C-USA Football: Games for Week of October 23, 2021
Ten Conference USA teams are in action in Week Eight, with four games as conference matchups, and two non-conference tilts.
No. 24 UTSA takes the field for the first time as a ranked program when they travel to Ruston to take on Louisiana Tech in a big West Divsion clash on Saturday night. Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss and UTEP all have byes this week.
A key East Division matchup kicks off the Week Eight slate for C-USA when Florida Atlantic (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) travels to take on Charlotte (4-2, 2-0 C-USA). FAU is coming off a bye week, and fell 31- 14 at UAB the last time out. QB NíKosi Perry leads the Owlsí offense into Charlotte to battle the 49ers, who are the lone unbeaten team in the East Divsion. Charlotte was also on a bye last week, and won its last time out at FIU, defeating the Panthers 45-33. QB Chris Reynolds and co. have put up an average of 43.5 points per game in conference play thus far.
Middle Tennessee (2-4) travels to battle UConn (1-7) in a Friday night tilt from Storrs, Connecticut. The Blue Raiders were off last week and fell 41-13 at Liberty. Middle Tennessee has forced 18 turnovers, which ranks second in the FBS, behind only No. 13 Iowa (20). UConn is coming off its first win since 2019, knocking off Yale 21-15 last week.
UAB (5-2, 3-0 C-USA) is one of three teams in the West Divsion at 3-0, and the Blazers put their perfecthome record on the line when they host Rice (2-4, 1-1C-USA) to kick off Saturdayís slate of C-USA games. The Blazers recorded their second shutout of the season with a 34-0 win at Southern Miss last week in Hattiesburg. The Blazers held Southern Miss to just 107 yards of total offense in the dominant win. Rice, was held to just 102 yards of total offense in a 45-0 loss at UTSA last week.
North Texas (1-5) concludes its non-conference schedule Saturday afternoon in Denton when the Mean Green welcome Liberty (5-2). UNT fell 49-21 last week against Marshall at home, and trailed 42-7 at the half. RB DeAndre Torrey was the lone bright spot for the Mean Green, carrying 20 times for 179 yards and two scores in a losing effort. Liberty was upset in a big way last week on the road at Louisiana-Monroe, falling 31-28. The Flames are 3-0 thus far this season against C-USA foes, having already knocked off Old Dominion, UAB and Middle Tennessee.
No. 24 UTSA (7-0, 3-0 C-USA) hits the road this week to battle West Division foe Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1 C-USA). The Roadrunners dominated Rice, 45-0 on homecoming last week, suffocating the Owls defensively. UTSA intercepted a pair of passes and brought them back for scores and allowed just 102 yards of total offense. RB Sincere McCormick outgained the entire Owls team, rushing for 117 yards on 13 carries in the win - his fifth game over 100-yards rushing on the season.
WKU (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) travels to Miami to take on FIU (1-5, 0-2 C-USA). The Hilltoppers handled Old Dominion 43-20 last week after racing out to a 30-3 halftime advantage in Norfolk. C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, WR Jerreth Sterns, continued his torrid start to the 2021 campaign - hauling in 13 catches for a career-high 221 yards and a touchdown. QB Bailey Zappe, the nationís leading passer, completed 37-54 passes for 397 yards and five more touchdowns, pushing his season total to 26, which is tied for the national lead (SMUís Tanner Mordecai). FIU had a bye last week, and enters play having lost five straight, including a 45-33 loss at home against Charlotte their last time out. QB Max Bortenschlager and WR Tyrese Chambers lead a potent aerial attack, but the Panthers have struggled to stop opponents, especially in C-USA play. FIU has allowed an average of 52.5 points per game in league contests.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21
Florida Atlantic at Charlotte (CBSSN) 7:30 pm
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22
Middle Tennessee at UConn (CBSSN) 6 pm
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23
Rice at UAB (ESPN+) 3:30 pm
Liberty at North Texas (ESPN+) 4 pm
No. 24 UTSA at LA Tech (Stadium) 7 pm
WKU at FIU (ESPN+) 7 pm
Rice 30 UAB 24
Despite surrendering 99 more yards overall, Rice runs 16 more plays for the game, and is 17-of-22 in the passing attack to upset the Blazers in their new crib.
Liberty 35 North Texas 26
Some very interesting stats/notes to observe here.
- Total Yards: UNT 454 Liberty 351
- TOP: UNT 35:50 Liberty 24:10
- Total Plays: UNT 95 Liberty 64
- The Mean Green led 20-7 with 1:51 to play in the first half.
- Liberty rushed for just 41 yards on 28 attempts.
So, how did UNT lose?
Liberty QB Malik Willis was taken to a local ER after suffering an injury in the 2nd quarter, and would COME BACK to lead the team to victory.
As soon as Willis left, backup Flames QB Jonathan Bennet came in and ran a five play drive for 90 yards in just :35 seconds which was capped by a 39 yard TD pass.
After a failed first drive for Liberty to open the second half, UNT would eat 6:06 off the clock to late a 26-14 lead as they missed the 2PT conversion attempt.
Willis then wrapped 20, and 37 yard TD strikes around a 72 yard punt return for a score by the Flames.
Also of note, Liberty had SIXTY THREE solo tackles.
Bottom line, big plays and a stout defense by the Flames when it mattered killed the Mean Green.
UTSA 45 LA Tech 16
The 24th ranked Roadrunners scored 35 straight points and moved to 8-0, and 4-0 in C-USA play while also posting their first win at Louisiana Tech in program history. The Roadrunners have now won 11 of their last 12 games.
The Bulldogs (2-5) were just 5.5 point underdogs for the tilt.
WKU 34 FIU 19
The Panthers rush for one yard per carry 29 attempts.
WKU QB Zappe Bailey is super efficient and completed a whopping 79.6% of his tosses to Hilltopper receivers (39-49) for 3TD.Posted On: Oct 23rd 2021, 10:42 PM
ESPN finally posted the stats. FIU had 29 carries for 28 yards. The average was 1 yard per carry (really .9). †There must have been a lot of sacks for big losses.†