Around the Sun Belt: Georgia Southern’s Eagles keep soaring _lowres

Idaho safety Bradley Njoku forces B.J. Johnson of Georgia Southern out of bounds on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in Statesboro, Ga. (AP Photo/Savannah Morning News, Brittney Lohmiller)

LAFAYETTE — A win Tuesday night at Texas State would no doubt help Louisiana-Lafayette’s quest for another Sun Belt Conference title.

But the Ragin’ Cajuns likely will need some help from the Bobcats in a few weeks for their second straight league crown to become a reality.

That’s because Georgia Southern is halfway to making its first Sun Belt season a memorable one. The Eagles rolled past Idaho 47-24 at home Saturday, improving to 4-0 in conference play with four games to go.

Thanks to the league schedule-maker, Georgia Southern doesn’t face UL-Lafayette or Arkansas State — last year’s co-champions and two of the remaining four unbeaten league teams.

Neither the Cajuns (2-3, 1-0) nor Arkansas State (4-2, 2-0) controls its own destiny when it comes to the Eagles.

Texas State will host Georgia Southern on Nov. 8. GSU’s two conference games before that are at Georgia State and at home against Troy; those teams are a combined 2-10.

UL-Lafayette can’t worry too much about the Eagles. After Texas State, the Cajuns host Arkansas State the following Tuesday.

The league standings going into Tuesday night’s game:

1. Georgia Southern (5-2, 4-0)

Last week: Won at home over Idaho 47-24

This week: Open date

Briefly: The Eagles became the first team in Sun Belt history to begin its inaugural year 4-0, rolling up 550 yards with a surprising 201 in the air. GSU has seven pass TDs this season — one more than all of last year — but still needed a pick-six early in the fourth to break Saturday’s game open.

2. Arkansas State (4-2, 2-0)

Last week: Won at Georgia State 52-10

This week: Open date

Briefly: ASU answered doubters with a 618-yard outing against Georgia State, scoring its most points ever in a Sun Belt road game and improving to 22-3 in league play since 2011. The Red Wolves have 10 days to prepare for a showdown with fellow 2013 league champ UL-Lafayette next Tuesday.

T3. Texas State (3-2, 1-0)

Last week: Open date

This week: Hosts UL-Lafayette on Tuesday, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Briefly: The Bobcats play their fourth home game already this season Tuesday. A win would give TSU a boost in the league race since the Bobcats face a tough stretch against Georgia Southern, South Alabama and Arkansas State in a 12-day November period.

T3. UL-Lafayette (2-3, 1-0)

Last week: Open date

This week: At Texas State on Tuesday, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Briefly: By next week, the Cajuns will have played six Tuesday night games in the past three seasons — three more than any other team. UL-Lafayette lost both Tuesday games in 2012 but won back-to-back on the road last year during a midseason eight-game winning streak.

T5. South Alabama (3-2, 2-1)

Last week: Open date

This week: Hosts Georgia State on Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: The Jaguars’ 47-21 win at Appalachian State a week ago was USA’s highest scoring total ever against a Division-I opponent, topping the old mark of 41 set against Tulane last fall. USA’s offense has churned out 81 points and 1,000 yards in two games and now faces one of the league’s worst defenses.

T5. UL-Monroe (3-3, 2-1)

Last week: Lost at Kentucky 48-14

This week: Open date

Briefly: Only two Football Bowl Subdivision teams have a nonconference schedule made entirely of teams in the “Power Five” conferences. One is the Warhawks, who have faced Wake Forest, LSU and Kentucky and still have Texas A&M on Nov. 1. No wonder ULM needs this second open date already.

7. Troy (1-5, 1-1)

Last week: Won at home over New Mexico State 41-24

This week: Hosts Appalachian State on Saturday, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: The Trojans snapped a five-game losing streak thanks to Chandler Worthy, who had a kickoff return and a reception for touchdowns, and a defense that forced four turnovers. Troy still has lost eight of 10.

8. New Mexico State (2-5, 1-2)

Last week: Lost at Troy 41-24

This week: At Idaho on Saturday, 4 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: The Aggies allowed 360 rushing yards to Troy, but that’s not unusual. NMSU is last in the nation in rush defense, giving up 334 yards per game, and is 48 yards per game behind the second-worst — rival New Mexico (286.8).

9. Appalachian State (1-5, 0-2)

Last week: Lost at home to Liberty 55-48 (OT)

This week: At Troy on Saturday, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: The Mountaineers had 637 offensive yards but scored only once in four red-zone chances, had four turnovers and missed a potential winning field goal at the end of regulation. During its four-game loss streak, App State has scored points on only nine of 18 trips to the red zone.

10. Georgia State (1-5, 0-3)

Last week: Lost at home to Arkansas State 52-10

This week: At South Alabama on Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: Despite his team’s record, quarterback Nick Arbuckle leads the Sun Belt in total offense (295.3 yards per game) and is second in passing. The Panthers have given up more third-down conversions than all but one team in the country, with foes converting 54 percent of the time.

11. Idaho (0-6, 0-4)

Last week: Lost at Georgia Southern 47-24

This week: Hosts New Mexico State on Saturday, 4 p.m. (ESPN3)

Briefly: The Vandals have the nation’s leading punter in Austin Rehkow at 48.5 yards per kick, and quarterback Matt Linehan leads the Sun Belt in completions and yards. But the Vandals defense is abysmal, having allowed 34 or more points to all six opponents.