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Sun Belt Conference report; Dasher's return marred by loss

TROY ROUTS MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Troy Middle Tennessee Football Sun Belt powers Troy and Middle Tennessee duked it out Tuesday night in Murfreesboro, Tenn. MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher (left) started his first game, after serving a four-game suspension for accepting a loan. The fact that Dasher was playing seemed to matter little as Troy steamrolled  MTSU 43-13.

Troy QB Corey Robinson was 26 of 37 for 259 yards and three touchdown passes. WR Tebiarus Gill had two touchdown catches. RB DuJuan Harris had 80 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

The game was a complete rout from the start with Troy taking a 21-0 lead with six-minutes to play in the second quarter. 

SUN BELT REPORT

1. Troy (3-2, 2-0 SBC)

With a convincing win over Middle Tennessee, the Trojans proved they are still the SBC's best-team. Troy played a solid all-around game, out-gaining (is this even a word?) MTSU in total yards 519-207, while limiting the Blue Raiders to a dismal 28 yards on the ground.The Trojans' defense has been a concern this season giving up a 143 points in five games. Troy's offense (179 total points) has done a nice job of keep the team competitive. With the exception of MTSU, all of Troy's games have been shootouts. The Trojans have wins over Bowling Green (30-27), Arkansas State (35-28) and MTSU, losses are to UAB (33-34) and Oklahoma State (41-38). A win against Oklahoma State would have been a signature win for the SBC, but the Trojans fell short late in the game. It seems highly likely that the Trojans will make easy work of their SBC schedule and if all goes well, win their fifth SBC title in six years. Troy will next play La.-Lafayette on Oct. 16. Troy plays FIU on Nov. 11.

2. Middle Tennessee (2-3, 1-1 SBC)

The Blue Raiders are looking to turn their season around with the return of Dasher to the line up. Dasher had a rough time in his first start against Troy. It should take Dasher at least another game to shake off the rust. The Blue Raiders have been competitive in games against Minnesota and Memphis losing both contests 24-17. Without Dasher, MTSU was left with a gaping hole at QB that has really hurt the team. Against Memphis, the Blue Raiders had three interceptions and a fumble which lead to all of Memphis' scores. In total, the Blue Raiders have thrown seven interceptions. Back up QB Logan Kilgore was effective against Minnesota, completing 13 of 18 pass for 172 yards and a score. The Blue Raiders were leading Minnesota 17-0, until the Gophers rallied. MTSU will next face Georgia Tech on Oct. 16.

3. Louisiana-Lafayette (2-2, 2-1 SBC)

The Ragin Cajuns, owners of possibility the most original nickname in college football, are 2-1 in SBC play. The Cajuns have wins over Arkansas State and at North Texas and a loss to MTSU. The Cajuns' offense has shown that it has the capability of scoring points in the teams two wins. Against Arkansas State, the Cajuns took a 17-0 lead before the Red Wolves scored. Defensively, the Canjuns have struggled in three of their four-first games, the Cajuns limited Arkansas State to 18 yards rushing but gave up over 400 yards passing. The Cajuns have been outscored 89-136.The Cajuns open the season with a 55-7 drubbing from a down Georgia team. The true test will be how well the Cajuns fair against Oklahoma State this weekend.

4. FIU (0-4, 0-0 SBC)

Even though the Golden Panthers have still not recorded a win, it was hard for me to rank them any lower than fourth at the moment.FIU has shown much improvement from last season and seems ready for a strong push in the SBC.FIU has struggled lately giving up a significant amount of yards on the ground.  This week might be the most important week for FIU in resent memory. The team badly needs a win to show that they can finish a game. A 0-5 start could prove costly.

TEAMS 5-9

I think it might be still a little early to judge how the rest of the SBC stacks up. This weekend, most SBC teams have conference games and the picture should start to get clearer. I could have easily thrown FIU into this mix of uncertain teams, but I think how close they have played some tough opponents counts for something. The SBC seems wide-open with even Troy and MTSU showing they have weaknesses.

North Texas (1-4, 1-1 SBC)

FAU (1-3, 0-1 SBC)

Arkansas State (1-4, 1-2 SBC)

 Louisiana-Monroe (1-3, 0-1 SBC)

Western Kentucky (0-4, 0-0 SBC)

The Hilltoppers started the season playing three of their first four games on the road. Western Kentucky's opening schedule has been one of the toughest in the SBC. Western Kentucky lost at Nebraska, at Kentucky, Indiana at home and at USF. The Hilltoppers have struggled to keep pace with their out of conference opponents. Western Kentucky features talented running back Bobby Rainey, who has a team-high five touchdowns. The Hilltoppers open conference play on Saturday at FIU.

