Five Athletes Earn Sun Belt Football Player of the Week Honors

On Monday the Sun Belt Conference announced their football players of the week for Week 8. Arkansas State led the pack with two players on the list, while players from App State, South Alabama, and Coastal Carolina were also recognized.

Co-Offensive Players of the Week 

Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (Jr., QB)
Junior quarterback Justice Hansen recorded 396 yards total offense, including 275 through the air and a career-high 121 on the ground, and was responsible for three touchdowns during Arkansas State’s 47-3 victory over Louisiana. He averaged 9.3 yards per rushing attempt and accounted for his first running score of the season, while also completing 23-of-37 passes with no interceptions and a pair of touchdowns. Hansen became just the fifth player in Sun Belt Conference history to record at least 275 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game.
 
Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State (Sr., QB)
Taylor Lamb threw for a career-high 427 passing yards with two TDs and no interceptions in the Mountaineers’ 37-29 win over Coastal Carolina. His 427 yards rank second-most in a game in school history (Armanti Edwards - 433 vs. South Carolina State in 2008) and third-most by a Sun Belt QB this year. On his first TD pass of the game, Lamb became App State’s all-time leader with 75 before adding one more. Lamb is now tied for third place in SBC history with 76 TD passes, the same total FAU’s Rusty Smith had from 2005-09. Lamb has led first-place App State to second-half come-from-behind victories in all four league games this year.
 
Co-Defensive Players of the Week 
Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State (Sr. DL)
Senior defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones recorded a season-high 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, five tackles and a forced fumble that was scooped up by teammate Caleb Caston and returned for a touchdown during Arkansas State’s 47-3 victory over Louisiana. Rolland-Jones sacked Louisiana quarterback Andre Nunez on the game’s third play and stripped the ball in the process, resulting in a 24-yard touchdown return that put the Red Wolves ahead 7-0 within less than a minute of the game’s opening kickoff. His 2.5 sacks pushed his career total to 36, moving him into a tie for the fourth most in NCAA history.
 
Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama (Sr., DB)
Senior defensive back Jeremy Reaves shared team-high honors with eight total stops in the victory over the Warhawks, and he had a hand in both USA takeaways that ended their first and last possessions of the contest. ULM advanced to the USA-1 yard line on its opening drive and was poised to tie the game when Reaves picked up a fumble and returned it 92 yards, setting up a touchdown and 14-0 lead instead on the Jags’ ensuing snap. Then, with South up 10 points in the fourth quarter, the senior picked off a pass at the USA-33, allowing the Jaguars to run out the final six minutes of play and clinch the win. Reaves is now the sole leader on South’s career interception list - the pick was his seventh since the start of the 2014 campaign - while the fumble return was the longest in school history.
 
Special Teams Player of the Week 
Evan Rabon, Coastal Carolina (Jr., P/K)
Rabon set a school record with a 65-yard punt and his three punts went for 65, 51 and 48 yards.  He was 3-for-3 in field goals, making a 49-yarder at the end of the 2nd quarter to give CCU a 19-17 lead at halftime. Rabon also made a 24-yarder to start the 3rd quarter for a 22-17 lead and has had at least one 50-yard punt in five straight games, including three games with two.