September 9th, 2015 | BAHAMAS BOWL


Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Weekly Release – 2015 Week 2 (September 10-12)

Click here to read the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Weekly Release – Week 2 (PDF)

THIS WEEKEND: The first conference game for either Conference USA or the MAC opens Week 2 as defending C-USA West Division champion Louisiana Tech (1-0) visits 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl champion WKU (1-0) on Thursday night. The Hilltoppers have won six straight since the Bulldogs’ 59-10 victory over WKU in 2014, and both teams were picked to win their respective divisions in a vote of conference media outlets. In the only C-USA action against a ranked team, Middle Tennessee (1-0) visits No. 2 Alabama (1-0). In the MAC, all 13 teams are in action Saturday, led by three games against ranked teams: Ball State (1-0) at No. 16 Texas A&M (1-0), Toledo (0-0) at No. 18 Arkansas (1-0) and Miami (1-0) at No. 24 Wisconsin (0-1).

BIG START FOR C-USA/MAC: C-USA finished with an 8-4 record, the conference’s best Week 1 record since 2009. Marshall beat a Big Ten team (Purdue), WKU beat an SEC team (Vanderbilt) and FIU stunned the two-time defending American Athletic champion (UCF). The MAC had five victories on opening weekend, including a Northern Illinois victory over UNLV (Mountain West).

DON’T GO FOR TWO AGAINST WKU: For the second-straight game, dating back to the 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, WKU stopped a late two-point conversion that would have either tied or won the game for their opponent. This time, Joe Brown stopped a Vanderbilt runner short of the end zone with 33 seconds left to preserve a 14-12 victory. Last December, WKU’s Wonderful Terry broke up a Central Michigan two-point pass to win the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl 49-48 in Nassau.

WELCOME TO FBS: Charlotte played their first game as a Football Bowl Subdivision and C-USA member in Atlanta last Friday, and the 49ers beat Georgia State 23-20 in the Georgia Dome. Charlotte got to a 13-0 first-quarter lead over the Panthers, and led by as many as 17 twice before a late GSU rally.

POLLING PLACE: WKU continued to receive votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, while fellow C-USA members Marshall and Louisiana Tech received votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

C-USA vs. MAC: Old Dominion gave C-USA its first victory over the MAC in 2015 after rallying from an 14-point first-quarter deficit to beat Eastern Michigan 38-34 on the road, thanks to a 45-yard Ray Lawry TD run with 1:57 left to play, one of his four TD runs. This Saturday, Marshall travels to Ohio for the second C-USA vs. MAC game 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:


Thursday, September 10
* Louisiana Tech at WKU (FS1)

Friday, September 11
Miami (Fla.) at Florida Atlantic (FS1)

Saturday, September 12
Kansas State at UTSA (FS1)
Presbyterian at Charlotte (ASN)
UTEP at Texas Tech (FSN)
Austin Peay at Southern Miss (ASN)
Middle Tennessee at No. 2 Alabama (SECN)
Marshall at Ohio (ASN/ESPN3)
Norfolk State at Old Dominion (ASN)
North Texas at SMU (ESPN3)
FIU at Indiana (BTN)
Rice at Texas (LHN)


Saturday, September 12
Bowling Green at Maryland (BTN)
Buffalo at Penn State (ESPN2)
Miami at No. 24 Wisconsin (ESPNU)
UMass at Colorado (P12N)
Monmouth at Central Michigan (ESPN3)
Murray State at Northern Illinois (ESPN3)
Eastern Michigan at Wyoming (ROOT)
Toledo at No. 18 Arkansas (SECN)
Pittsburgh at Akron (ESPN3)
Delaware at Kent State (ESPN3)
Western Michigan at Georgia Southern (ESPN3)
Ball State at No. 16 Texas A&M (ESPNU)
Marshall at Ohio (ASN/ESPN3)

* – conference games
(TV/digital network in parentheses)
ASN – American Sports Network
BTN – Big Ten Network
CBSSN – CBS Sports Network
ESPN3 – ESPN3 (online)
FS1 – Fox Sports 1
FSN – Fox Sports Net
LHN – Longhorn Network
P12N – Pac-12 Network
ROOT – Root Sports
SECN – SEC Network


Thursday, September 3
FIU 15, UCF 14
WKU 14, Vanderbilt 12
No. 22 Arizona 42, UTSA 32

Friday, September 4
Charlotte 23, Georgia State 20

Saturday, September 5
Tulsa 47, Florida Atlantic 44 (OT)
Old Dominion 38, Eastern Michigan 34
Rice 56, Wagner 16
No. 18 Arkansas 48, UTEP 13
Louisiana Tech 62, Southern 15
Middle Tennessee 70, Jackson State 14
Mississippi St. 34, Southern Miss 16

