THIS SATURDAY: The entire Week 8 schedule in both the MAC and Conference USA will be played on Saturday. The MAC has six league games, featuring undefeated and No. 19 Toledo (6-0, 3-0 MAC) at UMass (1-5, 0-2 MAC). East Division leader Bowling Green (5-2, 3-0 MAC) travels to a key division game at Kent State (3-4, 2-1 MAC). Western Michigan (3-3, 2-0 MAC) will try to keep pace with Toledo in the West Division race as the Broncos host Miami (1-6, 0-3 MAC). Ohio (5-2, 2-1 MAC), one game back in the East race, heads to Buffalo (2-4, 0-2 MAC). Northern Illinois (4-3, 2-1 MAC) hosts Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3 MAC) in a West Division battle, and Central Michigan (3-4, 2-1 MAC) is at Ball State (2-5, 1-2 MAC).
In C-USA, the West Division race is a three-way deadlock at 2-1, and two of the three teams involved play in conference action Saturday. Louisiana Tech (4-3, 2-1 C-USA) will host Middle Tennessee (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) and Southern MIss (4-3, 2-1 C-USA) is at Charlotte (2-4, 0-3 C-USA). The other team tied at the top of the West, Rice (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) hosts Army in a non-conference game. The East Division leader, WKU (6-1, 4-0 C-USA), plays out of conference at No. 5 LSU. Marshall (6-1, 3-0 C-USA) will try to tie the Hilltoppers atop the East as they host North Texas (0-6, 0-3 C-USA). The other two conference games have Old Dominion (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) at FIU (3-4, 1-2 C-USA) and Florida Atlantic (1-5, 1-2 C-USA) travels to UTEP (2-4, 0-2 C-USA).
POLLING PLACE: Toledo (6-0) moved up to No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 and the Rockets are No. 20 in the Amway USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 poll. WKU (6-1) is receiving votes in both polls, while Marshall (6-1) and Bowling Green (5-2) are both receiving votes in the USA Today poll.
HERD ON THE MOVE: Marshall sophomore RB Hyleck Foster, a converted wide receiver, ran for 122 yards and a touchdown in Marshall’s 33-17 win at Florida Atlantic. He is the third Thundering Herd running back to top 100 yards in a game this season, as senior Devon Johnson and sophomore Tony Pittman each have a pair of 100-yard outings. Rice is the only C-USA school to have more than three players reach the century mark in a game this season with four.
D-FENSE: A big reason for Toledo’s success is that the Rockets rank second in FBS in red-zone defense (40%), as Toledo has allowed only six scores (2 TD/4 FG) on 15 opponent attempts. Toledo ranks seventh in the nation in scoring defense (13.2 ppg), and the Rockets are one of only two teams in the country to not allow a sack 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: passports.state.gov.
WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
Saturday, October 24
* Southern Miss at Charlotte (ASN)
Army at Rice (FSN)
* Middle Tennessee at Louisiana Tech (ASN)
* North Texas at Marshall (FSN)
* Old Dominion at FIU
* Florida Atlantic at UTEP (ASN)
WKU at No. 5 LSU (ESPNU)
Saturday, October 24
* Bowling Green at Kent State (ESPN3)
* Miami at Western Michigan (ESPN3)
* Central Michigan at Ball State (ESPN3)
* Toledo at UMass (ESPN3)
* Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois (ESPN3)
* Ohio at Buffalo (ASN/ESPN3)
* – conference games
(TV/digital network in parentheses)
ASN – American Sports Network
ESPN3 – ESPN3.com (online)
FSN – Fox Sports Net
WEEK 7 RESULTS
Thursday, October 15
* WKU 55, North Texas 28
Saturday, October 17
* Middle Tennessee 42, FIU 34
* Marshall 33, Florida Atlantic 17
* Old Dominion 37, Charlotte 34
* Southern Miss 32, UTSA 10
Mississippi State 45, Louisiana Tech 20
Saturday, October 17
* No. 22 Toledo 63, Eastern Michigan 20
* Western Michigan 49, Ohio 14
* Central Michigan 51, Buffalo 14
* Northern Illinois 45, Miami 12
* Bowling Green 59, Akron 10
Georgia State 31, Ball State 19
* Kent State 15, UMass 10
* – conference games
WEEK 7 INDIVIDUAL HONORS
WR Zach Pascal, Old Dominion: The junior had 11 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-34 win over Charlotte for C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB TJ Ricks, Old Dominion: The junior had 18 tackles (two for loss), a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in a 37-34 win over Charlotte for C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
