The regular season is winding down, but we’ve got one more Saturday full of Conference USA football. Even better news: several teams still have a lot to play for, so you’ve got something good to watch while you nurse that Black Friday hangover. Let’s dive into it
Game of the Week
Marshall at FIU (Marshall -3, Noon ET on Stadium’s Facebook Page)
It’s simple for FIU this week. Win and the Panthers lock down the East division. If they lose...well that’s a complicated conversation about tiebreakers with MTSU that I’m a little too food drunk to go into detail about right now. Happy Thanksgiving, by the way. Bottom line: if FIU were collectively a pro wrestler, this is the time where they’d need to pull of the finishing move on the regular season. That could be easier said than done though with a tough Marshall team paying them a visit.
Of note on the FIU side, you would not know that the Panthers are a division leader by the way that they defend the run. They’re giving up the second-most yards on the ground in the league this season. That absolutely presents a problem agains this Marshall offense. In the absence of stud backs Tyler King and Keion Davis, Anthony Anderson and Brendan Knox are performing well with nine TDs between them and 400 rush yards.
It’s tough to count out the Panthers though mainly because of what we know quarterback James Morgan can do. Morgan leads the league in passing touchdowns and passing efficiency. When he’s on the field, the Panthers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the G5.
FIU 28, Marshall 20
The Rest of C-USA...
Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech (Tech -10.5, Noon ET on ESPN+)
Tech slipped up last week against Southern Miss, but it seems unlikely that will happen again this week. While WKU are riding a wave of positivity after defeating UTEP last week, the idea of them winning this game doesn’t feel like it will become reality especially if that Tech pass rush has another good day.
LA Tech 31, WKU 17
Old Dominion at Rice (ODU -7, 1 PM ET on ESPN+)
We were reminded last week that Old Dominion has loads of talent, it’s just a matter of whether or not they execute. Unfortunately for Mike Bloomgren, his Rice team just doesn’t quite stack up, particularly on offense...Jack Fox’s punt game is strong though.
ODU 24, Rice 13
Southern Miss at UTEP (USM -13, 3 PM ET on ESPN+)
If Southern Miss win, they are bowl eligible once again. Between Jack Abraham’s arm and Tate Whatley’s legs against a slowly improving UTEP defense (with the added factor of UTEP’s QB’s having the turnover bug) the Golden Eagles shouldn’t have much issue.
Southern Miss 21, UTEP 7
UAB at Middle Tennessee (UAB -3, 3 PM ET on ESPN3)
It’s almost fitting that the last regular season game of the biggest season of AJ Erdely’s life will be against the program he transferred out of. MTSU may have something bigger to play for with a spot in the title game still up for grabs, but UAB are the more balanced team.
UAB 34, MTSU 28
Charlotte at Florida Atlantic (FAU -17, 6 PM ET on Stadium)
The 49ers are in Boca Raton for the final game of Brad Lambert’s tenure at Charlotte. Florida Atlantic need this win to get to a bowl game though and it would be extremely surprising if they were to let this team stand in their way of that.
FAU 28, Charlotte 16
North Texas at UTSA (UNT -24.5, 7 PM ET on ESPN+)
This one’s a no-brainer. North Texas has had a few scares this year, but this UTSA team becomes a bigger and bigger offensive nightmare every week. There’s no way the Roadrunners keep pace in this game.
UNT 41, UTSA 6