THIS WEEKEND: There are 13 games Saturday combined in Conference USA and the MAC, and all but one are league games. In C-USA, six conference games are on the docket. In the East Division, leader FIU (3-1, 2-0) goes to Middle Tennessee (2-3, 0-1). The Panthers are 3-1 for the first time since 2011. Marshall (3-1, 0-0) begins C-USA play at Charlotte (0-5, 0-1) and Florida Atlantic (2-3, 1-0) visits Old Dominion (2-2, 0-0) as the Monarchs play their first conference game in 2017. In the West, Louisiana Tech (3-2, 1-0) goes to UAB (2-2, 0-1), as UAB will try to win for the first time in six tries against the Bulldogs. Southern Miss (2-2, 0-1) goes to unbeaten UTSA (3-0, 0-0) in a game that features the top two defensive units in the league. There is one interdivisional game Saturday as WKU (2-2, 0-1) heads to UTEP (0-5, 0-1) in Mike Price’s first game as UTEP’s interim head coach. The lone non-league game has Rice (1-4, 1-1) hosting Army.
In the MAC, all 12 teams are involved in conference play Saturday for the first time in 2017. The big game will be in Buffalo as West leader Western Michigan (3-2, 1-0) visits the East tri-leading Bulls (3-2, 1-0) as each team carries a three-game win streak into the contest. Three other cross-division games are on the schedule as Central Michigan (2-3, 0-1) goes to East tri-leader Ohio (4-1, 1-0), Ball State (2-3, 0-1) is at Akron (2-3, 1-0) and Kent State (1-4, 0-1) visits Northern Illinois (2-2, 0-0) in the Huskies’ first league contest. In the East, Bowling Green (0-1, 0-5) goes to division tri-leader Miami (2-3, 1-0), and in the West, Eastern Michigan (2-2, 0-1) is at Toledo (3-1, 0-0).
C-USA WEEK 5 REVIEW: FIU came back from a 19-point deficit to beat Charlotte, thanks to QB Alex McGough, who rushed for the Panthers last two touchdowns … Louisiana Tech won a 34-16 decision over South Alabama behind a 317-yard, three-TD passing game for QB J’Mar Smith … Marshall dominated Cincinnati 38-21 after leading at halftime 24-0 … The Herd had a streak of almost 100 minutes without a point allowed stopped in the third quarter against UC … Florida Atlantic beat Middle Tennessee 38-20 as RB Devin “Motor” Singletary scored four TDs.
MAC WEEK 5 REVIEW: Ohio head coach Frank Solich earned career victory No. 150 in a 58-50 road victory over UMass as the Bobcats are off to a 4-1 start … Akron held off Bowling Green 34-23 after DB Kyron Brown sealed the victory with a 38-yard interception return for a TD … Buffalo won its third straight game 27-13 at Kent State … Western Michigan won its third in a row 55-3 over Ball State.
WEEK 6 SCHEDULE
Saturday, Oct. 7
* FIU at Middle Tennessee (ESPN3)
* Louisiana Tech at UAB (CUSATV)
* Marshall at Charlotte (WCCB)
* Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion (STAD)
* Southern Miss at UTSA (STAD FB)
* WKU at UTEP (CUSA TV)
Army at Rice (beIN)
Saturday, Oct. 7
* Eastern Michigan at Toledo (CBSSN)
* Central Michigan at Ohio (ESPN3)
* Bowling Green at Miami (ESPN3)
* Ball State at Akron (ESPN3)
* Kent State at Northern Illinois (ESPN3)
* Western Michigan at Buffalo (ESPN3)
* – conference games
WEEK 5 RESULTS
Saturday, Sept. 30
* FIU 30, Charlotte 29
* Florida Atlantic 38, Middle Tennessee 20
* North Texas 43, Southern Miss 28
Louisiana Tech 34, South Alabama 16
Marshall 38, Cincinnati 21
Pittsburgh 42, Rice 10
Army 35, UTEP 21
Saturday, Sept. 30
* Buffalo 27, Kent State 13
* Akron 34, Bowling Green 23
* Western Michigan 55, Ball State 3
Boston College 28, Central Michigan 8
Ohio 58, UMass 50
Kentucky 24, Eastern Michigan 20
Notre Dame 52, Miami 17
San Diego State 34, Northern Illinois 28
* – conference games
WEEK 5 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Co-Offensive Player of the Week
Florida Atlantic RB Devin Singletary: The sophomore had 133 yards on 24 rushes with 4 TDs in a 38-20 victory over Middle Tennessee.
Co-Offensive Player of the Week
North Texas WR Jalen Guyton: The sophomore caught 11 passes for 211 yards and a TD in a 43-28 victory over Southern Miss.
Defensive Player of the Week
Louisiana Tech S Secdrick Cooper: The senior had a pair of interceptions and three tackles in a 34-16 victory over South Alabama.
