Conference USA Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 8.
|Team||Week 8||Result||Week 9|
|Charlotte||vs FAU (Thrs)||L, 38-9||at WKU|
|FAU||at Charlotte (Thrs)||W, 38-9||vs UTEP|
|FIU||vs WKU||L, 34-19||at Marshall|
|LA Tech||vs UTSA||L, 45-16||at Old Dominion|
|Marshall||— OFF —||—||vs FIU|
|MTSU||at UConn (Fri)||W, 44-13||vs Southern Miss|
|North Texas||vs Liberty||L, 35-26||at Rice|
|Old Dominion||— OFF —||—||vs LA Tech|
|Rice||at UAB||W, 30-24||vs North Texas|
|Southern Miss||— OFF —||—||at MTSU|
|UAB||vs Rice||L, 30-24||— OFF —|
|UTEP||— OFF —||—||at FAU|
|UTSA||at Louisiana Tech||W, 45-16||— OFF —|
|WKU||at FIU||W, 34-19||at Charlotte|
Notable Week 8 results – Standings
If Rice football was still feeling the aftereffects from their blowout loss to UTSA in Week 8, they didn’t show it in their first-ever trip to Protective Stadium. Rice struck first, pulled out a few tricks of their own and held on for their second win as a 23+ point underdog in as many seasons, knocking off the defending champs on the road and snapping UAB’s 15-game C-USA winning streak in the process.
Entering the weekend, UAB and UTSA were tied atop the West standings along with UTEP. The Miners were off, but the other two top teams played and with the Blazers falling at home, UTSA leaves the weekend as the only 4-0 team in Conference USA. The Roadrunners will still have to face the Blazers this season (in San Antonio on Nov. 20), but for the time being, UTSA controls its own destiny.
Louisiana Tech has the longest-running streak of consecutive bowl appearances in Conference USA, but the Bulldogs are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time. They now sit at 2-5 with a road trip to UAB still on the schedule. The margin of error is shrinking in Ruston.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Intrigue in the East
Florida Atlantic made an emphatic case to be the frontrunner in their Thursday night rout of Charlotte, but the 49ers still find themselves near the top of the division standings. So too, does Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers visit Charlotte in Week 9 in a game that could — at the very least — put one team firmly out of contention, should they fail to win it.
Taking advantage of your chances
It’s been a tough season for Southern Miss, and although it might take longer than some in Hattiesburg would like for this team to regain their swagger, they’ll have a golden opportunity in front of them in Week 9. Fresh off a bye against a Middle Tennessee game that has been erratic, the Golden Eagles will have one of their better shots at a win. They’d best take advantage of it.
UTEP didn’t play this past weekend, still the bowl-eligible Miners find themselves right near the top of the West standings. But they’ve yet to beat anyone with a winning record. They’ll have the chance to do just that in Week 9 when they travel to FAU. If they can beat FAU on the road, it’ll be hard not to take this team seriously moving forward.
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- Conference USA Football 2021: Week 8 C-USA Roundup
- Rice Football: Owls stun UAB in first-ever trip to Protective Stadium