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Sun Belt notes: Cajuns make coaching change, App State not “trapped”

Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire

There was some fallout from the first week of the 2016 season, and while a huge shakeup occurred in the Top 25, some small shakeups emerged in the Sun Belt Conference.

The bigger shakeup was South Alabama’s thrilling win over Mississippi State, but other stories gained considerable attention.

One of those shakeups was in Lafayette, where Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth pulled an early trigger and fired his defensive coordinator a day after the Ragin’ Cajuns gave up 35 first-half points in a 45-10 loss to Boise State.

 Hudspeth said that he didn’t want to wait until the middle of the season to make the move, but Boise State is really good offensively, and torched a veteran Cajuns’ veteran secondary for 426 passing yards and 584 total yards.

Mike Lucas is the interim defensive coordinator, and he will be tested as the Cajuns face FCS in-state rival McNeese State, which is ranked in the top 10 in the FCS poll.

Aggies defense still not smelling the Roses

New Mexico State is still trying to figure out how its offense can score without its best player, while also trying to learn how to strengthen its weak defense.

Sophomore running back Larry Rose III is doubtful to play this week against in-state rival New Mexico as he recovers from a sports hernia. Rose, the SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, didn’t play in last week’s opener, a 38-22 loss at UTEP.

The Aggies’ real problem is their defense, which gave up 518 yards last week and was ranked in the bottom three in the nation last year. Former Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani is trying to retool the unit, but will have problems doing so against a Lobo offense that features the triple option.

App State not opening the trap door

College football pundits love to take about the trap game – the game against a heavy underdog that often gets overlooked for a bigger game down the road.

Some feel that Appalachian State’s game against Old Dominion fits into that mold. The Mountaineers are coming off an emotional overtime loss at Tennessee. With a huge home game next week versus Miami, could App State overlook ODU?

According to head coach Steve Satterfield, not a chance. He knows ODU remembers being shut out at its stadium by the Mountaineers last year, and will remind his team about it.

It’s also a whiteout game in Boone, N.C.

Texas State, Ohio put on an offensive show

I know it’s only the first week of the season, but if there is a candidate for game of the year, it has to be the triple-overtime thriller that Texas State and Ohio played last week.

The Bobcat Bowl – both teams’ mascots are the Bobcats – featured a strong comeback by Texas State, a bunch of big plays by Ohio to take a late lead, only to see Texas State get a field goal to send the game in overtime.

Both teams scored touchdowns in the first two overtimes, but in the third extra session, Texas State used a double pass play to score another touchdown and got the two-point conversion. Ohio answered with a touchdown, but didn’t get the two-point play to end the game, a 56-54 win.

Texas State quarterback Tyler Jones threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns in the game and 546 total yards.

The Bobcats will want to enjoy that win during their bye week, because next week the No. 6 Houston Cougars come to San Marcos, and after what the Cougars did to Oklahoma, there’s little doubt this game will go to overtime.

Sun Belt notes: Cajuns make coaching change, App State not “trapped”

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