POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 13 NOTEBOOK
C-USA EDITION (November 21-22)
PASSPORT STAMPED (BOWL ELIGIBLE): Bowling Green (7-3), Central Michigan (7-4), Louisiana Tech (7-3), Marshall (10-0), Northern Illinois (9-2), Rice (6-4), Toledo (6-4), Western Michigan (7-3), UTEP (6-4). AT CUSTOMS (ONE WIN SHY): Akron (5-6), Middle Tennessee (5-5), Ohio (5-6), UAB (5-5), WKU (5-5).
C-USA THIS WEEKEND: Friday night, newly bowl-eligible UTEP (6-4, 4-2 C-USA) heads to Rice (6-4, 4-2 C-USA) in a key West Division game. Rice needs a victory to stay alive in the West race, and a UTEP victory would give Louisiana Tech the West title. Saturday, regardless of the UTEP-RIce result, Louisiana Tech (7-3, 6-0 C-USA) would clinch the East title outright with a win at Old Dominion (4-6, 2-4 C-USA). No. 18 AP/USA Today Marshall (10-0, 6-0 C-USA), which clinched the East title for the second consecutive season with its victory over Rice, UAB (5-5, 3-3 C-USA), as the Blazers need a victory to become bowl eligible. Also looking for a victory and bowl eligibility are WKU (5-5, 2-4 C-USA), which hosts UTSA (3-7, 2-4 C-USA), and Middle Tennessee (5-5, 4-2 C-USA), which hosts Florida Atlantic (3-7, 2-4 C-USA). FIU (4-7, 3-4 C-USA) closes out its season at North Texas (3-7, 1-5 C-USA).
MAC THIS WEEKEND: Friday, Kent State (1-9, 0-6 MAC) plays at Buffalo (4-6, 2-4 MAC) in a rescheduled contest after snow postponed the game Wednesday night. The Bulls need wins in their last two games for bowl eligibility. Saturday, cross-state rivals meet as West tri-leader Western Michigan (7-3, 5-1 MAC) plays at Central Michigan (7-4, 5-2 MAC). The Chippewas trail the West leaders by one-half game going into their final 2014 regular-season game. Eastern Michigan (2-8, 1-5 MAC) visits Ball State (3-7, 2-4 MAC).
MACtion RECAP: Tuesday night, Northern Illinois (9-2, 6-1 MAC) beat Ohio (5-6, 3-4 MAC) 21-14. The Huskies control their destiny in the West as they can clinch their fifth consecutive division title and fifth straight trip to the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game with a victory next Friday over Western Michigan. Akron (5-6, 3-4 MAC) kept its bowl hopes alive with a 30-6 victory over UMass (3-8, 3-4 MAC). Wednesday, Toledo (7-4, 6-1 MAC) won the I-75 Trophy for the fifth straight year and kept West title hopes alive with a 27-20 victory over East champion Bowling Green (7-4, 5-2 MAC).
HERD THUNDERING: Marshall is the only FBS team to rank in the top 10 in scoring offense (second at 47.1) and scoring defense (fifth at 16.3). The Herd are winning their games by an average of 30.8 points this season.
#PASSPORTTOKICKOFF: #PassportToKickoff is not only our hashtag, but a reminder that all U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to travel to the Bahamas & the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. For passport info: passports.state.gov.
