Click here to read the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Weekly Release – Week 7 (PDF)
THIS WEEKEND: Week 7 begins Thursday night in Conference USA as East Division leader WKU (5-1, 3-0 C-USA) heads to North Texas (0-5, 0-2 C-USA). The Hilltoppers, receiving votes in the AP Top 25, will face the Mean Green with interim head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Canales in charge.
Saturday in the MAC, No. 22 Toledo (5-0, 2-0 MAC) will try to stay perfect as Eastern Michigan (1-5, 0-2 MAC) visits the West Division-leading Rockets. East co-leader Ohio (5-1, 2-0 MAC) is home to face Western Michigan (2-3, 1-0 MAC). The other East co-leader, Bowling Green (4-2, 2-0 MAC) plays host to Akron (3-3, 1-1 MAC). In other MAC conference games, Buffalo (2-3, 0-1 MAC) is at Central Michigan (2-4, 1-1 MAC), Northern Illinois (3-3, 1-1 MAC) goes to Miami (1-5, 0-2 MAC) and Kent State (2-4, 1-1 MAC) travels to UMass (1-4, 0-1 MAC). The final non-conference game of 2015 for the MAC has Ball State (2-4) playing host to Georgia State.
The rest of the C-USA schedule is on Saturday. Marshall (5-1, 2-0 C-USA) puts a four-game win streak on the line as the Thundering Herd visit Florida Atlantic (1-4, 1-1 C-USA). In other conference games, FIU (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) vists Middle Tennessee (2-4, 1-1 C-USA), UTSA (1-5, 1-1 C-USA) goes to Southern Miss (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) and Charlotte (2-3, 0-2 C-USA) travels to Old Dominion (2-3, 0-1 C-USA). The lone non-conference game has West co-leader Louisiana Tech (4-2) at Mississippi State.
POLLING PLACE: Toledo moved up in the Associated Press Top 25 to No. 22 and the undefeated Rockets (5-0) also entered the Amway USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 poll this week at No. 25. WKU (5-1) is receiving votes in the AP Top 25.
THROWING IT AROUND: Conference USA has four quarterbacks that rank among the top 12 in the FBS in passing yards. WKU senior Brandon Doughty is second (2,359 yards), followed by Southern Miss’ Nick Mullens in fifth (2,005), Louisiana Tech’s Jeff Driskel in 11th (1,812) and Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill in 12th (1,803). On the season, Doughty leads the FBS in completion percentage (74.7), is second in passing yards (2,359) and third in touchdown passes (20).
#MACTION POINTS GALORE: Last Saturday, the MAC witnessed another offensive explosion as two games both combined for 100 points each (Bowling Green’s 62-38 win over UMass; Northern Illinois’ 59-41 win over Ball State), while another game featured 80 combined points (Western Michigan’s 41-39 win over Central Michigan). MAC teams have posted 15 games with 40 or more points.
#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 7 SCHEDULE
Thursday, October 15
* WKU at North Texas (CBSSN)
Saturday, October 17
* FIU at Middle Tennessee (FSN)
* Marshall at Florida Atlantic (FCS)
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State (SECN)
* Charlotte at Old Dominion (ASN)
* UTSA at Southern Miss (ASN)
Saturday, October 17
* Eastern Michigan at Toledo (BCSN/TWSC/ESPN3)
* Western Michigan at Ohio (ASN/ESPN3)
* Buffalo at Central Michigan (ESPN3)
* Northern Illinois at Miami (ESPN3)
* Akron at Bowling Green (ESPN3)
Georgia State at Ball State (ESPN3)
* Kent State at UMass (ESPN3)
* – conference games
(TV/digital network in parentheses)
ASN – American Sports Network
BCSN – Buckeye Cable Sports Network
CBSSN – CBS Sports Network
ESPN3 – ESPN3.com (online)
FCS – Fox College Sports
FSN – Fox Sports Net
SECN – SEC Network
TWSC – Time Warner SportsChannel
WEEK 6 RESULTS
Friday, October 9
* Marshall 31, Southern Miss 10
Saturday, October 10
* FIU 52, UTEP 12
* WKU 58, Middle Tennessee 28
* Rice 27, Florida Atlantic 26
* Louisiana Tech 34, UTSA 31
Portland State 66, North Texas 7
Saturday, October 10
* Western Michigan 41, Central Michigan 39
* Ohio 34, Miami 3
* Bowling Green 62, UMass 38
* Akron 47, Eastern Michigan 21
* No. 24 Toledo 38, Kent State 7
* Northern Illinois 59, Ball State 41
* – conference games
WEEK 6 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
QB Brandon Doughty, WKU: The senior completed 28 of 36 passes for 359 yards and five TDs in a 58-28 win over Middle Tennessee for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DL Gary Thompson, Marshall: The junior had seven tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, three QB hurries and two pass breakups in a 31-10 victory over Southern Miss for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Jonathan Barnes, Louisiana Tech: The sophomore made the game-winning field goal in a 34-31 win over UTSA for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green: The senior completed 33 of 39 passes for 450 yards and five TDs in a 62-38 win over UMass for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Quentin Poling, Ohio: The sophomore had an interception return for a touchdown in a 34-3 victory over Miami for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Tyler Tate, Bowling Green: The senior scored 14 points with eight PATs and two field goals in a 62-38 win over UMass for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