Justin Azpiazu

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Troy looked better than most Mid level BCS teams. Their QB is top notch and they have an awesome running attack. Still head of the SBC class by far.

Justin,
Good Outlook, and +1... Troy proved they are still the top dog in the 'Belt. Not only top dog, but if we FIU fans think we've been close, Troy's been closer a 1point loss to UAB and a 3 point loss to Oklahoma State... Which would of meant 5-0 start and a Top 25-40 ranking...
Dasher really damaged his teams season with his lack of judgement....
IF Mario can right the ship, FIU could be 4-0 (4-4 Overall) going into the game with TROY. A win by there will revive MTSU chances and open up the belt.
OUR panthers have talent and must start to deliver wins for their coach or they are slowing adding nails to his couffin.

I agree Chia, I know this is a cliche, but FIU truly has to take one game at a time over looking anyone in SBC will be a big NO NO. I think it's a battle for number No.2 between Mid Tenn,FIU,FAU,ULL. If ULL loses to Troy next week, they will pack it in.

It is Troy's conference, everyone else is just playing in it.

Troy dominated MTSU in all aspects of the game. FIU has to beat WKU to gain some momentum and confidence.

IT's a four game Run the Panthers have to make... anything short of 4-0 in-conference play before the game against Troy and we are looking at another three win season.

Not Over looking anyone.
WKU - has improved.
NT - Beat FAU and lost to LLF by one.
FAU - Always a battle, and playing us can revive their season.
ULM - Maybe the worst SBC team...

Come on Panthers grow some hair!!!

Don't expect huge crowds on Sat... cause we are 0-4..
But, if we can pull three in a row, than a big crowd for the next homegame on Nov. 6 with a chance to break even.

GO PANTHER!!

Funny thing is that PP blog is a ghost town..no traffic. Hey Ghost of PP, you should go on the HEAT'S Blog and advertise, maybe that will help your numbers Or call the Herald and buy ad space.

Thanks for the 411 Justin.

I think Western Kentucky is much improved from what Ive seen so far... They are going to come into FIU looking to end their losing streak. I believe they will play us very hard. I hope our boys BRING IT.

Seems like every time we get a nice little discussion going here, people's feelings get hurt. Post all the links you want ghost. As always, your comments will not be filtered here, Unlike other FIU blogs.

The champ, I would not be surprised if FIU finds themselves in a barnburner this week.

LOL...
I don't care who's writing about FIU as long as there is writing about FIU...It's that simple.

Pete's blog is not user friendly and that we all knew about that when he started it....Because it's an official FIU site. SO the "filter" issue is a non-issue.

Justin/Adam have been doing a terrific Job and PETE has given us insights on other FIU related things along with Football, soccer, baseball, player info, etc...... Dude rejoice, theres' news nearly everyday!!!!

SO we cry when it's slow... Now we fight when it's abundant.... LOL...
GO Panthers!!!

PP Blog is filtered because he is in the pockets of the Ath Dept so anything other than praising FIU is not acceptable. We all know the truth is at times our coaches and ath dept makes stupid mistakes and I for one want to call them out on them. You ask us to buy tickets, gear and give money to the Unv. but you don't want my input when the coaches decide to replace the starting QB in the 4th quarter when we are down by 4 points? Come on, this isn't North Korea, man up and take the heat.

LOL... NOrth Korea!! Hahahaha

Great non-use of CUBA!!

hahahaha thats actually kind of funny chia.

The more im looking at WK on film, the more I agree with you Justin that we could be in for a real battle... The thing is realistically for FIU right now this is a must-win in terms of momentum. Getting upset at home by WK would be real tough to stomach.

BTW, anyone watching the Dolphins second half meltdown monday feel at all like they were watching fiu for a second? lol

http://fiusports.typepad.com/the-prowl/

PP's got Wesley Carroll on the blog tommorrow

Can you guys update the pictures that you have in your website. I am sick and tired that everytime i check FIU sports i see the same picture of Cristobal. Like they say in the Monday Night Football pregame show....C'MON MAN!!!

WKU 24
FIU 26

FIU proves to the nation that it's the best of the worse.

Reality...
Hope we don't disappoint you!

ChampionUnderdog, my dad and I were at the game and I turned to him and said, "I've seen this one before." It was like watching the Pitt game for a second time.

I really hope people aren't over looking WKU. They've clearly improved, and have done some really solid recruiting. This is kind of a trap game, and we need to be ready to play them tough. The Belt has gotten better this year and we cannot overlook anyone, as UNT has shown recently.

I agree that we need to win the next four to build momentum and confidence going into the Troy game. Troy is a very mature and very physical team. We need to feel confident going into that game because they will test us.

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