WEEK 5 PREVIEW: Conference USA has nine games Saturday, including five league matchups. North Texas, 4-0 overall and receiving poll votes, hosts Louisiana Tech in a key West Division game. Florida Atlantic goes to Middle Tennessee in a East Division tilt. Charlotte, which co-leads the East Division, travels to UAB. UTEP heads to UTSA, and Marshall is at WKU. In non-conference action, West leader Southern Miss heads to No. 10 Auburn. In the MAC, three league games head up the schedule with East Division co-leader Miami hosting Western Michigan, West leader Northern Illinois is on the road at Eastern Michigan and Kent State is at Ball State. In non-conference action, Bowling Green is at Georgia Tech and Central Michigan visits Michigan State.
MORE BIG WINS OVER POWER 5: Once again, both Conference USA and the MAC posted victories over Power 5 opponents last week. In C-USA, 206 bowl champion Old Dominion stunned No 10 Virginia Tech out of the ACC, 49-35. The victory was ODU’s first over a Power 5 school and a ranked team since the university re-started football in 2009. For their efforts, the Monarchs were named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Also last Saturday, for the third consecutive week, the MAC defeated a Big Ten school as Buffalo ran its overall record to 4-0 with a 42-13 victory at Rutgers.
C-USA vs. MAC: WKU defeated Ball State 28-20 to give Conference USA a sweep of the two games it played against the MAC this season. Both conferences will match up for the fifth-consecutive year in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on December 21.
WELCOME MAKERS WANTED: Elk Grove Village, Illinois, using its business slogan – Makers Wanted – was announced July 31 as the title sponsor of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. The tagline Makers Wanted is Elk Grove Village’s slogan and serves a call-to-action for a thriving community and the thousands of businesses based there. It is home to the largest contiguous industrial park in the United States, featuring six square miles and 62 million square feet of inventory. Over 5,614 businesses, including 300 manufacturers specializing in metal, plastic, rubber and food manufacturing, call Elk Grove Village their home. It is also a top national destination for data centers in the U.S. with two million square feet. For more information, visit www.makerswanted.org.
WEEK 5 SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 29
Old Dominion at East Carolina (ESPN3)
Rice at Wake Forest (ACC RSN)
Southern Miss at Auburn (SECN)
* Charlotte at UAB (ESPN3)
* FAU at Middle Tennessee (STAD/FB)
* UTEP at UTSA (ESPN+)
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at FIU (ESPN+)
* Louisiana Tech at North Texas (beIN)
* Marshall at WKU (STAD)
Saturday, Sept. 29
Army at Buffalo (CBSSN)
Bowling Green at Georgia Tech (ACC RSN)
Central Michigan at Michigan State (FS1)
UMass at Ohio (ESPN3)
* Kent State at Ball State (ESPN+)
* Western Michigan at Miami (ESPN+)
* Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan (ESPN+)
Toledo at Fresno State (ESPNU))
* – conference games
WEEK 4 RESULTS
Friday, Sept. 21
UCF 56, Florida Atlantic 36
Saturday, Sept. 22
* Southern Miss 40, Rice 22
Old Dominion 49, Virginia Tech 35
WKU 28, Ball State 20
North Texas 47, Liberty 7
UTSA 25, Texas State 21
LSU 38, Louisiana Tech 21
Miami (Fla.) 31, FIU 17
NC State 37, Marshall 20
New Mexico State 27, UTEP 20
Massachusetts 49, Charlotte 31
Saturday, Sept. 22
Iowa State 26, Akron 13
Buffalo 42, Rutgers 13
Ole Miss 38, Kent State 17
Toledo 63, Nevada 44
Cincinnati 34, Ohio 30
Western Michigan 34, Georgia State 15
Central Michigan 17, Maine 5
* Miami 38, Bowling Green 23
WKU 28, Ball State 20
Florida State 37, NIU 19
San Diego St. 23, Eastern Michigan 20 (OT)
* – conference games
WEEK 4 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Offensive Player of the Week
Old Dominion QB Blake LaRussa: The junior threw for 495 yards and four TDs and also ran for a TD in a 49-35 victory over Virginia Tech.
Defensive Player of the Week
Old Dominion DE Oshane Ximines: The senior had seven tackles, two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in a 49-35 victory over Virginia Tech.
