POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 8 NOTEBOOK
THIS SATURDAY: No. 24 USA Today Marshall (6-0, 2-0 C-USA) hopes to keep their unbeaten record and C-USA East lead intact Saturday as the Herd goes to FIU (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) for a key contest. The Panthers will give Marshall a stern test as FIU has forced an FBS-best 24 turnovers. In the C-USA West Division, Louisiana Tech (3-3, 2-0 C-USA) will try to hold onto its unblemished conference record as the Bulldogs host division rival UTSA (2-4, 1-1 C-USA). UAB (4-2, 2-1 C-USA) will try to run its win streak to three as the Blazers go to East Division rival Middle Tennessee (4-3, 3-1 C-USA). Florida Atlantic (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) will look to keep pace in the East race as WKU (2-3, 0-2 C-USA) visits. Southern Miss (2-4, 0-2 C-USA) visits East rival North Texas (2-4, 0-2 C-USA).
In the MAC, East Division leader Bowling Green (5-2, 3-0 MAC) will look to run its win streak to four and earn bowl eligibility as Western Michigan (3-3, 1-1 MAC) visits for a key division game. Akron (4-2, 2-0 MAC), second in the East, looks to keep pace with Bowling Green and puts a three-game win streak on the line against Ohio (3-4, 1-2 MAC). Central Michigan (4-3, 2-1 MAC) will try to win its third-straight game with a home game against Ball State (1-5, 0-2 MAC). Northern Illinois (4-2, 1-1 MAC) will look to rebound as the Huskies host Miami (1-6, 1-2 MAC). Eastern Michigan (2-4, 1-1 MAC) is at UMass (1-6, 1-2 MAC). In non-conference action, Army visits Kent State.
MARSHALL IN TOP 25/BOWL ELIGIBLE: The 6-0 Marshall Thundering Herd finally entered both the Associated Press & USA Today Coaches polls. The Herd is No. 24 in the USA Today & No. 25 in the AP polls this week. It marked the first time Marshall was ranked in either poll since the final polls of the 2002 season (Jan. 4, 2003). Marshall is also the first bowl-eligible team from Conference USA this season.
CATO TIES RECORD: Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato threw three TD passes in the 49-24 victory over Middle Tennessee last Saturday to tie the FBS record of 38 consecutive games with a TD pass, held by Russell Wilson at Wisconsin and N.C. State from 2009-11.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN SNAPS NIU STREAKS: Central Michigan beat Northern Illinois 34-17 on the road last Saturday to snap the Huskies’ 28-game consecutive home and 24-game consecutive MAC regular-season winning streaks. The Chippewas were the last team to beat NIU at home (2008) and in a MAC regular-season game (2011).
#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 8 SCHEDULE
Saturday, October 18
* WKU at Florida Atlantic (ASN)
* UTSA at Louisiana Tech (FSN)
* UAB at Middle Tennessee (FCS)
* Marshall at FIU (ASN)
* Southern Miss at North Texas (ASN)
Saturday, October 18
* Akron at Ohio (ESPN3)
* Western Michigan at Bowling Green (ESPN3)
* Eastern Michigan at UMass (ESPN3)
Army at Kent State (ESPN3)
* Ball State at Central Michigan (ESPN3)
* Miami at Northern Illinois (ESPN3)
(TV/digital network in parenthesis)
* – conference games
WEEK 7 RESULTS
Saturday, October 11
* Marshall 49, Middle Tennessee 24
* UAB 56, North Texas 21
* UTSA 16, FIU 13
* UTEP 42, Old Dominion 35
Rice 41, Army 21
Saturday, October 11
* Eastern Michigan 37, Buffalo 27
* Bowling Green 31, Ohio 13
* Akron 29, Miami 19
* UMass 40, Kent State 17
* Western Michigan 42, Ball State 38
Iowa State 37, Toledo 30
* Central Michigan 34, Northern Illinois 17
* – conference games
WEEK 7 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
QB Rakeem Cato, Marshall: The senior completed 17-of-33 passes for 337 yards and three TD passes with a 4-yard TD run in a 49-24 win over Middle Tennessee for C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
QB Cody Clements, UAB: The junior threw for 316 yards on 17-of-22 passing and two TDs and ran for another TD in a 56-21 win over North Texas for C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DE Robert Singletary, UTSA: The senior had 10 tackles (school-record 4.5 for loss), three sacks, a school-record two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry in a 16-13 victory over FIU for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Sean Ianno, UTSA: The senior kicked three field goals, including a 39-yarder with 50 seconds left, to give UTSA a 16-13 win over FIU for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
WR David Frazier, Miami: The senior had a career-high nine catches for 132 yards and two TDs in a loss at Akron for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Brian Sutton, Bowling Green: The senior led a balanced defensive effort in a 31-13 win at Ohio for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Robert Stein, Akron: The junior made two field goals and three PATs in a 29-19 win over Miami for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan: The senior rushed 40 times for 270 yards and scored two TDs in a 34-17 win at Northern Illinois for MAC West Division Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
QB Reginald Bell Jr., Eastern Michigan: The redshirt freshman rushed for 202 yards and three TDs and threw for 144 yards and a TD in a 37-27 win over Buffalo for MAC West Division Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Anthony Zappone, Eastern Michigan: The sophomore had a career-high 13 tackles (three for loss) in a 37-27 victory over Buffalo for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo: The senior made three field goals in a loss at Iowa State for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week.
DID YOU KNOW?: The 6-0 Marshall Thundering Herd is one of six unbeaten teams left among FBS schools. The others are Baylor, Florida State, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Notre Dame.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 13: UAB vs. Toledo
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Oct. 13: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 15: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Oct. 14: WKU vs. Northern Illinois
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 13: Middle Tennessee vs. Bowling Green
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 13: UAB vs. Central Michigan
Phil Steele Magazine – Oct. 13: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Oct. 13: Marshall vs. Central Michigan
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 12: Marshall vs. Toledo
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 12: 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, Mid-American, Mountain West or Sun Belt will play annually in one of the College Football Playoff bowls.
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 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 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.