PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL-ELIGIBLE TEAMS): C-USA (2): UAB (6-1) North Texas (6-2); MAC (2): Buffalo (7-1), Western Michigan (6-2). AT CUSTOMS (ONE VICTORY SHY): C-USA (3): FIU (5-2), Louisiana Tech (5-2), Marshall (5-2).
WEEK 9 PREVIEW: MACtion, the series of midweek contests in the Mid-American Conference, begin this week with a pair of games on Thursday as Ball State visits Ohio, as the 2017 Bahamas Bowl champ Bobcats look to keep pace in the East Division, and West Division co-leader Western Michigan hosts Toledo. There are just three games Saturday, with only one league contest, as Central Michigan visits Akron. A pair of non-conference games are on tap with Army at Eastern Michigan and West Division co-leader Northern Illinois visits BYU.
In Conference USA, the slate begins Friday night as Louisiana Tech, needing one victory for bowl eligibility, visits Florida Atlantic. Saturday, five league games are on the schedule, with East leader FIU, one victory shy of bowl eligibility, going to WKU, and West leader UAB, which became bowl eligible this past Saturday, visiting UTEP. Southern Miss plays a cross-division game at Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, trailing in the East race by a game, faces division rival Old Dominion, and Rice goes to in-state rival North Texas.
IN THE POLLS: UAB (6-1 overall, 4-0 C-USA) is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and the Amway Coaches Poll. Buffalo (7-1, 4-0 MAC) is receiving votes in the Amway Coaches Poll.
CONFERENCE USA NOTES: West Division leader UAB rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat division rival North Texas 29-21 behind three TD runs by sophomore RB Spencer Brown. East Division leader FIU beat Rice 36-17 behind two TD passes by redshirt junior James Morgan. Marshall’s defense forced five turnovers in a 31-7 victory over Florida Atlantic.
MAC NOTES: West Division leader Buffalo rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat Toledo 31-17 behind freshman RB Jaret Patterson, who rushed for two TDs in the fourth quarter. Western Michigan pulled even with Northern Illinois in the West Division race with a 35-10 victory over Central Michigan.
WEEK 9 SCHEDULE
Friday, Oct. 26
* Louisiana Tech at Florida Atlantic (CBSSN)
Saturday, Oct. 27
* Southern Miss at Charlotte (ESPN3
* Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion (ESPN+)
* Rice at North Texas (ESPN+)
* FIU at WKU (beIN)
* UAB at UTEP (ESPN+)
Thursday, Oct. 25
* Ball State at Ohio (CBSSN)
* Toledo at Western Michigan (ESPN2)
Saturday, Oct. 27
Army at Eastern Michigan (CBSSN)
* Central Michigan at Akron (ESPN3)
Northern Illinois at BYU (ESPNU)
* – conference games
WEEK 8 RESULTS
Saturday, Oct. 20
* Marshall 31, Florida Atlantic 7
* Middle Tennessee 21, Charlotte 13
* Louisiana Tech 31, UTEP 24
* Southern Miss 27, UTSA 17
* FIU 36, Rice 17
* UAB 29, North Texas 21
* Old Dominion 37, WKU 34
Saturday, Oct. 20
* Buffalo 31, Toledo 17
Army 31, Miami 30 (2 ot)
* Ohio 49, Bowling Green 14
* Eastern Michigan 42, Ball State 20
* Western Michigan 35, Central Michigan 10
*Akron 24, Kent State 23 (ot)
* – conference games
WEEK 8 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Offensive Player of the Week
UAB RB Spencer Brown: The sophomore rushed 25 times for 100 yards and three TDs in a 29-21 victory over North Texas.
Defensive Player of the Week
Marshall DL Malik Thompson: The senior had nine tackles and forced two turnovers in a 31-7 win over Florida Atlantic.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Old Dominion KR Isaiah Harper: The senior returned a missed FG 83 yards to set up the game-winning FG in a 37-34 victory at WKU.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Ohio QB Nathan Rourke: The junior threw for four TDs and ran for another in a 49-14 victory over Bowling Green.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Miami LB Brad Koenig: The senior had 23 total tackles (one for a loss) and a forced fumble in a loss at Army.
East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Kent State P Derek Adams: The junior averaged 46.4 yards in a overtime loss to Akron.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan QB Tyler Wiegers: The senior passed for 257 yards and three TDs and also ran for a score in a 42-20 victory over Ball State.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Western Michigan LB Alex Grace: The junior had 11 tackles and an interception in a 35-10 victory over Central Michigan.
Co-West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Eastern Michigan P Jake Julien: The sophomore punted five times for a 41.4 average in a 42-20 victory over Ball State.
Co-West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Toledo P Bailey Flint: The sophomore averaged 41.4 yards per punt in a loss to Buffalo.
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.
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
A total of 14 former student-athletes who played in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl have played for NFL clubs in 2018.
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)
WR Richie James – San Francisco (Middle Tennessee)
G Forrest Lamp – Los Angeles Chargers (WKU)*
G Taylor Moton – Carolina (Western Michigan)
T Chukwuma Okorafor – Pittsburgh (Western Michigan)*
CB Darius Phillips – Cincinnati (Western Michigan)*
QB Cooper Rush – Dallas (Central Michigan)
WR Taywan Taylor – Tennessee (WKU)
DE Leterrius Walton – Pittsburgh (Central Michigan)
CB Darious Williams – Baltimore (UAB)*
T Andrew Wylie – Kansas City (Eastern Michigan)*
* – made NFL debut in 2018
MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: Predicted Matchup
Nassau Tribune (Renaldo Dorsett) – Oct. 17: Florida Atlantic vs. Akron
10th Year Seniors (John Marc Nutt) – Oct. 17: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 23: Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 23: Marshall vs. Western Michigan
Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller) – Oct. 23: FIU vs. Toledo
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 23: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Oct. 23: FIU vs. Buffalo
Sports Illustrated (Eric Single) – Oct. 22: Florida Atlantic vs. Western Michigan
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 21: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
ESPN.com (Kyle Bonagura) – Oct. 21: UAB vs. Northern Illinois
ESPN.com (Mitch Sherman) – Oct. 21: Florida Atlantic vs. Buffalo
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 21: Marshall vs. Ohio
CollegeFootballNews.com (Staff) – Oct. 21: UAB vs. Buffalo
The Athletic (Stuart Mandel) – Oct. 18: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Oct. 17: Florida Atlantic vs. Ohio
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.)