Wins vs the power five
Appalachian State over North Carolina: Are the Mountaineers the best team in the state of the North Carolina? You can certainly make that argument after yesterday. You could really make that argument over the last few years and this game while close on the scoreboard showed the gap between the two. Darryton Evans has another big day with three touchdowns on the ground. The Mountaineers went up early and never looked back and they win their first meeting against the Tarheels in almost eighty years after a field goal is blocked as time expired, 34-31.
SMU over TCU: A game that involves maybe the coolest rivalry trophy in the sport (it’s an iron skillet... no seriously it’s an iron skillet.) The Mustangs took on the Horned Frogs and SMU was trying to snap a eight game losing streak to TCU and they succeed. The score doesn’t indicate how lopsided this game was for most of it. For every punch the Frogs threw out that Mustangs threw a bigger one back. A big day from SMU receiver Reggie Roberson helped his team pick up the win and their first 4-0 start since 1984. Mustangs win the skillet, 41-38.
Games of the week
UCF at Pittsburgh: UCF was riding high off a big win over Stanford and Pitt was coming off of a heartbreaking loss to rival Penn State. It only made sense for the Knights to come in and steam roll their opponent yet again.... right? The Panthers had other ideas as they got out to a 21-0 lead early. Dillon Gabriel who looked great so far finally showed some signs of being a freshman in this one. But the Knights weren’t done they would surge at the end of the second half and early in the third quarter to take the lead, 31-21. It looked like they had survived the scare but Pitt wouldn’t go away. The score was within six points late in the fourth quarter when the Panthers ran a familiar looking play modeled after their cousins over in Philadelphia. The “Pitt Special” resulted in a touchdown and the first regular season loss in over two years for UCF. Panthers win, 35-34.
Houston at Tulane: Let’s go all the way back to Thursday night and look at was the best game on (NFL Thursday night games stink.) Willie Fritz’s group would host Houston along with one of the most dynamic players in the sport, D’Eriq King. If you took Vegas up on the over in this one then you made a nice chunk of change. Houston went up big pretty early in this game but the Green Wave kept fighting back. With just over twenty seconds left in the game it was tied, Tulane had the ball and needed to go about 70 yards if they wanted to win. Their first play was a fake kneel down run that WORKED and that put them around the 45 yard line. Their next play was an absolute beauty of a pass to Jalen McClesky who split two defenders and no one was catching him. The Green Wave pull one out of the hat, 38-31.
Georgia State at Texas State: This game ended up being one giant match of hot potato where they kept throwing the lead back and forth to each other, it had EIGHT different lead changes. The two exchanged touchdowns and field goals all night until late in the fourth when the Panthers tied it up to send it to overtime. In overtime the two exchanged touchdowns until the THIRD overtime where kicker Josh Rowland hit the game winning dagger of a field goal. Texas State gets a much needed win in the Sun Belt and Jake Spavital looks to have this group playing much better than some expected. Bobcats win, 37-34. Also an elite tweet from their official account.
Wyoming at Tulsa: Don’t want to spend a detailed breakdown on this game because it wasn’t exactly pretty football BUT Tulsa picking up a win in a close game against a team that had won seven straight games dating back to last year is a significant step forward for the Golden Hurricane. This is a game that they would’ve found a way to lose last season but Phillip Montgomery may not be done at Tulsa just yet. Tulsa wins, 24-21.
Tyler Johnston III- UAB, QB: Blazers get a big win in a game that should be a more intense rivalry over South Alabama. Johnston was the main reason why. He threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
Elijah Mitchell- Louisiana, RB: The Rajun Cajuns still look like a top contender in the Sun Belt and they get a big win over a good Ohio team. Mitchell was the workhorse in this one, he ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
Justin Henderson- Louisiana Tech, RB: A breakout night for the Bulldogs running back and Florida native against a team from the state of Florida. Henderson ran for 141 yards and three touchdowns in their win over FIU.
Jalen McClesky- Tulane, WR: We’ve all seen the highlight to end the game and it’s top ten worthy but the rest of his night wasn’t too shabby either. McClesky had 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Zach Smith- Tulsa, QB: As I said earlier Tulsa gets a big win and in large part due to Smith. He threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns.
In the dog house
Frank Wilson- UTSA, HC: I feel bad because I keep putting him here and I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with this but this week it’s deserved. The Roadrunners are coming off of what is one of the most embarrassing losses in its short history. North Texas is really good but UTSA didn’t ever feel competitive in this game. There’s been too much of that going on lately. The programs are worlds apart yet in the same conference.
FIU’s defense: What happened here? We’ve gone over this before but on Friday night it was very obvious that the Panthers couldn’t stop anything against Louisiana Tech. Their offense wasn’t great either but the defense let Justin Henderson run all over them in yet another conference loss. It could be a long season down in Miami. This video is all the proof I need.
Temple.... the whole team: WHAT THE HECK TEMPLE?! You just knocked off a ranked Maryland team and then you go on and lose soundly to Buffalo? No disrespect to the Bulls but the Owls never even sniffed a chance at winning this one. No deep breakdown required but you’re in timeout Temple.
Tweets of the week
We all have our day.
Don’t think I’ve gotten to do this for UCF yet. That’s fun. pic.twitter.com/8wwMMhIjyK— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) September 22, 2019
Six degrees of Sonny Dykes.
The only 4-0 teams in the Pac-12 and AAC are Cal and SMU, the past and present teams of Sonny Dykes.— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 22, 2019
Texas State > Tennessee. Just like we always knew.
Georgia State > Tennessee— GX (@guardiolaknows) September 22, 2019
Texas State > Georgia State
Then that means:
Texas State > Tennessee
Sorry I don’t make the rules #TXST
UAB keep proving people wrong: Okay it’s early and maybe the competition isn’t great but that’s not the point. Many including myself expected the Blazers to take a giant step back but so far... so good. After a rocky week one start, UAB has come on strong and looked good doing it. If you thought Bill Clark did a good job coaching last year this season could be his best job yet.
The Sun Belt still runs through Boone: There’s some obvious contenders out there but after this week’s win over North Carolina, App State made a big statement and that is if you want to win this conference you have to come through Boone. The Mountaineers don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon but could a rematch from last year against Louisiana could be on deck?
What does UCF’s loss mean for the AAC: In the bigger picture? Probably nothing. The Knights had no real chance of making the playoff as its currently constructed so everything they wanted to accomplish is still in front of them and a Group of five New Year’s Six bowl is still on the table for the league. What we also learned this week is there other a few other teams nipping at the heels of the Knights. This will be their toughest challenge in a long time.
SAN JOSE STATE BEAT ARKANSAS.... and the score is closer than the game was
Fake kneel downs are amazing. Let’s do it more.