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Three Things We Learned About Conference USA In Week 3

It was a sad, sad week in Conference USA.

NCAA Football: Troy at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Conference USA is still the worst FBS conference

After showing a ton of improvement in the first two weeks of the season, Conference USA reverted back to last year’s league as they they went 2-11 yesterday, and 2-5 against G5 teams, all but wrapping up the title as the worst FBS conference for the second straight year.

As of now, CUSA is 3-9 against other G5 teams. The league’s profile suffered a huge blow after CUSA favorite Southern Miss was bullied by the Troy Trojans at home as they allowed 176 rushing yards to Jordan Chunn but they weren’t the only ones who dropped the ball. Marshall’s defense had a ton of hype entering the game against Akron, only to give up 34 points in the second quarter at home, losing 65-38.

The bottom of the league was awful as Charlotte and UTEP were routed at home against G5 opponents, whereas FIU had a dispiriting effort on the road against UMass. FAU suffered their worst loss in school history to Kansas State, North Texas had more total yards on penalties (70) than total yards on offense (53) and Rice looked non-competitive once again as they failed to pass for over 50 yards.

With non-conference play just about over, the only chance for CUSA to improve the leagues image is when bowl season comes around. That is if they have enough teams to qualify for postseason play.

UTSA is headed in the right direction

In the midst of an awful weekend in CUSA, there was a glimmer of hope as UTSA lead Arizona State for the majority of the game before getting worn down by the Sun Devils’ depth, losing 32-28.

Yes UTSA’s offense went extremely conservative in the fourth quarter, no they do not have any depth, but the energy surrounding the program compared to this time last year is palpable. Nobody plays to get a moral victory, but despite not getting the win UTSA played like one of the best teams in CUSA this weekend.

When rebuilding a program the results typically go lose by a lot, lose by a little, win by a little, win by a lot. Right now UTSA has skipped getting blown out as two of their losses this season have come by less than ten points.

The season is still early, but I liked what I saw from UTSA Friday night and with Dalton Sturm no longer being subbed out for Jared Johnson, UTSA will surprise some teams in CUSA.

Western Kentucky is the best team heading into conference play

Western Kentucky had their own little scare yesterday on the road at Miami (OH) before holding on for a 31-24 win but after seeing what happened over the weekend, the defending CUSA champions will boast the best team entering conference play.

Western Kentucky will wrap up their non-conference portion of the schedule as they will host Vanderbilt while conference play will begin in earnest for others as there will be four conference games next week.

Being that WKU has the only conference win and has the best loss in CUSA, it’s hard to make any argument for another team being better. The title runs through Bowling Green and Western Kentucky has a team capable of make sure it stays in Bowling Green.