Games of the week
1. Temple at UCF: Of course this had to be the game of the week. With a lot of eyeballs on this game (highest rated AAC game) to see if the Knights could remain unbeaten. Temple struggled early in the season but have turned things around and were undefeated in conference heading into this one. Neither team’s defense showed up early but both offenses certainly did which made for a back and forth first half. But the Knights defense made a statement in the second half by only allowing six points and this allowed their offense to pull away late. UCF who was down by 2 scores at one point goes on to win 52-40, covering the spread and remaining undefeated.
2. Marshall at Southern Miss: Southern Miss needed a bounce back win and Marshall was looking to get bowl eligible. The first half of this game included a scoop and score fumble return from each team and that would give the Golden Eagles a 17-10 lead at the half. The two teams would exhancge touchdowns in the 3rd quarter and then with just over seven minutes left Southern Miss would take a 26-17 lead on a one yard QB keeper from Tate Whatley. Marshall would score a touchdown of their own to make it 26-24. They would attempt an onside kick but the Golden Eagles recovered it and picked up the victory.
3. Liberty at UMass: Two independent programs facing off and it was... something else. If you were looking for defense you didn’t find it in this game. Let’s skip all the way to the game being tied in the third overtime when UMass’ Jarrell Addo would intercept a pass that would leave Liberty scoreless. Then Cooper Garcia would knock in a 22 yard field goal and seal the win for the Minutemen.
Honorable mention: Army at Air Force and Miami (OH) at Buffalo
Top Dogs of the week
1. Ben Hicks- SMU, QB: The Mustangs got a huge program building win over Houston this week. Hicks looked like the player that he was last year in this one. He had 318 yards and FOUR touchdown passes.
2. Devin Singletary/Kerrith Whyte- FAU, RB(s): The Owls won another Shula bowl against rival FIU and they have the legs of these two to thank for it. They combined for 349 yards and four scores.
3. Justin McInnis- Arkansas State, WR: The Red Wolves got back on track on this week with a win over South Alabama and the play of McInnis stood out. He had 7 catches for 177 yards and one touchdown.
4. Willie Jones- Texas State, QB: The Bobcats can throw the ball? Well they could this week against Georgia State. Jones lit up the Panthers defense by having 325 yards and two touchdowns.
5. Spencer Brown- UAB, RB: The Blazers are one win away from locking up their spot in the C-USA title game. They scored 52 points which is a season high and Brown was a big part of it. He had 147 yards and two touchdown on the ground.
THE UPSETS ARE BACK!
Upsets of the week
1. Tulane over USF: Is this a case of USF being who we thought they were? Maybe. The Bulls started the season 7-0 but have since dropped two in a row. This time it was total beatdown at the hands of Tulane. Willie Fritz’s team beat Memphis in similar fashion earlier in the year and now with this win it could be a sign that a bright future is ahead. The Green Wave would get the win and then savagely burn the Bulls on Twitter afterwards.
2. SMU over Houston: Houston had people arguing for them to be ranked in the playoff standings this past week (myself included) but as is the story of the season the defense let them down. The Mustangs needed some kind of signature win and they got it with this upset. I already discussed the performance of Ben Hicks but the SMU defense would hold the Cougars scoreless in the first quarter and to three points in the third quarter and that would be the difference. The Mustangs win 45-31.
3. ULM over Georgia Southern: One week after the Eagles knocked off a ranked App State team they would suffer a hangover game against the Warhawks. The offense never really got going and only scored 22 points and the defense looked night and day different from the previous week giving up 45. Caleb Evans and the ULM offense was electric and I probably over looked him on my top dogs list. This loss muddies up the Sun Belt east race even more but is also a sign of a bright future for the Warhawks.
In the dog house
1. Shawn Elliot- Georgia State, HC: Texas State has been having a bad season so it was vital for Georgia State to get a win over them. Unfortunately for Elliot, they did not. A head scratching hire to begin with is now starting to come to a hot seat situation. The Panthers offense can be dynamic at time but lacks consistency and the defense has been poor all year. Is it time for Georgia State to move on?
2. Frank Wilson- UTSA, HC: This is one I didn’t think I would have to write. Frank Wilson was a hot name in coaching for a few years and he looked to springboard the UTSA job into an SEC/Big12 job but I don’t think those offers are coming in right now. The Roadrunners are 3-6 and have lost 3 in a row. He’s certainly not on the hot seat but you have to wonder what has happened this season.
Tweets of the week
- Yeah soooo more on this later
USF lost to Tulane, Houston’s down 17 to SMU at halftime.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) November 4, 2018
Guess the AAC decided if it can’t beat UCF on the field it’ll beat it in the rankings.
2. But.. I thought everything was bigger in Texas?
Seven straight wins overall, four straight against the state of Texas. pic.twitter.com/equhWob5Rj— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) November 4, 2018
3. Could not agree more
UCF's cool and all, but damn, the Fresno-Utah State winner deserves way better than the Vegas Bowl— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) November 4, 2018
1. UCF’s schedule takes an even bigger hit: I feel like I’m piling on and maybe you feel that I am too but I’m the guy who is in UCF’s corner more than most! But you can’t deny that this week the already lamented schedule that the Knights have took a big hit. USF getting trounced by Tulane and potential conference championship opponent Houston losing to SMU by double digits. Yes Pitt is helping them by leading the ACC Coastal but there’s no denying that USF, Cincinnati and Houston isn’t the murderer’s row we once thought it could be.
2. UTEP WINS A GAME: HEY! Did you see the Miners won a game? This may seem small but it has been a very long time for UTEP and while it came against a bad Rice team this was no fluke. In what is arguably the hardest job in the country Dana Dimel has at the very least gotten his team to play hard for him. Is this a sign of progress for the program?
3. Utah State: I’ll make this one quick but RANK THE AGGIES. I’m begging this committee. If you haven’t watched Utah State this year you’re missing out. A lot of fun and certainly worthy of a top 25 ranking.
These never get old. Thank you for a cool moment UMass.