QB Drew Hare, Northern Illinois: The junior completed 29 of 32 passes for 363 yards and two TDs in a 59-41 victory over Ball State for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DE Trent Voss, Toledo: The senior had six tackles (three for loss) and three QB hurries in a 38-7 win over Kent State for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
KR Darius Phillips, Western Michigan: The sophomore returned a pair of kickoffs for 101 total yards in a 41-39 victory over Central Michigan for MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
“POWER FIVE” VICTORIES
A list of Conference USA and MAC victories over “Power Five” opponents (teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12 and SEC)
C-USA/MAC Team vs. Opponent — Score
Sept. 3: WKU (C-USA) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC) — 14-12
Sept. 6: Marshall (C-USA) vs. Purdue (Big Ten)– 41-31
Sept. 12: Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Maryland (Big Ten) — 48-27
Sept. 12: Toledo (MAC) vs. No. 18 Arkansas (SEC) — 16-12
Sept. 19: Toledo (MAC) vs. Iowa State (Big XII) — 30-23 (2 OT)
Sept. 26: Bowling Green (MAC)vs. Purdue (Big Ten) — 35-28
FROM SATURDAYS TO SUNDAYS
During the NFL’s 2015 Kickoff Weekend, both Conference USA and MAC were well-represented on rosters (active, practice squad or injured reserve) across the 32 teams. C-USA had 79 players on NFL rosters (Louisiana Tech led with 11), while the MAC had 78 players among the current 13 institutions (Toledo – 12).
POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL MEDIA PROJECTIONS
Media Organization (Reporter) – Date: C-USA vs. MAC Matchup
USA Today (Erick Smith) – Oct. 14: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
10thYearSeniors.com (John Marc Nutt) – Oct. 12: Marshall vs. Bowling Green
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 12: Southern Miss vs. Northern Illinois
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 12: Marshall vs. Western Michigan
Bleacher Report (Bryan Fischer) – Oct. 12: WKU vs. Bowling Green
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 11: FIU vs. Ball State
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Oct. 11: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 11: Old Dominion vs. Ohio
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 11: Middle Tennessee vs. Bowling Green
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 9: FIU vs. Ball State
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Sept. 1: Rice vs. Western Michigan
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Aug. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
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
Each week in 2015, the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will spotlight an alumni player from each of our partner conferences, Conference USA and the MAC.
TERRY BRADSHAW (LOUISIANA TECH)
Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, a two-time college division All-American, played his college career at Louisiana Tech from 1966-69.
Bradshaw moved into the starting role for the Bulldogs in 1968, and Louisiana Tech went 9-2 with a victory over Akron in the Grantland Rice Bowl. He had 2,890 yards of total offense, ranking No. 1 in the NCAA’s college division, and he was fourth in the nation with 176 completions.
The Bulldogs won the Gulf States Conference title in 1969 behind Bradshaw’s 2,314 yards of total offense, ranking third nationally, and 136 pass completions. He was selected as the GSC’s Athlete of the Year, and he was the MVP of the 1970 Senior Bowl. He held 25 school and conference records at the end of his career.
Bradshaw was the No. 1 overall selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970 NFL Draft.
He struggled in his first two NFL seasons, but in 1972, he led the Steelers to the AFC title game. In 1974, Pittsburgh won the first of four Super Bowls with Bradshaw at quarterback as the Steelers beat Minnesota in Super Bowl IX.
Pittsburgh repeated as Super Bowl champs the following year (Super Bowl X), thanks to his 64-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
In 1978, he was the NFL regular-season MVP, and the MVP of Super Bowl XIII as the Steelers won their third title. The following season, Pittsburgh repeated as champs again in Super Bowl XIV, and Bradshaw took his second straight Super Bowl MVP award.
The 14-year pro (1970-83), a 1970s NFL All-Decade Team selection, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
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 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, Famous Idaho Potato, GoDaddy, Marmot Boca Raton 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.
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); 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); Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); 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)
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)