WEEK 13 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Friday, November 21
* UTEP at Rice (FS1)
Saturday, November 22
* Marshall at UAB (WVAH)
* UTSA at WKU (FSN)
* LA Tech at Old Dominion (FCS)
* FIU at North Texas (ASN)
* FAU at Middle Tennessee (ASN)
Tuesday, November 18
* Akron 30, UMass 6
* Northern Illinois 21, Ohio 14
Wednesday, November 19
* Toledo 27, Bowling Green 20
* Kent State at Buffalo, postponed-snow
Friday, November 21
* Kent State at Buffalo (TV-TBA)
Saturday, November 22
* Western Michigan at Central Michigan (ESPN3)
* Eastern Michigan at Ball State (ESPN3)
(TV/digital network in parentheses)
* – conference games
WEEK 12 RESULTS
Thursday, November 13
* UTSA 12, Southern Miss 10
Saturday, November 15
WKU 52, Army 24
* Marshall 41, Rice 14
* FIU 38, Middle Tennessee 28
* UTEP 35, North Texas 17
Tuesday, November 11
* Buffalo 55, Akron 24
* Northern Illinois 27, Toledo 24
Wednesday, November 12
* Bowling Green 30, Kent State 20
* UMass 24, Ball State 10
Saturday, November 15
* Central Michigan 34, Miami 27
* Western Michigan 51, Eastern Michigan 7
* – conference games
WEEK 12 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
RB Leon Allen, WKU: The junior shattered the school’s single-game record for rushing yards and also set a C-USA record with 345 rushing yards on 33 carries and three TDs in a 52-24 win over Army for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Davison Colimon, FIU: The junior had a 79-yard interception return for a TD, six tackles (five for loss) and two sacks in a 38-28 win over Middle Tennessee for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Sean Ianno, UTSA: The senior made four field goals, including a 38-yarder with two seconds left, in a 12-10 win over Southern Miss for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
WR Tajae Sharpe, UMass: The junior had a career-high 239 receiving yards and tied the UMass record with 13 receptions in a 24-10 win over Ball State for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
S Jordan Italiano, Kent State: The junior had 16 tackles (nine solo) including one tackle for loss, an interceptions and a forced fumble in a loss at Bowling Green for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
P Joe Davidson, Bowling Green: The redshirt freshman punted six times for an average of 41.5 yards with two punts inside the 20 in a 30-20 win over Kent State for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
QB Zach Terrell, Western Michigan: The sophomore combined for five TDs and 398 total yards in a 51-7 win over Eastern Michigan for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Junior Sylvestre, Toledo: The senior had a team-high 11 tackles, including two for loss, in a defeat at Northern Illinois for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Christian Hagan, Northern Illinois: The freshman made his first two field goals as a collegiate kicker, to go with three extra points, in a 27-24 win over Toledo for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Nov. 18: Rice vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Nov. 18: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Nov. 19: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Nov. 18: Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Nov. 18: UAB vs. Western Michigan
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Nov. 18: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Nov. 18: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Nov. 17: Louisiana Tech vs. Central Michigan
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Nov. 17: Middle Tenneessee vs. Toledo
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Nov. 16: Middle Tennessee vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Nov. 16: Marshall vs. Toledo
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Nov. 16: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Nov. 16: WKU vs. Toledo
NationalFootballPost.com (Dave Miller) – Nov. 3: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
POPEYES 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 (VIZIO Fiesta, Cotton & Chick-fil-A Peach bowls for the 2014 season) if it is not selected for the Playoff Semifinals.
C-USA’s champion will select which bowl it would like to attend, and the remainder of the selections will follow after that, with no particular set order of bowls. C-USA has 2014 tie-ins with the Popeyes Bahamas, Boca Raton, Gildan New Mexico, Hawai’i and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas bowls, with a secondary tie-in with the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (if either ACC or SEC does not have enough eligible teams).
The GoDaddy Bowl has first choice of a MAC bowl-eligible team, and the remainder of the selections will follow after that, with no particular set order of bowls. The MAC has 2014 tie-ins with Popeyes Bahamas, Boca Raton, Famous Idaho Potato, GoDaddy and Raycom Media Camellia bowls, with secondary tie-ins with the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (if Navy is not bowl-eligible), ESPN owned-and-operated bowls (such as Gildan New Mexico, Bitcoin St. Petersburg or Birmingham bowls) and the Quick Lane Bowl (if either ACC or Big Ten does not have enough eligible teams).
The participants for the 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will be announced Sunday, December 7.