Bahamas Bowl Weekly Preview – 2017 Week 10 (November 2-8)
PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL-ELIGIBLE TEAMS): C-USA (1): Marshall (6-2); MAC (3): Northern Illinois (6-2), Ohio (7-2), Toledo (7-1). AT CUSTOMS (ONE VICTORY SHY): C-USA (7): FIU (5-2), Florida Atlantic (5-3), North Texas (5-3), Southern Miss (5-3), UAB (5-3), UTSA (5-2), WKU (5-3); MAC (3): Akron (5-4), Central Michigan (5-4), Western Michigan (5-4).
There are a combined 14 teams either bowl eligible or one victory away from eligibility from Conference USA and the MAC. If all 14 reached eligibility, it would mark the largest pool of bowl candidates in the four years of the Bahamas Bowl.
THIS WEEK: #MACtion begins Thursday with a huge game in the West as co-leaders Northern Illinois (6-2, 4-0) and Toledo (6-2, 4-0) showdown in a game that could decide the division representative to the Marathon MAC Championship Game. Also on Thursday, Ball State (2-6, 0-4) visits Eastern Michigan (2-6, 0-4). Tuesday, Nov. 4 has two games on the schedule in the East Division: Division leader Akron (5-4, 4-1) will try to reach bowl eligibility with a victory at Miami (3-6, 2-3), and Bowling Green (2-7, 2-3) is at Buffalo (3-6, 1-4). There are three MAC games on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Eastern MIchigan is at cross-state rival Central Michigan (5-4, 3-2) as the Chippewas need one victory to be bowl eligible. Toledo is at East co-leader Ohio (7-2, 4-1), and Kent State (2-7, 1-4) visits Western Michigan (5-4, 3-3), as the Broncos need a victory for bowl eligibility.
Friday in Conference USA, there is a big game in Boca Raton as Marshall (6-2, 3-1) battles for the East Division lead at Florida Atlantic (5-3, 4-0). The Owls need one victory for bowl eligibility. Saturday, Rice (1-7, 1-3) is at UAB (5-3, 3-1). The Blazers are one win shy of bowl eligibility. West Division leader North Texas (5-3, 4-1) needs a victory for bowl eligibility as the Mean Green go to Louisiana Tech (4-4, 2-2). The winner of UTSA (5-2, 2-2) and FIU (5-2, 3-1) will be bowl eligible. Charlotte (1-7, 1-3) plays at Old Dominion (2-6, 0-4) and UTEP (0-8, 0-4) is at Middle Tennesse (3-5, 1-3). In C-USA vs. SEC non-conference action, WKU (5-3) can be bowl eligible with a victory at Vanderbilt, and Southern Miss (5-3) can do the same with a victory at Tennessee.
POLLING PLACE: Toledo is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Amway Coaches polls.
WEEK 10 SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 3
* Marshall at Florida Atlantic (CBSSN)
Saturday, Nov. 4
* Rice at UAB (CUSA TV)
* Charlotte at Old Dominion (ESPN3)
* North Texas at Louisiana Tech (STAD FB)
* UTSA at FIU (STAD)
* UTEP at Middle Tennessee (beIN)
WKU at Vanderbilt (ESPNU)
Southern Miss at Tennessee (SECN)
Thursday, Nov. 2
* Ball State at Eastern Michigan (CBSSN)
* Northern Illinois at Toledo (ESPNU)
Tuesday, Nov. 7
* Bowling Green at Buffalo (ESPNU)
* Akron at Miami (ESPN2)
Wednesday, Nov. 8
* Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan (CBSSN)
* Toledo at Ohio (ESPN2)
* Kent State at Western Michigan (ESPNU)
* – conference games
WEEK 9 RESULTS
Saturday, Oct. 28
* FIU 41, Marshall 30
* Louisiana Tech 42, Rice 28
* Florida Atlantic 42, WKU 28
* North Texas 45, Old Dominion 38
* UAB 30, Southern Miss 12
* UTSA 31, UTEP 14
Thursday, Oct. 26
* Toledo 58, Ball State 17
* Northern Illinois 30, Eastern Michigan 27 (ot)
Saturday, Oct. 28
* Akron 21, Buffalo 20
Tuesday, Oct. 31
* Bowling Green 44, Kent State 16
* Ohio 45, Miami 28
Wednesday, Nov. 1
* Central Michigan 35, Western Michigan 28
* – conference games
WEEK 9 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Offensive Player of the Week
Florida Atlantic RB Devin Singletary: The sophomore rushed for 244 yards on 36 carries with 4 TD in a 42-28 victory over WKU.
Defensive Player of the Week
FIU CB Brad Muhammad: The senior had 10 tackles and a pair of interceptions in a 41-30 victory over Marshall.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Old Dominion KR Isaiah Harper: The junior returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns in a loss to North Texas.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Akron QB Thomas Woodson: The senior was 21-29 passing for 286 yards and 3 TD in a 21-20 victory over Buffalo.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Buffalo DB Tim Roberts: The senior posted six tackles (one for loss), an interception and a pass breakup in a loss to Akron.
East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Akron P/K Nick Gasser: The junior averaged 41.8 yards on four punts in a 21-20 victory over Buffalo.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Northern Illinois QB Marcus Childers: The redshirt freshman had 332 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns in a 30-27 OT victory over Eastern Michigan.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
NIU DE Sutton Smith: The sophomore had six tackles (three for loss), a sack and a pass breakup in a victory over Eastern Michigan.
West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Toledo PR Diontae Johnson: The sophomore returned a punt 87 yards for a TD in a 58-17 victory over Ball State.
