*Submitted by the Sun Belt
NEW ORLEANS – Unbeaten Marshall looks for its third-straight win over an autonomy five foe at NC State, while eight other Sun Belt teams continue league play in Week 6.
The Thundering Herd will attempt to extend its nine-game winning streak, which currently sits seventh in the nation. Texas State—off to its best start since 2005—and Arkansas State—riding a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2019—will aim to maintain their hot starts, while several others attempt to rebound against conference opposition.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- BRING THE THUNDER – Marshall, which has defeated the past two autonomy five programs it has faced (Notre Dame, 26-21 in 2022 and Virginia Tech, 24-17 in 2023), will hit the road to take on NC State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, on The CW. The Wolfpack owns a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series—though two of those victories have come in one-possession games. The Thundering Herd will attempt to extend the nation’s seventh-longest winning streak, remain unbeaten on the year and secure the Sun Belt’s conference-record fifth win over an autonomy five foe during the 2023 season.
- FIRST THINGS FIRST – Already off to its best start since 2005, Texas State will attempt to do something its never done on Saturday, Oct. 7, defeat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The game is slated for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU. The Bobcats will rely on the tandem of sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi—the national leader in all-purpose yards per game at 186.8 yards per contest—and redshirt sophomore quarterback TJ Finley—who ranks among the Top 25 in the country with 278.6 passing yards per game—to attempt to get its first-ever win at Cajun Field. Louisiana, which has a dynamic quarterback itself in redshirt freshman Zeon Chriss, will aim to maintain its streak of 10-straight multi-possession wins over Texas State.
- GONE WEST – On the heels of a dominant victory over previously unbeaten Georgia State, reigning Sun Belt Conference champion Troy will open Sun Belt West Division play at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, when it plays host to Arkansas State on ESPN+. The Trojans have won back-to-back games in the series, but have not proven victorious in Veterans Memorial Stadium since 2010. Both teams feature a running back that ranks among the Top 10 in the nation in all-purpose yards per game—redshirt sophomore Ja’Quez Cross for Arkansas State (146.6) and junior Kimani Vidal for Troy (144.6). A win for the Red Wolves would match their highest season win total over the past three campaigns and would give them a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2019—the last year in a string of nine-straight seasons with a bowl appearance.
- BOUNCE BACK BATTLE – South Alabama and ULM will each be looking to bounce back from conference-opening losses when they square off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, on ESPN+. South Alabama could not find the end zone on a potential game-tying drive that began with 1:16 to play in a 31-23 loss to James Madison, while ULM fell to App State 41-40 on a last-second 54-yard field goal. The Jaguars are 1-of-7 teams in the country that have scored on each of their trips to the red zone and will attempt to continue that trend as they look for their first-ever victory in Monroe. The Warhawks own a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series, including a 4-0 mark on their home field.
- ON THE RUN – Despite sharing two different conferences, Saturday’s 6 p.m. kickoff between Old Dominion and Southern Miss on ESPN+ will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2016. The teams have split the two prior matchups, with each team winning on its home field. Though both teams will aim to rebound from conference losses a week ago, each was able to establish the run in Week 5. Junior running back Kadarius Calloway rushed for 236 yards a week ago—the second-highest total in Old Dominion program history—including three explosive touchdown runs of 69-or-more yards. Junior running back Frank Gore Jr. rushed for 123 yards a week ago—his second-straight 100-yard outing and the 10th of his Southern Miss career.
WHERE TO WATCH
|Saturday, Oct. 7||Marshall at NC State||Game Notes||1 p.m.||The CW|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||Texas State at Louisiana||Texas State | Louisiana||2:30 p.m.||ESPNU|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||Arkansas State at Troy||Arkansas State | Troy||3 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||South Alabama at ULM||South Alabama | ULM||6 p.m.||ESPN+|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||Old Dominion at Southern Miss||Old Dominion | Southern MIss||6 p.m.||ESPN+|
All Times CT
For exclusive Sun Belt football content on game days and throughout the 2023 season, follow @SunBeltFB on X.