K Stephen Brauchle, Southern Miss: The junior kicked four field goals and two PATs in a 32-10 win over UTSA for C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
QB Matt Johnson, Bowling Green: The senior completed 25 of 30 passes for 357 yards and five TDs in a 59-10 win over Akron for MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
DB Nick Cuthbert, Kent State: The junior had an interception and made five tackles in a 15-10 victory at UMass for MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
P Anthony Melchiori, Kent State: The senior put three punts inside the 10-yard line and five total inside the 20 in a 15-10 win at UMass for MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
RB Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan: The redshirt freshman rushed for 135 yards and a TD in a 49-14 win at Ohio for MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Bobby Jones, Northern Illinois: The sophomore had 11 tackles (two for loss) and a sack in a 45-12 win at Miami for MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors.
LB Ja’Wuan Woodley, Toledo: The sophomore blocked a field goal that was returned for a TD in a 62-20 win over Eastern 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. 21: Louisiana Tech vs. Bowling Green
SI.com (Zac Ellis) – Oct. 20: Old Dominion vs. Northern Illinois
Phil Steele Magazine (Phil Steele) – Oct. 20: Marshall vs. Toledo
10thYearSeniors.com (John Marc Nutt) – Oct. 19: Marshall vs. Bowling Green
Nassau Tribune (Renaldo Dorsett) – Oct. 19 Middle Tennessee vs. Ohio
The Sporting News (Bill Bender) – Oct. 19: Middle Tennessee vs. Central Michigan
Bleacher Report (Bryan Fischer) – Oct. 19: WKU vs. Bowling Green
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy) – Oct. 18: Louisiana Tech vs. Northern Illinois
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach) – Oct. 18: Bowling Green vs. Marshall
SB Nation (Jason Kirk) – Oct. 18: Old Dominion vs. Ohio
CBSSports.com (Jerry Palm) – Oct. 18: Middle Tennessee vs. Bowling Green
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons) – Oct. 14: FIU vs. Bowling Green
Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan) – Oct. 14: Louisiana Tech vs. Western Michigan
CollegeFootballNews.com (Pete Fiutak) – Oct. 12: Marshall vs. Western Michigan
FOXSports.com (Stuart Mandel) – Aug. 25: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
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.
JOE GREENE (NORTH TEXAS)
Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene, a 1968 consensus All-American, played his college career at North Texas from 1966-68.
Greene, whose iconic nickname of “Mean Joe” referenced the Mean Green nickname of the then-North Texas State, was part of a 23-5-1 record by the school in his three seasons as a defensive tackle.
In his 29 games at defensive tackle, North Texas held the opposition to 2,507 yards gained on 1,276 rushes, a per-carry average of less than two yards per attempt.
A consensus All-American in his senior season of 1968, Greene was selected No. 4 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1969 NFL Draft.
Greene was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969, and was selected to the Pro Bowl that same season.
A dominant defensive tackle, Greene became the lynchpin of the Steelers’ famed Steel Curtain defense during the 1970s.
He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1972 as the Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship Game. In 1974, he won the honor again as Pittsburgh won the first of four Super Bowls with Greene, beating Minnesota in Super Bowl IX. He was also part of the Steelers’ title teams in Super Bowls X, XIII and XIV.
A five-time All-NFL performer and a 11-time All-Conference player, Greene was selected to 10 Pro Bowls.
The 13-year pro (1969-81), a 1970s NFL All-Decade Team and NFL 75th Anniversary Team selection, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
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)