This week saw two conference matchups, and two teams playing the top squads in the nation. UAB asserted its dominance, UNT got an identity, and UTSA may be pushed toward a decision about their coaching future.
Rice, UTEP, and ODU had those losses that feel kind of good while Tech ran through FIU. FAU played an FCS squad. Let us rank these teams by power, which is mysteriously defined by the ranking committee.
Highest Scoring Team of the Week: North Texas 45 vs UTSA
Lowest Scoring Team of the Week: UTSA 3 vs NT
Best Scoring Defense of the Week: North Texas 3 vs UTSA
Worst Scoring Defense of the Week: Charlotte 52 to Clemson
Most Total Yards: Tech 565 vs FIU
Lowest Total Yards: Charlotte 216 vs Clemson
Least Yards Allowed: 244 ODU vs Virginia
Most Yards Allowed: 565 FIU vs Tech
Most Rush Yards: Tre Siggers, UNT, 143, on 14 carries 2 TDs
Most Pass Yards: James Morgan, FIU, 394, on 29/41 passing 2 TDs 1 INT
Most Receiving Yards: DeAngelo Antoine, FAU, 173 on 11 grabs 4 TDs
CR’s OPOTW: Justin Henderson, La Tech
CR’s DPOTW: Garret Marino, 2 sacks, 1 PD
CR’s STPOTW: Bailey Hale, 5 FGs
1. UAB 3-0, 0-0
This week: 35-3 winners over South Alabama.
They won easily, with Tyler Johnston III getting 313 and 3 scores on 22/27 passing. Spencer Brown ran for two scores. The Blazers rolled up 514 and only allowed 190. UAB looks to have shaken off whatever rust they might have had in the first game and are now playing the most complete football in the league.
Last week: 1st. Next up: @ WKU
2. Marshall 2-1, 0-0
This week: Idle
Marshall got to rest up a week after a hard-fought win over Ohio. The Herd have the best defense in the division, but can benefit from improving the offense over the bye week.
LW: 2. Next up: vs Cincinatti
3. La Tech 3-1, 1-0
This week: 43-31 winners over FIU
The win was not totally pretty, as FIU did take advantage of the defense, but the powerful run game and caretaker quarterbacking were good things to see. J’Mar Smith had 290, and a fluke interception. Justin Henderson was the story with 141 and three scores. There were a bit too many field goals but that is better than turnovers.
LW 5th. Next up: @ Rice
4. North Texas 2-2, 1-0
This week: 45-3 winners over UTSA
NT shoots up two places in part because of the way they handled UTSA and Cal, which is now ranked. You can make the argument that newly 4-0 SMU and 4-0 Cal, which both may be ranked, are simply quality competition. Whatever the case, NT’s defense has not allowed a TD in 7-straight quarters. The offense has an identity now: the run game via Tre Siggers, who had 143 on 14 carries against UTSA. WR Rico Bussey is out for the year, however.
LW: 6th. Next up: Houston
5. Charlotte 2-2, 0-0
This week: 52-10 losers to #1 Clemson.
Yes, we dropped Charlotte a bit, but that is only because we have not seen them in league play. We know they can score and we know that Clemson is uniquely qualified to shut anyone down. Still, this kind of loss — in the manner it happened — hurts the pride and yes, the power ranking. The 49ers will have a week to recover before a big showdown against FAU at home, where they are 2-0.
LW: 3rd. Next up: vs FAU
6. Southern Miss 2-2, 0-0
This week: 49-7 losers to #2 Alabama
Again, this was an expected loss and nothing really was learned here. Alabama outran, out tackled, and out played USM in this one. There were some nice efforts that will be lost to memory, but it was a beat down nonetheless.
LW: 4th. Next up: vs UTEP
7. WKU 1-2, 1-0
This week: Idle
WKU barely beat out FIU but has had a week to figure some things out and prepare for UAB.
LW: 7th. Next up: vs UAB
8. Middle Tennessee 1-2, 0-0
This week: Idle
Middle was handled easily by Duke and has used the bye week to prepare fore Iowa.
LW: 8th. Next up: @ Iowa
9. FAU 2-2, 0-0
This week: 42-7 winners over Wagner
Chris Robinson threw for five scores on 25/36 passing for 379 yards in an easy one. DeAngelo Antoine caught 11 for 173 and 4 of those scores. This game was one-sided from the jump. We knew it woud happend and we did not learn much.
LW: 10. Next up: @ Charlotte
10. ODU 1-2, 0-0
This week: 28-17 losers to #21 Virginia
The Monarchs jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half before Virginia rallied. Unfortunately, the offense is still struggling but he defense held the Cavs to sub-300 yards also. ODU is still figuring out who they are exactly but they are getting closer.
LW: 12th. Next up: vs ECU
11. Rice 0-4, 0-0
This week: 21-13 losers to Baylor
Rice held powerful Baylor to only 21 points despite allowing 427 yards of offense. Rice’s run game coud not muster anything beyond 64 yards, but Wiley Green was able to help the pass attack in his return from injury. Rice was 8/18 on third down, which helped keep the time of possession. Rice was down 18 for a good portion of the second half until getting a TD late. Rice is winless, but has impressed against Army, Wake for a bit, and now Baylor.
LW: 11th. Next up: vs LaTech
12. UTEP 1-2, 0-0
This week: 37-21 losers to Nevada
The Wolfpack are a weird team and mostly bad despite their win over Purdue. UTEP was going step-for-step until they could not move the ball late in the fourth. UTEP’s QBs are still throwing too many picks — Locksley threw two in his six attempts. The run game could use a little help from the pass game.
LW: 14th. Next up: vs USM
13. UTSA 1-3, 0-1
This week: 45-3 losers to UNT
UTSA may be the worst team in the league. I say that seriously, and with the full knowledge that this ranking had them as high as third after the first week. North Texas ran all over the Runners for 290 yards. Tre Siggers had 143 on 14 carries. The offense lost Frank Harris again and the backups did not impress. Frank Wilson is on the hottest of seats with the fans. Eventually that will translate over to the AD Lisa Campos. UTSA has the worst run defense in the league and the offense has not scored 20 points against an FBS opponent all season.
LW: 9th. Next up: Bye
14. FIU 1-3, 0-2
This week: 43-31 losers to Tech
The rules of this ranking sort of dictate that those higher will beat all the lower ones. Really, I think FIU probably could beat UTSA, but the reality is that FIU is 0-2 in this league already. The defense looks woeful, and James Morgan looks uncomfortable.
LW: 13th Next up: vs UMASS
Southern Miss did not even try to fight in that one despite What Jay Hopson said. I’ve been watching USM football for almost 30 years and if he calls that southern miss football and fighting for 60 minutes he is delusional. He needs to go ask past players if that was Southern miss football. He might be surprised at their thoughts. As far as ODU, they gave that UV game away. That was the stupidest coaching call to go for it on 4th down on your end of the field with a narrow lead. That was just stupid.