Special Teams Player of the Week
UTSA K Jared Sackett: The sophomore made three field goals of over 40 yards and two PAT in a 25-21 victory over Texas State.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Miami RB Alonzo Smith: The senior rushed for 164 yards on 19 carries in a 38-23 victory at Bowling Green.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Buffalo LB Khalil Judge: The senior recorded 15 tackles (six solo) and a tackle for loss in a 42-13 victory over Rutgers.
East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Akron K/P Nick Gasser: The senior made a pair of field goals over 45 yards and punted six times for 226 yards in a loss at Iowa State.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Toledo QB Mitchell Guadagni: The junior completed 15 of 24 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns in a 63-44 victory over Nevada.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan DE Maxx Crosby: The junior had eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in a OT loss at San Diego State.
West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Western Michigan K Gavin Peddie: The freshman made two field goals and four PAT in a 34-15 victory over Georgia State.
C-USA VS. MAC
The 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be contested between Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference for the fifth-straight year. C-USA won the 2018 season series over the MAC 2-0.
Marshall (C-USA) 35, Miami (MAC) 28
WKU (C-USA) 28, Ball State (MAC) 20
The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl is tied 2-2 all time between C-USA and the MAC.
WKU (C-USA) 49, Central Michigan (MAC) 48
Western Michigan (MAC) 45, Middle Tennessee (C-USA) 31
Old Dominion (C-USA) 24, Eastern Michigan (MAC) 20
Ohio (MAC) 41, UAB (C-USA) 6
“POWER FIVE” VICTORIES
A list of C-USA and MAC victories over “Power Five” opponents (teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC).
Team (Conference) – Opponent: Score
Eastern Michigan (MAC) – Purdue (Big Ten): 20-19
Akron (MAC) – Northwestern (Big Ten): 39-34
North Texas (C-USA) – Arkansas (SEC): 44-17
Buffalo (MAC) – Rutgers (Big Ten): 42-13
Old Dominion (C-USA) – Virginia Tech (ACC): 49-35
MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL PARTICIPANT SELECTION
The highest-ranked conference champion by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee from the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West or Sun Belt will play annually in one of the College Football Playoff bowls (PlayStation Fiesta Bowl or Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl for the 2018 season) if it is not selected for the Playoff Semifinals.
Conference USA has secured guaranteed commitments with six bowl partners for the 2018 season, as well as two secondary agreements: The Makers Wanted Bahamas, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton, Gildan New Mexico, Hawai’i, R+L Carriers New Orleans and either the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla or the SERVPRO First Responder Bowls are primary agreements. The Walk-On’s Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., is a secondary agreement (should the ACC or SEC not be able to provide a bowl-eligible team), as is the DXL Frisco Bowl. There is no set selection order among C-USA’s bowl partners.
The MAC has 2018 primary bowl tie-ins with Makers Wanted Bahamas, Dollar General, DXL Frisco, Famous Idaho Potato, and Raycom Media Camellia Bowls. The MAC has secondary 2018 bowl agreements with the Quick Lane Bowl (should the ACC or Big Ten not be able to provide a bowl-eligible team) and other ESPN owned-and-operated bowl games.
The 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl participants – selected from among bowl-eligible teams in Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference – will be announced by the bowl, ESPN Events and conference partners once finalized.
SATURDAYS TO SUNDAYS
Eight former student-athletes who played in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl saw action for NFL clubs on 2018 Kickoff Weekend.
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)
T Chukwuma Okorafor – Pittsburgh (Western Michigan)
CB Darius Phillips – Cincinnati (Western Michigan)
WR Taywan Taylor – Tennessee (WKU)
MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: Predicted Matchup
10th Year Seniors (John Marc Nutt) – Sept. 25: FIU vs. Buffalo
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Sept. 25: Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Sept. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Sept. 25: Marshall vs. Akron
Sports Illustrated (Eric Single) – Sept. 24: Florida Atlantic vs. Buffalo
ESPN.com (Kyle Bonagura) – Sept. 24: Marshall vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mitch Sherman) – Sept. 24: Marshall vs. Cincinnati#
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Sept. 23: Middle Tennessee vs. Akron
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Sept. 23: North Texas vs. MAC*
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Sept. 23: Southern Miss vs. Akron
Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller) – Aug. 24: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Ohio)
The Athletic (Stuart Mandel) – Aug. 23: Southern Miss vs. Buffalo
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – July 9: Marshall vs. Toledo
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Magazine: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
* – prediction made with incorrect conference matchup
# – prediction made that Cincinnati would replace MAC school
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, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event 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
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); 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 (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)
St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)