We haven’t gotten to November yet, but we have a “remember October” game on the docket this week. The others don’t look so great.
Looking at the games, in order of (my) interest:
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (4-3, 3-0) at WESTERN KENTUCKY (5-2, 3-1), 4:30 p.m.
WKU’s Mike White has thrown TD passes to five different receivers the last two weeks, while the Owls are averaging 397.5 yards and 52.5 points in their four victories.
In piling up 804 total yards on North Texas — eight-oh-four! — the Owls had 23 double-digit-yard plays. That’s absurd.
Stadium claims it will continue to be a player in the C-USA television picture and it should be. Games such as this should go to a higher-profile network.
I have a hard time going against WKU, which is on a 14-1 conference home streak, but I want Doc vs. Lane at 4-0 in Boca next week. What the heck.
Line: FAU by 6.5. FAU
ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM (4-3, 2-2) at SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (5-2, 3-1), 7 p.m.
I had forgotten UAB’s last game before its unfortunate hiatus was a 45-24 win at Hattiesburg in the last game of the 2014 season. Current Chicago Bears back Jordan Howard rushed for 262 yards.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a ridiculous double-overtime win over Louisiana Tech that lifted it into a first-place tie in the West Division. Korey Robinson caught the game-tying TD and skied over a Tech defender for the game-winner in overtime.
Every UAB game has come down to the final play, and the four contests have a combined margin of seven points. Let’s see it happen again.
Line: Southern Miss by 13. UAB, at least to beat spread
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO (4-2, 1-2) at TEXAS-EL PASO (0-7, 0-3), 8 p.m.
UTEP won last year’s game 52-49 game in five overtimes. The Miners couldn’t score that many points in 20 quarters this time around.
LINE: UTSA by 15.5. UTSA
OLD DOMINION (2-5, 0-3) at NORTH TEXAS (4-3, 3-1), 6:30 p.m.
The Monarchs can’t keep a lead against WKU, then has the bad fortune to visit a mad hornets’ nest in Denton. The Mean Green averages a league-best 44.7 points at home, and that could go up.
ODU’s Ray Lawry is the No. 8 active career rusher in the FBS, with 3,588 yards.
LINE: North Texas by 11. NORTH TEXAS
LOUISIANA TECH (3-4, 1-2) at RICE (1-6, 1-2), 3:30 p.m.
Don’t look now, but this is a desperation game for Skip Holtz’s Bulldogs. With North Texas, FAU and UTSA still on the schedule, a bowl-less season is a distinct possibility.
I’m not sure it’s fair, but this game helps usher Rice coach David Bailiff out the door. You can’t recruit high-caliber bookworms to that tiny school every year, you know.
LINE: Louisiana Tech by 13. RICE to beat spread, but not outright
Last week: 3-2
East: Marshall, FAU 3-0, WKU 3-1, FIU 2-1, MTSU, Charlotte 1-3, Old Dominion 0-3.
West: North Texas, Southern Miss 3-1, UAB 2-2, UTSA, La Tech, Rice 1-2, UTEP 0-3.
Bowl eligible: Marshall (6-1). On verge: Southern Miss (5-2), WKU (5-2).
Eliminated: UTEP, Charlotte. On verge: Rice (1-6).
Rushing yards: Jeffery Wilson, NT, 749; Ito Smith, Southern Miss, 733, Devin Singletary 666. (Marshall: Keion Davis 9th, 393.)
Passing yards: Mason Fine, NT, 1,796; Mike White, WKU, 1,653; J’Mar Smith 1,539, Chase Litton, Marshall, 1,382.
Pass efficiency: Dalton Sturm, UTSA (91-134-1, 1,241 yds, 11 TDs, rating 171.3); Mason Fine, NT (122-197-5, 1,796 yds, 14 TDs, rating 156.9), Chase Litton, Marshall (121-201-3, 1,382 yds, 13 TDs, rating 136.3).
Receptions: Ty Lee, MTSU, 39, Teddy Veal, La Tech, 36, Tyre Brady, Marshall, 34. Other Marshall: Ryan Yurachek, 9th, 25.
Receiving yards: Jaylen Guyton, NT, 626, Thomas Owens, FIU (614), Tyre Brady, Marshall, 571.
Team total offense: North Texas 499.2, UTSA 460.8, Southern Miss 445.2. (Marshall 10th, 373.3)
Team total defense: UTSA 304.0, Southern Miss 313.3, Marshall 321.8.
Scoring offense: North Texas 37.2, FAU 34.2, UTSA 33.4. (Marshall 7th, 26.5)
Scoring defense: Marshall 15.0, WKU 18.2, Southern Miss 18.8.