2007 Midseason Report - Sun Belt
Troy QB Omar Haugabook
Troy QB Omar Haugabook
Posted Oct 17, 2007

The best Sun Belt players, coaches, surprises of the midseason and more. Scroll down for predictions for every team and every game.

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- 2006 CFN Midseason All-America Teams
Offensive Player of the Midseason

Omar Haugabook, QB Troy

Defensive Player of the Midseason
Frantz Joseph, LB Florida Atlantic

Ten best Sun Belt players in the first half of the season
1. Omar Haugabook, QB Troy
2. Calvin Dawson, RB UL Monroe
3. Michael Desormeaux, QB UL Lafayette
4. Frantz Joseph, LB Florida Atlantic
5. Tavious Polo, CB Florida Atlantic
6. Corey Leonard, QB Arkansas State
7. Rusty Smith, QB Florida Atlantic
8. Tyrell Johnson, SS Arkansas State
9. Boris Lee, LB Troy
10. Tyrell Fenroy, RB UL Lafayette

Biggest Surprise – Two big non-conference wins
The league represented itself relatively well overall in non-conference play, and it made its biggest splash when Florida Atlantic shocked Minnesota 42-39, and Troy annihilated Oklahoma State 41-23 on national TV.

Biggest Disappointment – UL Lafayette
The defense had enough key parts back to be effective, while the offense was expected to be the Sun Belt's most explosive. While the O has had its moments, the defense has been non-existent, especially against the run, and a team expected to be a major challenger for the Sun Belt title has started out 1-6 overall.

The Sun Belt Champion will be ... Troy.
It'll all come down to the season ending showdown with a much-improved Florida Atlantic. Until then, the Trojans appear to be the class of the league, and ready to go to the New Orleans Bowl for the season straight year.

Best Game of the First Half 
Virginia 23 ... Middle Tennessee 21, Oct. 6
Virginia survived with Chris Gould nailing a 34-yard field goal with eight seconds to go. Middle Tennessee got two first half touchdown passes from Dwight Dasher for a 14-7 lead, and got up 21-20 after converting an interception into a one-yard DeMarco McNair touchdown run midway through the fourth. The Cavalier offense got two touchdowns from Andrew Pearman and a 20-yard John Phillips touchdown catch, but had to go 63 yards in eight plays to pull get Gould in a position to win.

Second Best Game
Arkansas State 35 ... Memphis 31, Sept. 29
Third Best Game
SMU 45 ... North Texas 31, Sept. 8

Worst Game of the First Half 
Penn State 59 ... Florida International 0, Sept. 1
Anthony Morelli threw three touchdowns passes, Austin Scott rumbled for two short scores, and the Nittany Lion defense dominated in the easy win. Penn State got up 24-0 in the first half highlighted by a 17-yard Mickey Shuler touchdown catch, and then exploded for 28 points in the third quarter. FIU managed just seven first downs and was outgained 236 yards to -3 on the ground, and 549 yards to 114 overall.

Coach of the Midseason – Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic
With a defense that takes away everything, and an offense that gets just enough all-around pop to get by, FAU has become a dangerous team that'll be in the hunt until the season's end. Schnellenberger has created a tremendous program, and a strong team that'll only get better.

Player who'll step up in the second half – North Texas QB Giovanni Vizza
The keys to the race car have been turned over to the freshman, and Todd Dodge and the coaching staff will hope they have a star to build around for the next few years. Rizza has a good arm, but his legs are just as important to the improvement of the high-octane offense.

Best performance so far -
North Texas QB Daniel Meager completed 46 of 64 passes for 601 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions, and Casey Fitzgerald caught 18 passes for 327 yards and two touchdown in the loss to SMU.

Top Freshman – Dwight Dasher, QB Middle Tennessee
His passing has been efficient, but it's been his running that'll make the Blue Raiders dangerous for the second half of the year. He could grow into the Sun Belt's best offensive weapon over the next few years.

Coach who needs to have a big second half – UL Monroe's Charlie Weatherbie
A 1-5 start and the potential for another disappointing season might mean a change if things don't quickly turn around for the WarHawks. Weatherbie is just 16-36 so far.

Player who needs to have a big second half – Corey Leonard, QB Arkansas State
The Indians are in the thick of the Sun Belt title hunt, and control their own destiny. To pull off a trip to New Orleans, Leonard has to be terrific, and consistent. One week he's off, and ASU loses to UL Monroe. The next week he's on, and he throws five touchdown passes and blows out UL Lafayette. If he's sharp, ASU will be a nasty team to beat.

Best remaining conference game – Florida Atlantic at Troy, Dec. 1
Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee will have their say in the race, but the season-ender against the Owls and Trojans will impact the title in one way or another.

Team Mid-Season MVPs & Predictions   
Arkansas State – QB Corey Leonard
predicted wins: at Middle Tennessee, Troy, Florida International, North Texas
predicted losses: at Florida Atlantic, at Southern Miss
predicted record: 7-5

Florida Atlantic – LB Frantz Joseph
predicted wins: at UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, Arkansas State, at Florida International
predicted losses: at Florida, at Troy
predicted record: 7-5

FIU – QB Wayne Younger
predicted wins: North Texas
predicted losses: at UL Monroe, at Arkansas, at Arkansas State, UL Lafayette, Florida Atlantic
predicted record: 1-11

Middle Tennessee – QB Dwight Dasher
predicted wins: at North Texas, at UL Monroe, UL Lafayette
predicted losses: Arkansas State, at Troy
predicted record: 5-7

North Texas – WR Casey Fitzgerald
predicted wins: None
predicted losses: at Troy, Middle Tennessee, Navy, at Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, at Florida International
predicted record: 2-10

Troy – QB Omar Haugabook
predicted wins: North Texas, at Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic
predicted losses: at Arkansas State, at Georgia
predicted record: 8-4

UL Lafayette – RB Tyrell Fenroy
predicted wins: at Florida International, UL Monroe
predicted losses: Florida Atlantic, at Tennessee, at Middle Tennessee
predicted record: 3-9

UL Monroe – RB Calvin Dawson
predicted wins: Florida International, Grambling
predicted losses: at Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee, at Alabama, at UL Lafayette
predicted record: 3-9