Around The Sun Belt - Week 13

Every week, BI takes you around the conference to catch you up on what else is happening to Texas State's competition and inside the conference.

With the loss to Arkansas State Saturday, Texas State now can only make a bowl game if they are invited as a replacement team. The Bobcats are two games behind the Red Wolves for second place with two games to go and do not hold the tiebreaker.

Winning out with an 8-4 record is the Bobcats only shot, with a strong showing by Bobcats fans in the final home game against Western Kentucky, who is also 6-4 (2-3 in conference) and in desperate need of winning out.

This week, Texas State once again takes center stage in conference play, 6 p.m. on the Longhorn Network. The two other conference contests can both be seen on ESPN3: Georgia State (0-5) at Arkansas State (4-1) and Louisiana-Monroe (3-2) at South Alabama (1-3). Troy and Lafayette are off this week.

Our player of the week performances around the conference go to Lafayette's Elijah McGuire and Arkansas State's Michael Gordon.

McGuire had 125 receiving yards and two scores through the air on just 3 catches. He also averaged nearly 10 yards a carry on the ground - 11 attempts for 107 yards. It was his third highest rushing day of the season and highest receiving total in 2013. Lafayette beat Georgia State 35-21 and since starting the season 0-2, has rattled off eight straight wins.

Gordon had 184 rushing yards on 19 carries against Texas State and reached pay dirt three times. He's scored 6 touchdowns in the last two games and his 184 yards against the Bobcats was a career high.

The Sun Belt has seen some young athletes blossom this season, especially at the running back position. 5 of the top 10 rushers in the conference are underclassmen, including Texas State's Rob Lowe and Chris Nutall. Western Kentucky's senior Antonio Andrews still leads the conference but no longer leads the nation. How come? If you have not caught a Boston College game lately, you should.

Eagle running back Andre Williams has gone beast mode in the last two weeks to take Andrews' lead away. He ran for 339 yards this past week and 295 yards the week before. Boston College is 7-4 this season with 3 losses coming against USC (8-3, who just beat Stanford), Florida State (10-0, #2 team in the nation), the 9-1 Clemson Tigers.

In scheduling news, 2014 conference newcomer Georgia Southern just announced their 2014 schedule. Western Michigan will be the first non-conference FBS team to come to Paulson Stadium in 2015. Georgia Southern will travel to Texas State next season. Another newcomer, Appalacian State, will return to the big house in 2014 to face Michigan.

Other scheduled intriguing future non-conference games for Sun Belt teams in 2014 include: Arkansas State traveling to Tennessee, Georgia State goes to Clemson, South Alabama hosts SEC's Mississippi State, Texas State hosts Navy, Troy goes to Georgia, Lafayette travels to Boise State and Monroe goes to LSU and Texas A&M.

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