Hello, Herd fans!
This will make you cringe, but Texas-San Antonio’s unexpected 55-32 waxing of Southern Mississippi gave the Lone Star State two conference wins in the same weekend. The last time that happened was Nov. 21-22, 2014 (North Texas over Florida International; Rice over Texas-El Paso).
With that grisly piece of trivia, the notable and not-so-notable results last week:
Louisiana Tech 55, Western Kentucky 52: If you missed this Thursday nighter, you missed perhaps the best game of the year. The Hilltoppers’ 13-game league win streak ended, but they had a combined six TDs from names Marshall fans painfully know: Taywan Taylor, Nicholas Norris and Anthony Wales.
Tech receiver Carlos Henderson was a player of the week with eight catches for 232 yards and 3 TDs. Jonathan Barnes was special teams player of the week for his 13 points, including a 54-yard FG.
UTSA 55, Southern Miss 32: The Roadrunners gained a school-record 532 yards on just 47 plays, had two 100-yard rushers (Jalen Rhodes 165, Jarveon Williams 122) and Dalton Sturm was 10 of 12 for 193. Previous loss at Old Dominion notwithstanding, this rebuilding project is ahead of schedule and the West Division is now in chaos.
Freshman LB Josiah Tauaefa was defensive player of the week with 12 tackles and an interception late in the game.
Hold your nose
FIU 35, UTEP 21: The Panthers are tied for the East Division lead with a trip to Charlotte this week. No lie.
Charlotte 28, Florida Atlantic 23: Yes, we had a walk-off video reversal. Check out the video.
Charlotte QB Hasaan Klugh was a co-offensive player of the week, going 14 of 17 for 223 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran for 54 yards and a TD.
North Texas 38, Marshall 21: No further explanation needed.
Standings: East — MTSU, ODU, FIU 2-0; WKU, Charlotte 1-1; Marshall 0-1; FAU 0-2.
C-USA best results vs. P-5
Southern Miss 44, Kentucky 35
Arkansas 21, Louisiana Tech 20 (Tech had ball with lead in 4th quarter)
Arizona 32, UTSA 28 (led in 4th quarter)
Vanderbilt 31, Western Kentucky 30 (WKU went for 2 and the win)
Note: Marshall cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 3 points in the 4th quarter, but never got the ball back with a chance to tie or go ahead. Therefore, that game is not listed here.
Overall vs P-5: 1-17
This week’s offerings, in order of interest (MU-FAU not included):
WKU (3-3, 1-1) at Middle Tennessee (4-1, 2-0), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3): Here comes the 100 Miles of Hate, a nifty little rivalry of two schools on opposite sides of Nashville. Since WKU joined C-USA in 2014, the teams have split, with MTSU winning in 3 OTs in 2014 and the Hilltoppers dismantling the Blue Raiders 58-28 last year.
LINE: MTSU by 2.5. THAT’S ABOUT RIGHT, BUT TAKE THE BLUE RAIDERS.
FIU (2-4, 2-0) at Charlotte (2-4, 1-1), 6 p.m.: Enjoy prosperity while you can, Panthers. After this one, you face Louisiana Tech, MTSU and WKU in a row. Marshall two weeks after that.
Alex Gardner has four 100-yard games for the Panthers, while Charlotte WR Austin Duke had his 11th 100-yard outing, and has 3,000 career yards.
LINE: FIU by 5.5. FEEL THE RON COOPER FEVER, TAKE THE PANTHERS.
UTSA (2-3, 1-1) at Rice (0-5, 0-3), 7 p.m. (beIN Sports): Roadrunners are the most intriguing team in the league, but Rice is the least — except this may be the strange upset of the week. In the Southern Miss game, the Roadrunners had four of the longest 13 plays in their short history.
LINE: UTSA by 3.5. BRACE FOR A LETDOWN, TAKE RICE.
Southern Miss (4-2) at No. 25 Louisiana State, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Sports): The Golden Eagles are too good to be an SEC homecoming victim, so it’s Alumni Band Reunion night. But here’s the real news for USM, and it’s not good: QB Nick Mullens may miss the game with a thumb injury he played through against UTSA.
LINE: LSU by 25. USM MAY TAKE A BACKDOOR COVER, BUT GO WITH LSU.
Louisiana Tech (3-3) at Massachusetts, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN3): I’m tired of looking at UMass on these schedules.
LINE: LA TECH BY 14. NOT ENOUGH; TAKE THE BULLDOGS.
Last week vs. line: 3-3 (including MU game). Season: 20-26.