AROUND THE CONFERENCES
• Akron senior QB Thomas Woodson threw for 286 yards and three TDs in a 21-20 come-from-behind win over Buffalo. His performance moved him into second place in school history with 6,829 career passing yards, behind only Charlie Frye (11,049, 2001-04).
• Florida Atlantic, averaging 51.8 points in four C-USA games and 39.1 for the season, is eighth in the FBS in rushing yardage at 295.8 per game. In October, the Owls led the FBS with a 56.3 scoring average.
• Three MAC defensive ends continue to lead the nation in sacks. Central Michigan senior Joe Ostman leads the nation with 10 sacks (1.25 per game), while Ball State senior Anthony Winbush has 9.5 sacks (1.19 per game) and is tied for second in the country with Northern Illinois sophomore Sutton Smith with his 9.5 sacks (1.19 per game).
• UTSA is now 11th in the FBS in total defense (294.7) and 12th in scoring defense (17.4). Additionally, the Roadrunners now have the top-ranked rushing defense (122.3 yards per game) and pass defense (172.4 ypg) in C-USA.
• Louisiana Tech unior transfer WR Teddy Veal reeled in a career-best 11 catches for 118 yards and now leads C-USA with 50 receptions in a 42-28 victory over Rice. Five of the last six Bulldogs contests have not been decided until the final minute of play. Louisiana Tech is two victories shy of bowl eligibility.
C-USA VS. MAC
The 2017 Bahamas Bowl will be contested between Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference. C-USA won the 2017 season series vs. the MAC 4-3. Conference USA is 2-1 vs. the MAC all time in the Bahamas Bowl.
Eastern Michigan (MAC) 24, Charlotte (C-USA) 7
Marshall (C-USA) 31, Miami (MAC) 26
Ball State (MAC) 51, UAB (C-USA) 31
Marshall (C-USA) 21, Kent State (MAC) 0
WKU (C-USA) 33, Ball State (MAC) 21
Middle Tennessee (C-USA) 24, Bowling Green (MAC) 13
Buffalo (MAC) 34, Florida Atlantic (C-USA) 31
SATURDAYS TO SUNDAYS
Eight players who played in the Bahamas Bowl have seen action for NFL clubs in 2017.
S Kevin Byard – Tennessee (Middle Tennessee)
WR Corey Davis – Tennessee (Western Michigan)
S Kavon Frazier – Dallas (Central Michigan)
TE Tyler Higbee – Los Angeles Rams (WKU)
G Taylor Moton – Carolina (Western Michigan)
QB Cooper Rush – Dallas Cowboys (Central Michigan)
WR Taywan Taylor – Tennessee (WKU)
DE Leterrius Watson – Pittsburgh (Central Michigan)
“POWER FIVE” VICTORIES
A list of Conference USA and MAC victories over “Power Five” opponents (teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC).
Central Michigan (MAC) 45, Kansas (Big 12) 27
Eastern Michigan (MAC) 16, Rutgers (Big Ten) 13
Middle Tennessee (C-USA) 30, Syracuse (ACC) 23
UTSA (C-USA) 17, Baylor (Big 12) 10
Northern Illinois (MAC) 21, Nebraska (Big Ten) 17
Ohio (MAC) 42, Kansas 30 (Big 12) 30
During 2017, the Bahamas Bowl will spotlight an alumni player from our partner conferences: Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference.
BEN ROETHLISBERGER (MIAMI)
Ben Roethlisberger, the 2003 MAC Offensive Player of the Year and the 2001 MAC Freshman of the Year, played his college career at Miami from 2001-03.
Roethlisberger threw for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns in only three seasons from 2001-03. His junior campaign was one for the ages, throwing for 4,486 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading Miami to 12 consecutive victories, including a MAC Championship and GMAC Bowl victory.
Roethlisberger was a third-team Associated Press All-American in 2003 and Freshman All-American in 2001,
He was a three-time All-MAC selection, earning first-team honors in 2003 and second-team recognition twice.
He still ranks first in Miami history in completion percentage and touchdowns, and is second in pass attempts, completions, yards and total offense (11,075).
Roethlisberger gave up his final season of eligibility to enter the 2004 NFL Draft. He was the 11th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the highest draft pick in Miami history.
He guided the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles (Super Bowls XL and XLIII), and he became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl during the 2005 season. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Roethlisberger was selected as the 2004 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the AP.
Roethlisberger has thrown for over 48,000 yards and 310 touchdowns in his NFL career. A 14-time AFC Offensive Player of the Week, he was inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame in 2015.
BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: Predicted Matchup
10thYearSeniors.com (John Marc Nutt) – Nov. 1: FIU vs. Ohio
Nassau Tribune (Renaldo Dorsett) – Nov. 1: FIU vs. Akron
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Nov. 1: UAB vs. Ohio
The Score (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 31: FIU vs. Ohio
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 31: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 31: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller) – Oct. 30: UAB vs. Ohio
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 30: Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 29: Marshall vs. Ohio
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 29: WKU vs. Northern Illinois
ESPN.com (Kyle Bonagura) – Oct. 29: North Texas vs. Ohio
ESPN.com (David M. Hale) – Oct. 29: UTSA vs. Akron
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 29: WKU vs. Western Michigan
SI.com (Eric Single) – Oct. 29: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
College Sports Madness (CSM Staff) – Oct. 29: Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo
Sports on Earth (Matt Brown) – Oct. 18: Ohio vs. Marshall
The Athletic (Stewart Mandel) – Oct. 17: FIU vs. Ohio
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Magazine: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Texas Bowl (Houston); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (TBD); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)