Seven more games of C-USA goodness this week with the FIU Panthers looking to rebound on the road among other important contests. Specifically, the surging UAB Blazers have a date with Southern Miss that could prove for an entertaining evening. Here’s how we see things going down on Saturday.
Game of the Week
FIU at UTSA (FIU -9.5, 7 PM ET on ESPN+)
Last week was an out-of-character game for FIU. Their 14 points were the fewest they scored in any game this season. Turns out, when you pair not scoring points with a not-so-great run defense against one of the most NFL-ready running backs in CFB, it can sometimes go poorly for you.
FIU quarterback James Morgan still has put together a great season altogether though. He’s averaging 225.3 yards per game while being tied for the most passing TDs in the league with 21. Receiver CJ Worton is also making an impact with five touchdowns on 27 catches. The FIU defense improving their ability to defend the run is easily the team’s biggest need. While the Panthers are third in the league in pass defense, they are allowing the second-most rushing yards per game in the league.
Fortunately for the Panthers, they play the only team in C-USA not averaging at least 100 yards per game this week. UTSA also has the worst pass offense in the league. If FIU can win this game and MTSU somehow lose, the Panthers will retake their lead in C-USA East.
FIU 28, UTSA 13
The Rest of C-USA...
Charlotte at Marshall (Marshall -14.5, 2:30 PM ET on ESPN+)
Marshall’s offense showed some concerning inconsistency last week without Tyler King. While Charlotte is hanging tough, I still think that there is enough talent on this Marshall team to get it done.
Marshall 24, Charlotte 13
Middle Tennessee at UTEP (MTSU -13.5, 3 PM ET on ESPN+)
East-leading MTSU caught a little bit of a lucky break when FIU lost last week. They should be able to capitalize on a trip to UTEP despite the Miners’ important victory last week.
MTSU 31, UTEP 21
North Texas at Old Dominion (UNT -14.5, 3:30 PM ET on ESPN3)
I still think there’s potential in this ODU team...but potential and execution are two different things. Mason Fine and the Mean Green have executed very well most of the year.
North Texas 35, ODU 17
Western Kentucky at FAU (FAU -20, 5 PM ET on Stadium)
Devin Singletary looked more like himself last week than he has all season. He could be in for another big week against a WKU team that hasn’t defended the run amazingly. Not to mention, the offense needs to score points when they reach the red zone.
FAU 34, WKU 13
Rice at Louisiana Tech (Tech -24, 7 PM ET on ESPN+)
After dropping a game to UTEP of all teams, Rice has some stuff to figure out. Tech’s playmakers could drop some more big numbers in this one.
Tech 27, Rice 14
Southern Miss at UAB (UAB -12, 7:30 PM ET on BeIN Sport)
We don’t know who will start at quarterback for USM, but Abraham and Tate Whatley bring different skill sets to the table. Based on UAB’s track record the last few weeks though, it likely won’t make too much of a difference as Tyler Johnston and the run game go for a program record ninth win this week.
UAB 31, USM 20