Special Teams Player of the Week
FIU P Stone Wilson: The junior averaged 45.8 yards per punt in a 30-29 victory vs. Charlotte.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Buffalo RB Emmanuel Reed: The sophomore rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-13 victory over Kent State.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Akron DB Kyron Brown: The junior scored the game-winning TD on a 38-yard interception in a 34-23 victory over Bowling Green.
East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Kent State P Derek Adams: The sophomore averaged 48.5 yards on four punts, including two inside the 20, in a loss against Buffalo.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Northern Illinois WR Christian Blake: The senior caught 13 passes for 160 yards and two TDs in a loss against San Diego State.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan DL Jeremiah Harris: The junior had 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in a loss to Kentucky.
West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
NIU P Matt Ference: The freshman averaged 36.4 yards per punt against San Diego State.
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
AROUND THE CONFERENCES
• In C-USA, North Texas is off to a 2-0 start in league play for the first time since 2004. The Mean Green lead C-USA and rank 25th nationally with a 38.8 scoring average and top the conference and place 12th in the FBS in total offense at 510.8 yards per game. Individually, senior RB Jeffery Wilson is tied for second with nine rushing TDs, and he is third in rushing yardage with 666 yards (133.2 per game).
• Toledo senior WR Cody Thompson ranks tied for eighth in the nation for the longest current reception streak in the nation. Thompson had five receptions for 114 yards in a 52-30 loss at No. 14-ranked Miami (Fla.) on Sept. 23 to extend his streak to 29 consecutive games.
• For the first time since 2011 and just the second time in school history, FIU is 3-1 to start a season. The Panthers are 2-0 in C-USA play for the first time since joining the league in 2013.
• Ohio LB Quentin Poling racked up a career-high 19 tackles in a 58-50 win at UMass. Poling had nine solo stops and a half-tackle for loss in the outing. It was the most tackles for an Ohio player since 2000 when Chris London had 19 tackles.
• To honor and memorialize the children and their families served by Children’s Harbor located one block from UAB’s campus, the Blazers will wear the names of patients on the back of their jerseys for UAB’s Homecoming game Saturday vs. Louisiana Tech.
• Sean Kugler stepped down as UTEP’s head coach. Kugler, an 1989 UTEP grad, was in his fifth season at the helm of the Miners program. Mike Price is the interim head coach.
“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
SATURDAYS TO SUNDAYS
Seven players who played in the Bahamas Bowl are currently on NFL club active 53-man rosters 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)
BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: Predicted Matchup
10thYearSeniors.com (John Marc Nutt) – Oct. 4: Southern Miss vs. Ohio
Nassau Tribune (Renaldo Dorsett) – Oct. 4: Louisiana Tech vs. Toledo
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 4: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 4: Southern Miss vs. Northern Illinois
The Score (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 3: FIU vs. Ohio
SI.com (Eric Single) – Oct. 2: North Texas vs. Buffalo
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 1: Marshall vs. Ohio
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 1: WKU vs. Toledo
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 1: Southern Miss vs. Eastern Michigan
ESPN.com (Kyle Bonagura) – Oct. 1: Marshall vs. Ohio
ESPN.com (David M. Hale) – Oct. 1: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 1: Southern Miss vs. Western Michigan
College Sports Madness (CSM Staff) – Oct. 1: Old Dominion vs. Toledo
The Athletic (Stewart Mandel) – Aug. 29: UTSA vs. Northern Illinois
Bleacher Report (David Kenyon) – Aug. 23: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
Sports on Earth (Matt Brown) – Aug. 21: Southern Miss vs. Miami (Ohio)
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – July 5: UTSA vs. Ohio
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Magazine: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Ohio)
During 2017, the Bahamas Bowl will spotlight an alumni player from our partner conferences: Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference.
JASON TAYLOR (AKRON)
Jason Taylor, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end and linebacker, was a two-time first-team All-MAC player in his college career at Akron from 1993-96.
Taylor was a three-year starter for the Zips. He posted 279 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles and three interceptions during his four seasons in Akron.
As a senior, he was a first-team All-MAC selection at defensive end after making 64 tackles (43 solo), and he led the team with 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He added four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.
In his junior season, Taylor was a honorable mention All-America pick and a first-team All-MAC selection at linebacker. He led the team with 99 tackles, and he added five sacks, 11 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.
He was selected in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, and he was selected to several All-Rookie teams after starting 11 games at defensive end.
In 2002, Taylor tied the Miami season record as he led the NFL with 18.5 sacks, including a run of eight consecutive games with a sack.
He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 after posting 13.5 sacks, two interceptions and 10 forced fumbles.
Taylor played 13 of his 15 seasons with the Dolphins, and also spent the 2008 in Washington and 2010 with the New York Jets.
Taylor finished his career with 139.5 sacks, sixth all-time in NFL history. He was a three-time All-Pro, a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was the 2007 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
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.)