Rice football dropped a road contest at Wake Forest in Week 5. How did the rest of the conference fare and what’s next for Conference USA football in Week 6?
|Team||Last Week||Result||This Week|
|Charlotte||at UAB||L, 28-7||— OFF —|
|FAU||at MTSU||L, 24-25||vs ODU|
|FIU||vs UAPB||W, 29-27||— OFF —|
|LaTech||at UNT||W, 55-9||vs UAB|
|Marshall||at WKU||W, 20-17||vs MTSU|
|MTSU||vs FAU||W, 25-24||at Marshall|
|North Texas||vs LaTech||L, 29-27||at UTEP|
|ODU||at ECU||L, 37-35||at FAU|
|Rice||at Wake Forest||L, 24-56||vs UTSA|
|Southern Miss||at Auburn||L, 24-13||— OFF —|
|UAB||vs Charlotte||W, 28-7||at LaTech|
|UTEP||at UTSA||L, 30-21||vs UNT|
|UTSA||vs UTEP||W, 30-21||at Rice|
|WKU||vs Marshall||L, 17-20||— OFF —|
Notable Week 3 results
Turn the conference upside down
North Texas and FAU were expected to be fixtures atop Conference USA in 2018. FAU had the misfortune of running into Oklahoma and UCF early on this season but looked to be more than competent in their other games. Sitting at 2-2, few had any doubts the Owls were poised to put together a new winning streak.
The same was true for North Texas. The Mean Green were 4-0 entering Week 5 including a blowout win over Arkansas on the road. Mason Fine was lighting up defenses left and right and didn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
Then FAU fell to Middle Tennessee and North Texas was upset by Louisiana Tech. All of a sudden, the frontrunners in CUSA are a game back in conference play. Both schools have enough talent to bounce back contender for a title, but the path got significantly harder for each on Saturday. North Texas hosts FAU in November.
ODU shocked the college football world when they upset a ranked Virginia Tech team at home in Week 4. Part of what made the win so stunning was the Monarch’s 0-3 record entering the game. They fell to ECU on Saturday, falling to 0-4 in games against teams not nicknamed the Hokies.
Take me home
After playing home games against Prairie View A&M and Houston to start the season, Rice football hit the road to play three games in four weeks. The time away from home has not been kind to the Owls, who dropped all three contests, the latest coming on Saturday against Wake Forest.
Week 4 storylines
The Miners are still looking for their first win. They fell to UTSA by nine points, but just when things were starting to look like they were trending in the right direction they draw a frustrated North Texas team that will be looking to pour on some points. It’s going to be another long weekend in El Paso.
Did FIU fall into the driver’s seat?
The Panthers own two close losses to Power 5 teams, falling to Indiana by 10 points and Miami by 14 points. Other than that, they’ve powered through the rest of their schedule. FAU’s loss in Week 5 plus further chaos in Week 6 when FIU has an off week could launch them into a win by Middle Tennessee over Marshall could put them in a three-way tie atop the East before their next game.
Time to prove it.
Louisiana Tech’s upset of North Texas was one of the most surprising results of the weekend. The Bulldogs recovered two fumbles and blocked the potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. If one or two balls bounce a different way, North Texas is still undefeated. Louisiana Tech can take the first step in proving last week’s result wasn’t a fluke by defeating UAB in Week 6.