Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 4.
|Team||Week 4||Result||Week 5|
|Charlotte||vs MTSU||W, 42-39||at Illinois|
|FAU||at Air Force||L, 31-7||vs FIU|
|FIU||at Central Michigan||L, 31-27||at FAU|
|LA Tech||vs North Texas||W, 24-17||— OFF —|
|Marshall||at App St.||L, 31-30||at MTSU|
|MTSU||at Charlotte||L, 42-39||vs Marshall|
|North Texas||at LA Tech||L, 24-17||— OFF —|
|Old Dominion||vs Buffalo||L, 35-34||at UTEP|
|Rice||vs Texas Southern||W, 43-34||vs Southern Miss|
|Southern Miss||at Alabama||L, 63-14||at Rice|
|UAB||at Tulane||W, 28-21||vs Liberty|
|UTEP||vs New Mexico||W, 20-13||vs Old Dominion|
|UTSA||— OFF —||W, 31-28||vs UNLV|
|WKU||vs Indiana||L, 33-31||at Michigan St.|
Notable Week 4 results – Standings
Not enough gas
For the second time in as many weeks, Marshall has seen a fourth quarter lead disappear. ESPN projections gave the Herd as much as a 98.8 percent chance to beat East Carolina in Week 3, but that was before ECU scored 21 unanswered to win it in the fourth quarter. The Appalachian State was much closer, but Marshall was unable to hold their nine-point lead at the end of the third quarter. If Marshall wants to contend for a C-USA East title, they’ll have to figure out how to close out ballgames.
Welcome to the win column
Rice football was heavily favored against Texas Southern at home and took care of business, exploding for 48 points on offense, twice the point total they’d accrued through the prior three games. The Owls enter conference play next week fresh off their best offensive performance of the season.
The real deal
It’s hard to discount what Jeff Traylor has done at UTSA in such a short time. Perhaps it should be lauded even more considering the additional challenges poised by taking over a program in the midst of a pandemic. Nevertheless, the Roadrunners just keep winning. At this moment, they’re on a collision course with UAB for best in the West.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Shula Bowl showdown
Butch Davis has never beaten Florida Atlantic in four tries as FIU’s head coach. Not only does this rivaly game career have slightly more importance for the fan base, but it’s also the first conference game for either team this season. FIU is looking to prove 2020 was a speed bump, not the norm. FAU could put themselves in pole position after watching Marshall suffer successive nonconference losses. There’s a lot on the line in this one.
Looking different in 2021
The upcoming game between Old Dominion and UTEP pits programs with nonexistent or disappointing 2020 seasons against each other in what could be one of the more winnable games on either teams schedule this fall. If this opportunity is wasted, the schedules suddenly seem even more daunting than they did at the onset of the year. Will either team prove they’re in a much better place than they were at this point last year?
Give us Liberty
With the understandable exception of a listless blowout at the hands of No. 2 Georgia, UAB has looked every bit the C-USA heavyweight many expected them to be. At this point, the Blazers have one of the conference’s best chances at a national ranking. Holding serve in conference play will be crucial to that end, but getting things started with a resume-boosting win over Malik Willis and Liberty would certainly garner national attention. Blazers, the ball is in your court.