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Choosing C-USA: Week 5

We have a few bold predictions for the week ahead.

NCAA Football: Old Dominion at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

I had a rare perfect week last week making picks. I’m not going to get used to it given how lopsided some of those matchups ended up being...but let me revel it in a little bit...?

....

Okay, I’m done reveling. Let’s get back to it and see what’s on the docket this week for C-USA.

Last week: 9-0

Season total: 40-7


#14 Iowa Hawkeyes vs Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders - Noon ET

On some level, you have to feel for MTSU. They’ve had a brutal non-conference schedule and are probably a better team than their record would indicate. This being said, Iowa is just a better team. Hawkeyes are the pick.

Charlotte 49ers vs Florida Atlantic Owls - 3:30 PM ET

These two teams are incredibly evenly matched. You’ll hear me say this again on the Pawdcast episode that we release later this week, but it’s going to come down to the two best offensive players in this game: Benny LeMay and Chris Robison. Because of the nature of FAU’s pass game right, I’m picking the Owls because I think they’ll score faster and more often that Charlotte right now.

Marshall Thundering Herd vs Cincinnati Bearcats - 5 PM ET

Cincinnati is the safe pick. The Herd are playing well, but UC’s defense could be a big problem if they aren’t careful. In particular, look for Michael Pitts and Bryan Wright to cause some problems in the backfield.

Old Dominion Monarchs vs East Carolina Pirates - 6 PM ET

ECU’s two wins this year have come against FCS teams...and not exactly top tier FCS teams either. Meanwhile, Old Dominion kept pace with Virginia last week after many of us were ready to write their season off. Stone Smartt’s Monarchs should have the juice to win this.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs UAB Blazers - 7 PM ET

No matter who they start at quarterback this week, the Tops are going to be led by a signal caller who hasn’t played meaningful snaps in a while. Tyler Johnston and UAB are playing strong at the moment and, frankly, haven’t even hit their full potential yet. Blazers are the safe pick.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs UTEP Miners - 7 PM ET

UTEP are definitely improving, but they’re not up to the task of knocking of an offense like Southern Miss. Jack Abraham is the league’s leading passer for a very good reason. Southern Miss are the pick.

Rice Owls vs Louisiana Tech Bulldogs - 7 PM ET

The Bulldogs should have this one on lockdown. This is going to be a good test of just how much Rice has improved though, particularly against the run game. Rice may be the best 0-4 team in the country and they will likely be the best 0-5 team in the country after this weekend.

North Texas Mean Green vs Houston Cougars - 8 PM ET

Houston seems to still be trying to find their identity as a team after a few very close back-to-back losses. Meanwhile, UNT’s offense has looked pretty strong in bouncing back from some early season struggles with Tre Siggers leading C-USA in rushing yards per game. North Texas is the pick here.