POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 7 NOTEBOOK
THIS SATURDAY: The biggest game in C-USA in Week 7 is arguably the visit by East Division leader Middle Tennessee (3-0 C-USA East/4-2 overall) to Marshall (1-0 C-USA East/5-0 overall), one of 10 remaining unbeaten teams in FBS. The Marshall Thundering Herd lead C-USA in scoring at 47.6 points per game, and the Blue Raiders are third at 38.3 ppg. Surging FIU (2-0 C-USA East) look to keep pace in the East race as the Panthers visit UTSA. North Texas (0-1 C-USA West) visits UAB (1-1 C-USA East). Old Dominion (1-2 C-USA East) heads to UTEP (0-1 C-USA West) in the first meeting between the schools. In non-conference action, Rice, riding a two-game win streak after early injury woes, visits Army.
In the MAC, the top game has East leader Bowling Green (2-0 MAC East/4-2 overall) visiting Ohio (1-1 MAC East/3-3 overall) as the Falcons will try to run their win streak to three. Miami (1-1 MAC East), which broke a 21-game losing streak with a thrilling victory over UMass last Saturday, heads to Akron (1-0 MAC East/3-2 overall) as the Zips are one of four teams unbeaten in MAC play to date. Northern Illinois (1-0 MAC West/4-1 overall) will try to run their home win streak to 28 games as Central Michigan (1-1 MAC East/3-3 overall visits. Other MAC action includes Buffalo at Eastern Michigan, UMass at Kent State and Western Michigan at Ball State. West leader Toledo (3-0 MAC West/4-2 overall) plays the only non-conference game as the Rockets visit Iowa State.
C-USA DOMINATES GROUP OF FIVE MATCHUPS: Conference USA leads all Group of Five leagues in games among those conferences. C-USA is 14-3 (.824) in games against the American, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt.
CATO NEEDS ONE: Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato threw a TD pass in the 56-14 victory over Old Dominion last Saturday to run his streak of consecutive games with a TD pass to 37, one shy of tying the FBS record held by Russell Wilson, who had a streak of 38 straight at Wisconsin and N.C. State from 2009-11.
BIG COMEBACK: Miami rallied from a 27-point deficit to beat UMass 42-41 last Saturday to break a 21-game losing streak and give Chuck Martin his first victory as the RedHawks head coach. Miami trailed 41-14 late in the second quarter then the RedHawks scored four unanswered TDs, including the game-winning score with 2:58 to go on a 1-yard run by senior QB Andrew Hendrix.
#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:
WEEK 7 SCHEDULE
Saturday, October 11
* Middle Tennessee at Marshall (FSN)
Rice at Army (CBSSN)
* North Texas at UAB (ASN)
* FIU at UTSA (FCS)
* Old Dominion at UTEP (ASN)
Saturday, October 11
* Buffalo at Eastern Michigan (ESPN3)
* Bowling Green at Ohio (ESPN3)
* Miami at Akron (ESPN3)
* UMass at Kent State (ESPN3)
* Western Michigan at Ball State (ESPN3)
Toledo at Iowa State (Mediacom Cable)
* Central Michigan at NIU (ESPN3)
(TV/digital network in parenthesis)
* – conference games
WEEK 6 RESULTS
Thursday, October 2
* FIU 38, Florida Atlantic 10
Saturday, October 4
* Marshall 56, Old Dominion 14
* Middle Tennessee 37, Southern Miss 31
* Louisiana Tech 55, UTEP 3
* UAB 42, WKU 39
Indiana 49, North Texas 24
New Mexico 21, UTSA 9
Rice 28, Hawai’i 14
Saturday, October 4
Army 33, Ball State 24
* Akron 31, Eastern Michigan 6
* Miami 42, UMass 41
* Bowling Green 36, Buffalo 35
* Central Michigan 28, Ohio 10
* Northern Illinois 17, Kent State 14
* Toledo 20, Western Michigan 19 (ot)
* – conference games
WEEK 6 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
RB Devon Johnson, Marshall: The junior ran for 198 yards and three TDs on 20 carries in a 56-14 win at Old Dominion for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Richard Leonard, FIU: The senior returned a fumble 100 yards for a TD, tied a school record with four pass breakups and got his fourth interception of the season in a 38-10 victory over Florida Atlantic for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR J.J. Nelson, UAB: The senior returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in a 42-39 victory over WKU for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
QB Andrew Hendrix, Miami: The senior completed 32-of-58 passes for 437 yards and four TDs, and he added 91 yards and a rushing TD in a 42-41 win over UMass for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
S Nate Holley, Kent State: The sophomore had a team-high 16 tackles (12 solo/1.5 for loss) in a loss at Northern Illinois for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Tyler Tate, Bowling Green: The junior made three field goals (32, 35, 31) and all three PAT attempts in a 36-35 win over Buffalo for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
WR Titus Davis, Central Michigan: The senior caught 10 passes for 181 yards and two TDs in a 28-10 victory over Ohio for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Junior Sylvestre, Toledo: The senior had a season-high 14 tackles in a 20-19 overtime win at Western Michigan for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
P J. Schroeder, Western Michigan: The junior had six punts for 246 yards (41.0 avg.) in an overtime loss to Toledo for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week.
DID YOU KNOW?: The MAC has four victories against Power Five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) this season, tied for the most among the Group of Five conferences. Three of those victories came against the Big Ten.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 6: North Texas vs. Central Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Oct. 6: Marshall vs. Toledo
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 8: Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Oct. 7: Old Dominion vs. Toledo
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 6: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 6: North Texas vs. Akron
Phil Steele Magazine – Oct. 6: Louisiana Tech vs. Toledo
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 5: Marshall vs. Toledo
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Oct. 5: WKU vs. Bowling Green
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 5: Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Aug. 27: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Aug. 26: Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois
NationalFootballPost.com (Dave Miller) – Aug. 25: Marshall vs. Toledo
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL PARTICIPANT SELECTION
The highest-ranked team by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee from either the American Athletic, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West or Sun Belt will play annually in one of the College Football Playoff bowls.
Conference 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 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 Mid-American Conference will provide a bowl-eligible team for the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The MAC has 2014 tie-ins with Popeyes Bahamas, Boca Raton, Famous Idaho Potato, GoDaddy and Raycom Media Camellia bowls, with a secondary tie-in with the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (if Navy is not bowl-eligible or the Mountain West does not have enough eligible teams).
The participants for the 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will be announced Sunday, December 7.