD). The defense needs work (428 YPG, 88th in FBS), especially against the pass (283 YPG, 9th-worst in FBS). New DC James Willis will employ a multiple set led by DE Christian Ringo (7 sacks), massive DT Justin Hamilton (3 sacks, 3 FF), and LBs Justin Anderson (98 tackles, 4 PD) and Chris Hill (17 solo tackles).

LOUISIANA-MONROE WARHAWKS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (6-2 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 9-3-1
Points Scored: 33.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 29.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
ULM had a memorable season, beating then-No. 8 Arkansas and making its first bowl. QB Kolton Browning (3,049 pass yds, 29 TD, 10 INT; 488 rush yds, 7 TD) is back healthy and still has WRs Je’Ron Hamm (915 rec. yds, 6 TD) and Tavarese Maye (612 rec. yds, 4 TD). Senior RB Jyruss Edwards (438 rush yds, 6 TD) missed five games last year, but is ready to run behind an excellent offensive line. Injuries destroyed this defense (419 YPG, 80th in FBS), but DL Kentarius Caldwell and LBs Cameron Blakes and Austin Moss are all back healthy. They join what should be an improved secondary with CBs Rob’Donovan Lewis (69 tackles, 2 INT) and Vincent Eddie (68 tackles).

WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (4-4 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 28.2 PPG
Points Allowed: 25.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
After dropping four of its final five games, WKU decided to take a chance with Bobby Petrino. He will often feed RB Antonio Andrews (1,728 rush yds, 11 TD; 432 rec. yds, 3 TD) who led the nation with 3,161 all-purpose yards. QB Brandon Doughty (14-of-25, 113 yds, 1 INT career) will also get the ball in the hands of WRs Willie McNeal (556 rec. yds, 6 TD) and Austin Aikens (27.1 YPC). New DC Nick Holt loves to attack from his 4-3 scheme, and is loving SS Kiante Young (83 tackles, 7 PD) and FS Jonathan Dowling (68 tackles, 6 INT). LBs Andrew Jackson (122 tackles, 4 FF, 16.5 TFL) and Xavius Boyd (79 tackles) will try to compensate for a green D-Line with four new starters.

ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 10-3 (7-1 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 9-4 (69%)
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 34.9 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
New Head Coach: Bryan Harsin
New head man Bryan Harsin won’t tinker much with ASU’s no-huddle attack that posted 467 YPG (23rd in FBS) and 34.9 PPG (26th in FBS). But he won’t have star QB Ryan Aplin to run the show, likely turning things over to QB Adam Kennedy (972 pass yds, 11 TD, 4 INT with Utah State). The receiving corps is stacked with WRs J.D. McKissic (1,022 rec. yds, 5 TD) and Julian Jones (394 rec. yds, 30.3 YPC, 7 TD), while RB David Oku (1,061 rush yds, 16 TD) is a workhorse. Harsin retained DC John Thompson, whose unit allowed an SBC-best 24.5 PPG last year. DT Ryan Carrethers (68 tackles), LB Qushaun Lee (100 tackles) and S Sterling Young (2 INT, 6 PD) form a strong nucleus.

TROY TROJANS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (3-5 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 6-5-1 (55%)
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 30.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 30.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 3
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
The 5-7 Trojans lost six games by a touchdown or less in 2012. Not many starters come back, but the stellar offense (499 YPG, 11th in FBS) returns both QB Corey Robinson (3,121 pass yds, 12 TD, 9 INT) and QB/RB Deon Anthony (856 pass yds, 9 TD, 3 INT; 390 rush yds, 8 TD). WR Eric Thomas (667 rec. yds, 7 TD) is also reliable. The seldom-used running game will rely on 5-foot-8, wideout-turned-RB Khary Franklin (5 rush, 25 yds career) to try to find holes in a shaky O-Line. New DC Wayne Bolt will employ a 4-2-5 for his defense that recorded just 13 sacks (T-8th-worst in FBS) and 50 TFL (T-5th-worst in FBS). S Chris Pickett (61 tackles, 3 FF) is the lone standout.

TEXAS STATE BOBCATS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (3-4 in WAC)
ATS Record: 8-4 (67%)
Over/Under: 4-7
Points Scored: 28.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 33.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
Texas State was 4-8, beating Houston 30-13. Now the Bobcats join the Sun Belt with QB Tyler Arndt (22-of-56, 208 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT) and strong WRs Andy Erickson (482 rec. yds, 3 TD) and Isaiah Battle (428 rec. yds, 3 TD). RBs Tim Gay (279 rush yds, 10.3 YPC) and Robert Lowe (9.5 YPC) both showed great burst in limited action, but this O-Line is weak. The defense allowed 485 YPG (6th-worst in FBS) and tallied just 12 sacks (T-4th-worst in FBS) in the 4-2-5 scheme. LB Michael Orakpo (87 tackles at Colorado St. in 2011) will help though, joining DBs Xavier Daniels (66 tackles) and Craig Mager (4 INT).

SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-11 (1-7 in Sun Belt)
ATS Record: 4-9 (31%)
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 18.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 29.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 9
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The Jaguars were 2-11 overall and 1-7 in Sun Belt play, scoring just 18.5 PPG (8th-worst in FBS) with 334 YPG (106th in FBS). Senior QB Ross Metheny (2,148 pass yds, 12 TD, 12 INT) looks to move forward with veteran WRs Jeremé Jones (513 rec. yds, 7 TD) and Bryant Lavender (378 rec. yds), but RB Demetre Baker (595 rush yds, 3 TD) has new blood to compete for carries. New DC Kevin Sherrer will switch to a 4-3 scheme that will be ripe with JUCO talent such as LB Tony Johnson and safeties Steven and Seffon Fuller, twin brothers. Key veterans remain too, like DE Alex Page (6 sacks) and LBs Jake Johnson (131 tackles, 15 TFL) and Enrique Williams (105 tackles, 3 QBH).

GEORGIA STATE PANTHERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 1-10 (1-7 in Colonial - FCS)
ATS Record: 1-1 (50%)
Over/Under: 0-0
Points Scored: 17.4 PPG
Points Allowed: 38.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
After going 1-10 in FCS play last year, Georgia State will undergo a rough transition into the FBS. Head coach Trent Miles will run a two-RB set with short passes to try to eat up clock and keep opposing offenses off the field. QB Ben McLane (1,592 pass yds, 10 TD, 11 INT) will force-feed star WR Albert Wilson (947 rec. yds, 7 TD). JUCO RB Gerald Howse and RB Travis Evans (323 rush yds, 2 TD) will run behind an intact offensive line. New DC Jesse Minter hopes his new 3-4 scheme can work with DT Terrance Woodard (59 tackles) and LB Joseph Peterson (65 tackles). The secondary is a total mess.

All 2013 College Football Previews:

MAC
Conference USA
Mountain West
Sun Belt
American Athletic - July 15
Independents - July 18
ACC - July 22
Big 12 - July 29
Big Ten - August 5
Pac-12 - August 12
SEC - August 19
Live Scores and Odds
Tired of Losing? Get a Free 30 day trial.
Daily Cash Game

FoxSheets.com
The FoxSheets - the most advanced sports handicapping information available on the internet.
Sign up for professional sports betting information including fantastic trends, and Free FoxSheets.
E-mail: