THIS WEEKEND: The weekend’s action begins Friday in Conference USA with a pair of East Division matchups. WKU (4-2, 2-1) is at Old Dominion (2-4, 0-2) and division co-leader Marshall (5-1, 2-0) goes to Middle Tennessee (3-4, 1-2). Saturday, the top game is a battle between West Division leader North Texas (4-2, 3-0) and East co-leader Florida Atlantic (3-3, 2-0) in Boca Raton as two of the best running backs in the nation: FAU’s Devin “Motor” Singletary and the Mean Green’s Jeffrey Wilson. In other conference action, UAB (4-2. 2-1) is at Charlotte (0-7, 0-3), Southern Miss (4-2, 2-1) visits Louisiana Tech (3-3, 1-1) and RIce (1-5, 1-1) goes to UTSA (3-2, 0-2).
All six MAC games are scheduled Saturday. A matchup of division leaders is the key game as East leader Akron (4-3, 3-0) is at West co-leader Toledo (5-1, 2-0). Kent State (2-5, 1-2) goes to Ohio (5-2, 2-1) in a East Division game. West Division co-leader Northern Illinois (4-2, 2-0) travels to Bowling Green (1-6, 1-2). A battle of cross-state rivals takes place as Western Michigan (4-3, 2-1) visits Eastern Michigan (2-4, 0-2). In the East, Buffalo (3-2, 1-2) goes to Miami (2-5, 1-2), and in the West, Central Michigan (3-4, 1-2) is at Ball State (2-4, 0-2).
MAC NOTES: Ohio QB Nathan Rourke rushed for another three touchdowns in a 48-30 win at Bowling Green. Rourke is tied for second in the country with 12 rushing touchdowns … Akron earned a 14-13 win at Western Michigan Sunday in a game that was postponed by heavy rains and lightning the day before. The Zips snapped WMU’s nine-game home winning streak, which was tied for the fifth longest current streak in FBS … Western Michigan RB Jarvion Franklin rushed for 130 yards on 31 carries, the 18th 100-yard rushing game of his career. Franklin is 43 yards shy of breaking the program’s all-time career rushing yards record by Robert Sanford.
C-USA NOTES: Marshall is receiving votes in both this week’s Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls … UAB remained unbeaten at home with a 25-23 victory over Middle Tennessee behind 167 rush yards by RB Spencer Brown … WKU won its third straight game 45-14 over Charlotte. The Hilltoppers are 22-2 in their last 24 C-USA league games … Marshall has not allowed a first-quarter touchdown in 2017, and the Herd has allowed just 10.6 points per game in their five victories … North Texas went 98 yards in less than a minute to beat UTSA 29-26 on a 22-yard TD pass from Mason Fine to Rico Bussey Jr. with :10 to play.
WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
Friday, Oct. 20
* WKU at Old Dominion (CBSSN)
* Marshall at Middle Tennessee (ESPN2)
Saturday, Oct. 21
* North Texas at Florida Atlantic (ESPN3)
* UAB at Charlotte (beIN)
* Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech (STAD)
* Rice at UTSA (STAD FB)
Saturday, Oct. 21
* Akron at Toledo (ESPN3)
* Northern Illinois at Bowling Green (ESPN3)
* Kent State at Ohio (ESPN3)
* W. Michigan at E. Michigan (ESPN3)
* Buffalo at Miami (ESPN3)
* Central Michigan at Ball State (ESPN3)
* – conference games
WEEK 7 RESULTS
Saturday, Oct. 14
* Marshall 35, Old Dominion 3
* WKU 45, Charlotte 14
* UAB 25, Middle Tennessee 23
* North Texas 29, UTSA 26
* Southern Miss 24, UTEP 0
FIU 23, Tulane 10
Saturday, Oct. 14
* Kent State 17, Miami 14
* Northern Illinois 14, Buffalo 13
* Ohio 48, Bowling Green 30
* Toledo 30, Central Michigan 10
Army 28, Eastern Michigan 27
Sunday, Oct. 15
* Akron 14, Western Michigan 13
* – conference games
WEEK 7 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Offensive Player of the Week
North Texas QB Mason Fine: The sophomore threw for 354 yards and three TDs and rushed for another TD in a 29-26 victory over UTSA.
Defensive Player of the Week
FIU DL Fermin Silva: The junior posted eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and four QB hurries in a 23-10 victory over Tulane.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Marshall K/P Kaare Vedvik: The senior kicked a 92-yard punt (the longest in FBS in 45 years) in a 35-3 victory over Old Dominion.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Ohio QB Nathan Rourke: The sophomore rushed for three TDs and threw for another score in a 38-39 victory over Bowling Green.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Buffalo LB Khalil Hodge: The junior had 19 tackles (seven solo), and a sack in a loss to Northern Illinois.
East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Miami P Kyle Kramer: The sophomore averaged 43.2 yards per punt and had five downed inside the 20 in a loss to Kent State.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan QB Brogan Roback: The senior completed 19 of 27 passes for 229 yatds and four touchdowns in a loss to Army.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Northern Illinois LB Bobby Jones IV: The senior posted six tackles and two sacks in a 14-13 victory over Buffalo.
West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Toledo K Jameson Vest: The junior made a 41-yard FG and averaged 55.0 yards on six kickoffs in a 30-10 victory over Central Michigan.
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
• Toledo QB Logan Woodside is a semifinalist for the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which honors the top QB from all divisions for accomplishments on and off the field. Woodside leads the MAC in passing yards (287.3 per game) and passing efficiency (157.1).
• Marshall is off to a 5-1 start behind a stout defense. The Thundering Herd allowed just three points in each of their first two C-USA victories, becoming the first school in the league’s 22-year history to not allow a TD in the first two conference games of a season.
• Toledo RB Terry Swanson rushed for 145 yards and two TDs, his 14th 100-yard rushing game of his career, in a 30-10 win at Central Michigan. Swanson’s effort was part of a 310-yard rushing day for the Rockets.
• WKU senior QB Mike White had a huge game Saturday in the Hilltoppers 45-14 victory over Charlotte. He completed 33 of 47 passes for 398 yards, with a career-high-tying five TDs and no interceptions. He also ran for a two-yard score, giving him a hand in every WKU TD.
• Northern Illinois sophomore DE Sutton Smith had four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in a 14-13 win at Buffalo. Smith increased his season totals with 16.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks — both totals lead the FBS.
• Marshall TE Ryan Yurachek is tied for the fourth-longest consecutive-game reception streak in FBS at 35 games.
“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
BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: Predicted Matchup
10thYearSeniors.com (John Marc Nutt) – Oct. 18: Southern Miss vs. Ohio
Nassau Tribune (Renaldo Dorsett) – Oct. 18: Louisiana Tech vs. Toledo
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Oct. 18: North Texas vs. Ohio
The Score (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 17: UAB vs. Ohio
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 17: Marshall vs. Akron
SI.com (Eric Single) – Oct. 17: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
The Athletic (Stewart Mandel) – Oct. 17: FIU vs. Ohio
Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller) – Oct. 17: WKU vs. Western Michigan
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 16: Marshall vs. Ohio
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 15: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 15: Southern Miss vs. Ohio
ESPN.com (Kyle Bonagura) – Oct. 15: UTSA vs. Ohio
ESPN.com (David M. Hale) – Oct. 15: UTSA vs. Northern Illinois
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 15: UTSA vs. Western Michigan
College Sports Madness (CSM Staff) – Oct. 15: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 15: Marshall vs. Toledo
Sports on Earth (Matt Brown) – Aug. 21: Southern Miss vs. Miami (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.
COREY DAVIS (WESTERN MICHIGAN)
Current NFL rookie wide receiver Corey Davis played his college career at Western Michigan from 2013-16 and is a 2015 Bahamas Bowl alumni.
Davis was the highest-selected Bahamas Bowl alumni in the NFL Draft when he was picked No. 5 overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2017.
Davis finished his Western Michigan career with 5,285 receiving yards, the most ever by a FBS player. He holds school records for season touchdowns (19), single-game receiving yards (272), career receptions (332), career TD receptions (52) and career receiving yards.
As a freshman in 2013, Davis was named the MAC Freshman of the Year and was selected as a Freshman All-America by the FWAA. He set MAC frosh records for receiving yards (941) and receptions (67).
In his sophomore season of 2014, he caught 78 passes for 1,408 yards and 15 touchdowns. Davis led the MAC in receiving yards, and he was a first-team All-MAC selection.
Davis caught 90 passes for 1,436 yards (ffith in FBS) and 12 TDs as a junior in 2015. He capped off the season with eight receptions for 183 yards and a 80-yard TD in the Bahamas Bowl, the longest TD catch in the bowl’s history.
As a senior in 2016, he caught 97 passes for 1,500 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns (tied for the FBS lead) as the Broncos had an undefeated regular season and played in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Davis was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press and FWAA.
In his first NFL game, Davis had six catches for 69 yards against Oakland in Week 1 and made his first career start in Week 2 at Jacksonville.
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.)