Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 5.
|Team||Week 5||Result||Week 6|
|Charlotte||at Illinois||L, 24-14||at FIU|
|FAU||vs FIU||W, 58-21||at UAB|
|FIU||at FAU||L, 58-21||vs Charlotte|
|LA Tech||— OFF —||L 34-27||— OFF —|
|Marshall||at MTSU||L, 34-28||vs Old Dominion|
|MTSU||vs Marshall||W, 34-28||at Liberty|
|North Texas||— OFF —||—||at Missouri|
|Old Dominion||at UTEP||L 28-21||at Marshall|
|Rice||vs Southern Miss||W, 24-19||— OFF —|
|Southern Miss||at Rice||L, 24-19||vs UTEP|
|UAB||vs Liberty||L, 36-12||vs FAU|
|UTEP||vs Old Dominion||W, 28-21||at Southern Miss|
|UTSA||vs UNLV||W, 24-17||at WKU|
|WKU||at Michigan St.||L, 48-31||vs UTSA|
Notable Week 5 results – Standings
Marshall takes third straight L
Marshall was a popular pick to win the Eastern division. Through the Herd’s first five games, they’ve beaten just one FBS team and dropped their three most recent contests. Saturday’s loss to Middle Tennessee was particularly disheartening. They outgained MTSU 493 to 314 but committed six turnovers.
Louisiana Tech, masters of heartbreak
You couldn’t make this up if you wanted to. Once more, Louisiana Tech has found a way to lose in the most painful of ways. Trailing by seven with three minutes to play, Austin Kendall marched the offense the length of the field into the redzone only to be intercepted in the endzone on the final play of regulation with the clock expiring. Ouch.
Honorable mention: UAB opened Protective Stadium with a loss to Liberty. It was a tough outing, but at least there was no fourth-quarter dagger to amp up the pain even further.
Rice football dropped its first three games in non-conference play to Arkansas, Houston and Texas. Then Jake Constantine took over at quarterback and the Owls rattled off two consecutive home wins, capped off with their first conference win of the season over Southern Miss. They enter the bye week tied for first place in Conference USA West, righting the ship after a rocky opening stanza.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Two of the most significant divisional crossover games of the season are set to take place in Week 6. Frontrunners in the West, UAB and UTSA, are set to take on FAU and Western Kentucky, respectively. It wouldn’t be stunning to see one or possibly two of these four teams represented in the conference championship game, making these matchups some of the best we’ll see in the conference this year.
Way-too-early bowl watch
UTEP is off to one of its better starts in recent history and the Miners’ aspirations of postseason play seem more believable now than perhaps any other time in Dana Dimel’s tenure. Southern Miss is far from the top-dog in the West, making this a key matchup for UTEP if they want to stay on track and reach that coveted six-win (or more) season.
Week 5 marks a notable shift toward conference play, but there are a handful of programs that won’t face a Conference USA foe. North Texas will have their work cut out for them against Missouri, while Middle Tennesee will make their best efforts to knock off a feisty Liberty squad that faced off with UAB the weekend prior.
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