POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL WEEK 9 NOTEBOOK
BOWL ELIGIBLE: Marshall (7-0). ON THE BRINK: Bowling Green (5-3), Middle Tennessee (5-3), Northern Illinois (5-2).
THIS SATURDAY: Five division matchups are the order of the day among six C-USA games. No. 22 USA Today/No. 23 AP Marshall (7-0, 3-0 C-USA) hosts Florida Atlantic (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) in a battle of two of the top three teams in the East. Marshall is the only FBS team that has scored 40 or more points in every game. West Division leader Louisiana Tech (4-3, 3-0 C-USA), which has a two-game win streak, heads to division rival Southern Miss (3-4, 1-2 C-USA). Also in the West, Rice (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) will try to keep pace with LA Tech as the Owls host North Texas (2-5, 0-2 C-USA), and UTEP (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) heads to UTSA (2-5, 1-2 C-USA). In the East, WKU (2-4, 0-3 C-USA) hosts Old Dominion (3-4, 1-3 C-USA). UAB (4-3, 2-2 C-USA) has the only non-conference game at Arkansas.
All six MAC games Saturday are conference affairs. West Division leader Toledo (4-3, 3-0 MAC) is back in action as they host UMass (2-6, 2-2 MAC), winners of two straight, both in league play. Northern Illinois (5-2, 2-1 MAC) will try to keep pace with Toledo in the West and earn bowl eligibility for the seventh straight season as they go to Eastern Michigan (2-5, 1-2 MAC). Akron (4-3, 2-1 MAC) looks to tie Bowling Green (bye week) for the top spot in the East as they travel to Ball State (2-5, 1-2 MAC). One of the better matchups has Ohio (4-4, 2-2 MAC) heading to Western Michigan (4-3, 2-1 MAC). Kent State (1-6, 0-3 MAC) travels to East rival Miami (1-7, 1-3 MAC), and Buffalo (3-4, 1-2 MAC), under new interim head coach Alex Wood, hosts Central Michigan (4-4, 2-2 MAC).
RECORD-BREAKER: Marshall senior QB Rakeem Cato threw four TD passes in the 45-13 victory at FIU last Saturday to set the FBS record with 39 consecutive games with a TD pass, previously held by Russell Wilson at Wisconsin and N.C. State from 2009-11. It was also Cato’s ninth career game with four or more TD passes.
RUSHING MACTION: The MAC boasts three of the top running backs in FBS in rushing yards. Central Michigan senior Thomas Rawls is fifth with 1,007 yards, Western Michigan true freshman Jarvion Franklin ranks sixth with 992 yards (and leads FBS with 16 rushing TDs) and Buffalo senior running back Anthone Taylor is 10th in with 926 yards. Also, Ball State senior RB Jahwan Edwards set the school career rushing yards record with 4,013 yards.
#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 9 SCHEDULE
Saturday, October 25
* North Texas at Rice (FSN)
UAB at Arkansas (SECN)
* Florida Atlantic at Marshall (FS1)
* LA Tech at Southern Miss (ASN)
* Old Dominion at WKU
* UTEP at UTSA (ASN)
Saturday, October 25
*Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan (ESPN3)
*Akron at Ball State (ESPN3)
*Ohio at Western Michigan (ESPN3)
*UMass at Toledo (ESPN3)
*Kent State at Miami (ESPN3)
*Central Michigan at Buffalo(ESPN3)
(TV/digital network in parenthesis)
* – conference games
WEEK 8 RESULTS
Saturday, October 18
* Florida Atlantic 45, WKU 38
* Louisiana Tech 27, UTSA 20
* Middle Tennessee 34, UAB 22
* Marshall 45, FIU 13
* Southern Miss 30, North Texas 20
Saturday, October 18
* Ohio 23, Akron 20
* Western Michigan 26, Bowling Green 14
* UMass 36, Eastern Michigan 14
Kent State 39, Army 17
* Ball State 32, Central Michigan 29
* Northern Illinois 51, Miami 41
* – conference games
WEEK 8 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
WR Carlos Harris, North Texas: The junior had 15 receptions for 216 yards in a loss against Southern Miss for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
S Terrell Pinson, Louisiana Tech: The senior had seven total tackles (four solo) with one tackle for loss, two interceptions, a fumble returned for a TD, two pass defenses and a quarterback hurry in a 27-20 victory over UTSA for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Corey Acosta, Southen Miss: The senior was 3-for-3 in field-goal attempts in a 30-20 victory at North Texas for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
QB Andrew Hendrix, Miami: The senior completed 23-of-42 passes for 346 yards and two TDs and rushed for 72 yards and three TDs in a loss at Northern Illinois for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
S Nick Cuthbert, Kent State: The sophomore had 16 tackles in a 39-17 win over Army for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Josiah Yazdani, Ohio: The junior made three field goals, including the 22-yard game-winner late in the fourth quarter, in a 23-20 win over Akron for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
RB Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan: The freshman rushed 37 times for 149 yards and his FBS-leading 16th TD in a 26-14 win at Bowling Green for MAC West Division Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Eric Patterson, Ball State: The senior led the team with 10 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble in a 32-29 win at Central Michigan for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Scott Secor, Ball State: The senior was 4-4 on field goals, including the game-winning 55-yarder with 17 seconds left in a 32-29 win at Central Michigan for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.
DID YOU KNOW?: The 7-0 Marshall Thundering Herd is one of four unbeaten teams left among FBS schools. The others are Florida State, Mississippi and Mississippi State.
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PREDICTIONS
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 20: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Oct. 20: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 22: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin) – Oct. 21: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 20: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 20: UAB vs. Western Michigan
Phil Steele Magazine – Oct. 20: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Oct. 19: Marshall vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 19: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 19: Middle Tennessee vs. Western 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 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.