Week one is finally in the books, and we have a lot of familiar faces amongst our top play-makers in C-USA. We have a lot of new faces too, so even with only a single week out of the way, these will be the top names to watch over the rest of the season.
Top 5 QB ratings:
1) Mike White, WKU (252.7)
2) David Washington, ODU (216.2)
3) Brent Stockstill, MTSU (200.4)
4) Dalton Sturm, UTSA (190.5)
5) Jason Driskel, FAU (173.3)
With the exception of Stockstill, any of these could be a surprise due to their teams 2015 record. In WKU's case, Mike White had big shoes to fill considering his predecessor, but his 252.7 QB ratings against Rice put him not only at the top of the conference, but at the top of the nation. His 517 yards passing an impressive feat in any conference. Meanwhile, Washington and Sturm are right there behind him, putting up some impressive numbers against their opening week FCS foes. The competition steps up next week, and we'll see if they can sustain this level of success.
1) Aaron Jones, UTEP (249 yards)
2) Ito Smith, USM (173 yards)
3) Gregory Howell Jr, FAU (128 yards)
4) Ray Lawry, ODU (110 yards)
5) George Payne, USM (100 yards)
The biggest improvement here is UTEP, clearly. This team dominated New Mexico State, also a team much improved, but faces Texas next week so the Miners will have their own mountain to climb. Southern Miss has two players in the top five, making them the official "team nobody wants to play next week." Lucky for the rest of the conference, it's a non-conference game next week against FCS Savannah State. Shout-out to junior Greg Howell at FAU. This squad could use some good news, and Howell had an outstanding day.
1) Taywan Taylor, WKU (165 yards)
2) Nicholas Norris, WKU (147 yards)
3) Cole Freytag, UTEP (95 yards)
4) Isaiah Jones, USM (93 yards)
5) Stantley Thomas, FIU (91 yards)
With the way their QBs played it's no small wonder that the top three spots are filled bu WKU and UTEP, but FIU had a great day as well, with freshman Stantley Thomas having 91 yards against Big Ten Indiana. He's also a big name to watch, especially on a short week this week, as FIU welcomes Maryland on Friday.
No huge stand-outs this week, as four players ties with two sacks each, though two of those players are from UTSA. Nine players had one interception each, though North Texas' Chad Morris ran his back 37 yards, the best of the week.
Next week is the trial-by-fire the Underdogs are used to, as FCS opponents become power-five opponents. Drop us a line in the comment section for any big time CUSA performances we might have missed.