Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 3.
|Team||Week 3||Result||Week 4|
|Charlotte||at Georgia St||L, 20-9||vs MTSU|
|FAU||vs Fordham||W, 45-14||at Air Force|
|FIU||at Texas Tech||L 54-21||at Central Michigan|
|LA Tech||vs SMU||L, 39-37||vs North Texas|
|Marshall||vs East Carolina||L, 42-28||at App St.|
|MTSU||at UTSA||L 27-13||at Charlotte|
|North Texas||vs UAB||L, 6-40||at LA Tech|
|Old Dominion||at Liberty||L, 45-17||vs Buffalo|
|Rice||at Texas||L, 58-0||vs Texas Southern|
|Southern Miss||vs Troy||L, 21-9||at Alabama|
|UAB||at North Texas||W, 40-6||at Tulane|
|UTEP||— OFF —||—||vs New Mexico|
|UTSA||vs MTSU||W, 27-13||— OFF —|
|WKU||— OFF —||—||vs Indiana|
Notable Week 3 results – Standings
Heartbreak for some
No team has seemingly cup up short in one score games as often as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in recent years. Skip Holtz and Co. lost on the final possession of the game against SMU:
AS CALLED ON SMU RADIO: pic.twitter.com/1oK4Q9rOQx
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 18, 2021
Marshall also lost a second half lead, falling to East Carolina who scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback.
The cream of the crop
Meanwhile, UTSA and UAB have looked every bit as advertised. With a brief interruption to be drubbed by national power Georgia, UAB resumed their collision course with UTSA for the top of C-USA West, blasting North Texas in a game that felt more one-sided than the final score indicated. UTSA did their part too, jumping out to an early lead over Middle Tennessee and coasting home.
While the top of the conference looks as good as advertised, the bifurcation between the elite and the rest could not be more clear. As UTSA and UAB roll over their foes, this weekend saw programs like Rice, Charlotte, Southern Miss, Old Dominion and FIU lose by multiple scores. Not all of those teams were expected to win those games, but many could have put up a better fight than they did.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Conference USA owns two Power 5 upsets through three weeks of the 2021 season. They’ll have one opportunity in Week 4, but the odds aren’t very favorable. Southern Miss, who fell to South Alabama 31-7 in their opening game, visits Alabama proper next weekend. Good luck Golden Eagles, you’ll need it.
As far as upsets go, Western Kentucky has an intriguing matchup against an Indiana team that looked particularly mortal in losses to Iowa and Cincinnati. Marshall and Appalachian State could be another interesting showdown.
Creeping into conference play
There were two conference matchups in Week 2. That number inches up to three games in Week 3. The bulk of the conference action is right around the corner, but a few teams like North Texas and Middle Tennesee will get a couple of opportunities to put their best foot forward before the rest of the league catches up.