Marshall secures bowl eligibility in week 12, Sun Belt West Division race last weekend

NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt West Division race comes on the final weekend of the regular season as Troy (9-2, 6-1 SBC) and South Alabama (9-2, 6-1 SBC) each had conference wins on the week have 12 play.

Sun Belt Football Championship hosting rights also remain up for grabs between Sun Belt East Division champion #23/23 Coastal Carolina (9-1, 6-1 SBC) and the West Division representative, to be determined.

The Chanticleers, originally scheduled to visit Virginia on Saturday, have been idle after the game was canceled due to the tragic events that led to the deaths of three members of the Cavaliers football program this week.

Marshall earned bowl eligibility in week 12, joining Coastal Carolina, Troy and South Alabama. App State, Georgia Southern, Louisiana and Southern Miss each need a win in next Saturday’s regular season finals to qualify for the bowl.

After a 242-yard rushing day for Kimani Vidal as a sophomore, Troy extended his winning streak to eight games — the longest in the school’s FBS tenure — with a 34-16 win over ULM.

The Trojans went on to a 20-0 lead – capped by senior defense lineman Antonio Showers’ 13-yard fumble return touchdown – that would prove insurmountable. Vidal became the seventh player in the history of the Trojan program to rush for 200 yards in a game. His 242 rushing yards was the second-most all-time in a single game for the Trojans, just two behind Eddie Brundidge’s 244 yards in 1986. Vidal also added two touchdowns in a career-best performance.


South Alabama recorded its third straight win over Southern Miss, 27-20, to keep pace with Troy in the Sun Belt West Division race, although the Trojans hold the neck-and-neck tiebreaker due to their 10-6 win Jaguars on October 20th.

Jaguars junior quarterback Carter Bradley connected with three different wide receivers – senior Jalen Wayne, sophomore Devin Voisin and sophomore Caullin Lacy – for touchdowns in the win. Voisin paced South Alabama for 97 receiving yards while his sophomore twin brother, safety Jaden Voisin, led the defense with a career-high 17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one interception.

Freshman running back Braylon McReynolds posted a career-high 189 all-purpose yards for South Alabama, including the first 100-yard rushing performance of his career.

Sophomore running back Frank Gore Jr. for the Golden Eagles was involved in both touchdowns for Southern Miss — he rushed for the first as part of a 66-yard gamble and threw a 29-yard jab at the senior wide for the second Receiver Jason Brownlee. Brownlee (109 yards) lost for his fifth 100-yard effort of the season.

James Madison scored four straight touchdowns to open the second half and eliminated a 20-point halftime deficit in a 42-40 win over Georgia State.

Veteran grad running back Percy Agyei-Obese (89 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns) and redshirt senior wide receiver Kris Thornton (68 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns) each had two touchdowns to win. Graduate quarterback Todd Centeio completed 21 of 27 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns.

After Georgia State scored a 2:30 touchdown to move to two, the Dukes defense forced a faulty pass on a failed two-point conversion attempt and redshirt junior safety Que Reid recovered the ensuing onside kick to to seal the victory.

Agyei-Obese and Thornton each rank second in Dukes program history for career touchdowns. With 39 quick touchdowns, Agyei-Obese needs two to tie Khalid Abdullah’s (41, 2013-16) record. With 23 touchdowns in his career, Thornton needs two to match Macey Brooks’ (25, 1993-96) all-time high.

Georgia State hit two defensive ends on fumble return touchdowns from redshirt junior defense lineman Javon Denis and junior outside linebacker Terrell Gordon, while redshirt junior wide receiver Jamari Thrash rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown to speed up the Panthers offense in the loss. Sixth-year offensive lineman Malik Sumter started his 52nd straight game to break the school record set by Shamarious Gilmore (51 straight) last season.

Marshall defeated Georgia Southern 23-10 to secure Bowl qualifiers for the sixth straight season.

Redshirt running back sophomore Rasheen Ali made his season debut for the Thundering Herd, rushing for 79 yards with 16 carries. Sixth-year running back Khalan Laborn added 70 yards on 17 tries. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cam Fancher completed 17 of 32 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards and a score.

After an interception by junior linebacker Eli Neal, the trio of Ali, Laborn and Fancher helped establish an 18-play, 75-yard final drive that ran at 10:38 a.m. to seal the Marshall victory .

Georgia Southern junior running back Jalen White accounted for 165 yards — 143 rushing and 22 receiving — for the Eagles in the loss.

App State took a 24-0 lead at halftime, repelling Old Dominion in a 27-14 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 32,096 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Redshirt senior quarterback Chase Brice completed 15 of 22 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Ahmani Marshall rushed for a career-high 137 yards and a score for the Mountaineers. Junior defenseman Nick Ross led the App State’s defensive line with 11 tackles, including a tackle for loss.

Old Dominion redshirt sophomore wide receiver Javon Harvey scored both touchdowns for the Monarchs in the loss as part of a career-best 133-yard receiving day. Red shirt junior running back Blake Watson had 142 yards (73 receiving, 69 rushing).

Three field goals from redshirt junior kicker Seth Keller, including the game-winning 29-yarder with two seconds left, propelled Texas State to a 16-13 win over Arkansas State.

The Bobcats, who started the go-ahead drive with 26 seconds left, went for 45 yards in three plays — a 3-yard completion for sophomore running back Lincoln Pare, a 21-yard strike for junior wide receiver Drue Jackson and a 21-yard strike completion for second wide receiver Donnovan Moorer — to set up the field goal.

Pare scored the lone touchdown for Texas State as part of a 75-yard rushing day.

Arkansas State redshirt senior running back Johnnie Lang Jr. had a loss of 145 yards (74 returning yards, 36 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards). Junior linebacker Melique Straker recorded a game-high 14 tackles, two tackles for losses and two sacks for the Red Wolves. Freshman kicker Dominic Zvada drilled a career-long 56-yard field goal in the loss — the third-longest in Arkansas State Program history.

Louisiana fell to No. 20/20 Florida State, 49-17, in non-conference action. Chandler Fields, injured redshirt junior quarterback Ben Wooldridge completed 19 of 36 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, adding a rushing touchdown to the loss.

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No. 20/20 Florida State def. Louisiana, 49-17
James Madison defeated. State of Georgia, 42-40
App status def. Old Reign, 27-14
Defeated South Alabama. Southern Miss, 27-20
Troy def. ULM, 34-16
Texas state def. State of Arkansas, 16-13
Marshall def. Georgia South, 23-10