Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 7.
|Team||Week 7||Result||Week 8|
|Charlotte||— OFF —||—||vs FAU (Thrs)|
|FAU||— OFF —||—||at Charlotte (Thrs)|
|FIU||— OFF —||—||vs WKU|
|LA Tech||at UTEP||L, 19-3||vs UTSA|
|Marshall||at North Texas||W, 49-21||— OFF —|
|MTSU||— OFF —||—||at UConn (Fri)|
|North Texas||vs Marshall||L, 49-21||vs Liberty|
|Old Dominion||vs WKU||L, 43-20||— OFF —|
|Rice||at UTSA||L, 45-0||at UAB|
|Southern Miss||vs UAB||L, 34-0||— OFF —|
|UAB||at Southern Miss||W, 34-0||vs Rice|
|UTEP||vs Louisiana Tech||W, 19-3||— OFF —|
|UTSA||vs Rice||W, 45-0||at Louisiana Tech|
|WKU||at Old Dominion||W, 43-20||at FIU|
Notable Week 7 results – Standings
The cream of the crop
If we’ve learned anything from the first half of the season, we now know for certain that UTSA and UAB are the best of the West, and likely the top two teams in Conference USA. Not only did both teams find the win column this week; they blasted inferior opponents in an emphatic fashion. If you haven’t circled Nov. 20 yet, get it on your calendar. These two teams are going to put on quite a show.
Watch out for Western
Although they weren’t able to top UTSA the week prior, Western Kentucky looked quite capable on Saturday against Old Dominion. Bailey Zappe continues to be as good as advertised and Conference USA defenses don’t have any answers for the Hilltoppers’ signal-caller. This team is going to drop 40+ every game. The only way to top them is to outscore them, something that probably won’t be happening too often.
UTEP was expected to be better this season, but even some of the Miners’ own supporters were skeptical of a bowl berth coming by the end of the year. Turns out, it only took seven weeks for UTEP to accomplish that feat. Not only will UTEP be bowling this offseason, they’ll enter their bye week deadlock atop Conference USA West with UTSA and UAB, all of which own 3-0 conference records.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Intrigue in the East
If it’s not going to be Western Kentucky who emerges in the East, it might be one of Charlotte or FAU, who meet on the field next week following bye weeks for both programs. Each squad enters next week in the top half of C-USA in scoring defense and scoring offense. If they have hopes of winning their division, a win in this game would be a great place to start.
Mean Green Free Fall?
After winning their season opener against Northwestern State, North Texas has lost five consecutive games and only one of them was particularly close. The task won’t get any easier this week as they close out non-conference play against Liberty — who were upset by 32.5-point underdogs Louisiana Monroe on Saturday — but they need to show some sign of life after a rough month of play.
Tech in trouble?
Under head coach Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech has been a perennial contender in Conference USA, and despite falling short of that elusive conference title, they’ve played in bowl games in each of the last seven seasons, winning six in a row prior to last year. Now sitting at 2-4 with UTSA on deck, the Bulldogs are in danger of getting uncomfortably close to missing that regular postseason trip they’ve become so accustomed to each winter.