Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 9.
|Team||Week 9||Result||Up Next|
|Charlotte||at Rice||W, 56-23||vs WKU|
|FAU||vs UAB||W, 24-17||— OFF —|
|FIU||vs LA Tech||W, 42-34 (OT)||at North Texas|
|LA Tech||at FIU||L, 42-34 (OT)||vs MTSU|
|MTSU||at UTEP||W, 24-13||at LA Tech|
|North Texas||at WKU||W, 40-13||vs FIU|
|Rice||vs Charlotte||L, 56-23||vs UTEP|
|UAB||at FAU||L, 24-17||vs UTSA|
|UTEP||vs MTSU||L, 24-13||at Rice|
|UTSA||— OFF —||—||at UAB|
|WKU||vs North Texas||L, 40-13||at Charlotte|
Notable Week 9 results – Standings
Panthers punch back
It looked like FIU was going to be left for dead after back-to-back uncompetitive losses to UConn and UTSA. Not so fast. The Panthers have won two in a row and find themselves at .500 in league play. People are officially looking up at the Panthers
Meanwhile in Houston, Rice did not fair nearly as well against another team that entered the weekend near the bottom of the conference standings. The Owls allowed the Charlotte 49ers to score touchdowns on seven consecutive drives with an interim head coach at the helm. The loss drops Rice to 4-5 and puts bowl prep on hold.
End of the line for Blazers’ stand-in
Bryant Vincent stepped up as the interim head coach at UAB following the sudden retirement of Bill Clark. He was to be given a real chance to keep the job for good if his team produced on the field this season. Through eight games, it seems unlikely he’s met what is (admittedly) a high standard in Birmingham. At 4-4 it would take an improbable conference title run to even reopen the conversation.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
UTSA vs UAB was circled on everyone’s calendars earlier in the season, but the Blazers haven’t held up their end of the bargain. Even still, the talent on the UAB roster will give the Blazers a shot to pull out a big win at home. If they do, they’ll have new life and perhaps even more importantly, reopen the conference championship race for several schools who are nipping at the Roadrunner’s heels.
Both UTEP and Rice had a bowl game circled as proof of continued progress this season. Rice’s loss to Charlotte put pressure on the Owls to split their final four games, which finishes at WKU, vs UTSA and at North Texas after hosting the Miners. UTEP only has three contests left and needs to take two of three from Rice, FIU and UTSA. Sufficient to say, both teams need this one bad.
Race to the bottom
By virtue of Charlotte’s win over Rice, the 49ers are no longer the clear bottom team in the conference standings. Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee are back in the conversation for the league’s most woeful team. MTSU and Louisiana Tech get the privilege of deciding that on the field. Loser sits at the bottom of the standings.
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