This was a big day for the league, with four games on national television. The biggest win was Marshall upsetting #23 App State in Huntington, while the most thrilling was the epic comeback and late score in Hattiesburg by La Tech.
Elsewhere, UTSA beat SFA, WKU lost to Liberty, while both MTSU and UNT were routed.
Marshall 17 App State 7
Grant Wells threw for only 163 and 1 INT, but he hit Xavier Gaines and then ran in for the TD to put App State up by the winning margin. Later, App State converted a 4th and inches with a big 41-yard play before Herd back Brandon Drayton punched the ball free.
The Herd defense was as advertised and has only allowed 7 points in two games. The offense didn’t put up 59 like last week, but it did score enough and when it mattered. Expect Marshall to get some love from the voters this week.
Louisiana Tech 31 Southern Miss 30
Southern Miss and their new head coach climbed to a 27-10 lead with 7:36 in the third quarter before a comeback from Tech erased it all. Jack Abraham had thrown for his third score of the game to J. Brownlee to go up 27-10. They would only manage a field goal at roughly the 6 min mark. It wasn’t enough. With 20 second left and facing 4th and goal, Luke Anthony lofted a soft pass to the back of the end zone for Griffin Hebert. He caught it, but looked to be forced out by the Southern Miss defenders. Replay confirmed he got one foot down — the whole thing! — and Tech was up by one (after the PAT) and USM’s hook-and-ladder failed.
It was an incredible game in prime time, proving once again that CUSA plays some good football weekly. Last week UTSA and Texas State battled in a classic. This week we were treated to Tech and USM.
UTSA 24 SFA 10
UTSA had 6,611 for the opener in the dome. One of the largest gatherings in people indoors during the pandemic. They saw UTSA put up 498 yards of offense, but only 24 points against Abilene Christian. The game was never really in doubt. Frank Harris ran for two scores, including the final one to put UTSA up by the winning margin and end all hopes for a comeback.
UTEP 17 ACU 13
The Miners got their second win vs an FCS squad this season. It is too bad the FCS cancelled the playoffs, because the Miners are in a good spot. ACU led until Josh Fields ran in from 5 yards to put the miners up in the middle of the 2nd quarter. The Miners scored to make it 17-10 early in the fourth, and ACU only managed a field goal with 5 minutes left. ACU outgunned UTEP, making offensive-minded Dana Dimel’s squad look bad again.
WKU 24 Liberty 30
Last week’s drubbing at the hand of Louisville were understandable. This week’s loss to Liberty was not. The WKU offense still has not shown much progress — only amassing 291 yards of offense against Liberty’s 487. Liberty were up 30 to 17 when Tyrrell Pigrome hit Craig Burt Jr. for 36 yards and a score with 3 minutes left.
Troy 47 MTSU 14
In the first of two meetings this year, Troy dominated from start to finish. MTSU turned the ball over three times, and only managed 15 first downs and 241 yards of offense. Troy racked up 496 and led 47-7 until a very late score from Middle. Last year Middle relied on O’Hara for the whole offense but that is not happening. Three quarterbacks played for Coach Stock-still and none impressed.
Southern Methodist 65 North Texas 35
SMU walked up and down the field and made new DC Clint Bowen’s group look awful. SMU was up 21-0 after one, 34-7 after two, 55-21 after three. SMU put up 710 yards and Ulysses Bently ran for 227 on 19 carries for 3 scores. North Texas’ QBs were not overly impressive but Austin Aune looked more comfortable.