Sunday, September 6
Marshall 41, Purdue 31


Thursday, Sept. 3
Oklahoma State 24, Central Michigan 13
Stony Brook at Toledo, suspended
Ball State 48, VMI 36
Ohio 45, Idaho 28

Friday, September 4
No. 5 Michigan State 37 Western Michigan 24

Saturday, September 5
Illinois 52, Kent State 3
No. 19 Oklahoma 41, Akron 3
Buffalo 51, Albany 14
No. 25 Tennessee 59, Bowling Green 30
Old Dominion 38, Eastern Michigan 34
Miami 26, Presbyterian 7
Northern Illinois 38, UNLV 30

* – conference games


RB Ray Lawry, Old Dominion: The sophomore rushed for 223 yards and tied a school record with four rushing TDs in a 38-34 victory at Eastern Michigan for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.

DB Tiquan Lang, Marshall: The junior had 17 total tackles and returned two interceptions of 30 and 55 yards for TDs in a 41-31 victory over Purdue for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.

K Blake Brewer, Charlotte: The junior made three field goals and a pair of PATs in a 23-20 win at Georgia State for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.

QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green: The senior threw for a career-high 424 yards and two TDs in a loss at Tennessee for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.

LB Quentin Poling, Ohio: The sophomore had 12 total tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in a 45-28 victory at Idaho for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.

PR Jacob Martinez, Buffalo: The sophomore returned a punt 86 yards for a TD and added a receiving TD in a 51-14 victory over Albany for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.

WR Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois: The junior caught nine passes for 213 yards in a 38-30 victory over UNLV for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.

DB Kavon Frazier, Central Michigan: The senior had a career-high 13 tackles in a loss against Oklahoma State for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.

KR Darius Phillips, Western Michigan: The sophomore returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD in a loss to Michigan State for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.


Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: C-USA vs. MAC Matchup (Brett McMurphy) – Sept. 9: Middle Tennessee vs. Bowling Green (Mark Schlabach) – Sept. 9: Marshall vs. Bowling Green
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Sept. 9: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Sept. 8: Rice vs. Akron (Pete Fiutak) – Sept. 7: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois (Zac Ellis) – Sept. 1: Rice vs. Western Michigan
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Aug. 27: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green (Stuart Mandel) – Aug. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan (Jerry Palm) – Aug. 12: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – July 20: WKU vs. Akron
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – July 20: WKU vs. Western Michigan
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – July 7: Middle Tennessee vs. Northern Illinois
Associated Press (Ralph Russo) – June 9: Middle Tennesse vs. Ball State
Bleacher Report (Brian Pedersen) – May 5: Marshall vs. Toledo

Each week in 2015, the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will spotlight an alumni player from each of our partner conferences, Conference USA and the MAC.


Joe Staley CMU

Joe Staley (Photo Credit: Central Michigan University)

Current San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley was an All-MAC performer during his college career at Central Michigan from 2003-06.

Staley worked on the Chippewas offensive line that produced a 1,000-yard rusher during three of his four seasons at CMU.

As a senior in 2006, he started all 14 games and was a consensus All-MAC at left tackle. He was one of three co-captains that helped lead the Chippewas to their first MAC title in 12 seasons and the 2006 Motor City Bowl title, the school’s first bowl victory.

In his junior season of 2005, he did not allow a sack in 11 starts at left tackle and helped CMU average 418.8 yards per game of offense.

After playing the 2007 Senior Bowl, he posted the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.7) by any offensive lineman at the 2007 NFL Combine.

Staley was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers in 2007 He became the first Central Michigan player to be selected in the first round.

He played right tackle in his rookie season with the 49ers and became the first San Francisco rookie offensive lineman to start every game in a season since 1968.

He moved back to left tackle in 2008, and he has started all 113 games he was available to play in his career.

A four-time Pro Bowler (2011-14), Staley was selected All-NFL in 2013 by the Pro Football Writers of America.

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 and Chick-fil-A Peach bowls for the 2015 season) if it is not selected for the Playoff Semifinals.

C-USA has 2015 tie-ins with the Popeyes Bahamas, Arizona, Gildan New Mexico, Miami Beach, R&L Carriers New Orleans, St. Petersburg and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas bowls, with a secondary tie-in with the Camping World Independence Bowl (if either the ACC or the SEC does not have enough eligible teams). There is no set selection order among C-USA’s bowl partners

The GoDaddy Bowl has first choice of a MAC bowl-eligible team, and the remainder of the selections will follow, with no set selection order among the MAC’s bowl partners. The MAC has 2015 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 Army is not bowl eligible), various ESPN owned-and-operated bowls and the Quick Lane Bowl (if either ACC or Big Ten does not have enough eligible teams).

The 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl participants will be announced Sunday, December 6.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, 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.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Orlando Kickoff (Florida); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); 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 (Hartford/Storrs, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan) and State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago)

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