Everyone in Conference USA now has played a football game, and there were very few close contests. Just a warning – things are about to get ugly.
Rice 17 – Notre Dame (#17) 48
At one point, the Owls were within 14-10, and then the Fighting Irish rattled off five straight scores before Rice put points on the board for the final time in the fourth quarter. The Owls allowed 295 passing yards and 281 rushing yards while only accumulating 141 yards on the ground, but held their own in the passing game, as Driphus Jackson and Tyler Stehling combined to throw for 226 yards. Jackson also lead Rice in rushing, running for 61 yards on 11 carries.
Old Dominion 41 – Hampton 28
If ODU had lost to Hampton…we’d have a problem. Luckily, the Monarchs got away and scored six touchdowns against the Pirates, with ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke throwing three of them. Heinicke also threw for 281 yards (29-for-40) and two pics. Gerard Johnson picked up 137 yards on 22 carries and a score. ODU finished with 188 yards on the ground and nine Monarchs picked up a reception.
Marshall 42 – Miami OH 27
Don’t ask our pals at Word of the Herd about this one, but long story short, in their words, things aren’t as good as they thought heading into the season. Nevertheless, Marshall beat the Redhawks and put up 432 total yards – 261 passing and 171 rushing – and Rakeem Cato tossed three touchdowns on 20-of-32 passing. Two of those Cato scores went into the hands of Eric Frohnapfel, who finished with five catches for 54 yards. Devon Johnson took the ball 19 times for 151 yards and punched it in twice as well. It’s not all hunky dory in Herd nation, as they allowed 418 yards, with 318 of that coming through the air. Yep.
FAU 7 – Nebraska (#22) 55
Florida Atlantic will forever go down in history, as the Cornhuskers set a Big 10 record for yards in a game, accumulating 784 of them against the Owls. The real damage for Nebraska was done on the ground, as FAU allowed two 100+ yard rushers; Ameer Abdullah (232 yards on 21 carries) and Terrell Newby (107 yards on 16 touches). The moral victory, if their is one for FAU, is that the defense kept Nebraska from scoring on two drives. The lone FAU touchdown came in the first quarter to tie the game at seven, when Jaquez Johnson found Lucky Whitehead.
UAB 48 – Troy 10
Our old friends at Troy got up 7-o, and it was all Blazers from then on. The Blazers took a 24-10 lead into halftime, and proceeded to shutout Troy in the second half. Cody Clements and Kennard Backman hooked up twice for touchdowns, and Jordan Howard ran for two scores, as well as 179 yards on 19 carries. D.J. Vinson also ran for 100+ yards, 106 to be exact, and he scored as well. UAB totaled 490 total yards of offense while only allowing 272.
UTEP 31 – New Mexico 24
The Miners let New Mexico hang around for a little bit, and after letting a 24-7 lead slip, it took an Aaron Jones three yard TD run to seal the deal with 2:18 left to play. UTEP signal caller Jameill Showers threw for 116 yards, and Jones and his fellow running backs ran for 330 yards, with Jones collecting 237 of that by himself (on 22 carries, mind you). The Miner D was responsible for allowing 477 yards (New Mexico actually outgained UTEP by 31 yards), and allowed over 400 of those yards on the ground.
North Texas 7 – Texas 38
By no means whatsoever was this a good night for the Mean Green. UNT was limited to 94 total yards, only eight first downs and threw four interceptions in a 31 point deficit. The lone North Texas score came when James Jones recovered a Longhorn fumble in the fourth quarter.
Southern Miss 0 – Mississippi State 49
Southern Miss was unable to push the ball across the pylon against the in-state Bulldogs, but QB Nick Mullens had a decent game, throwing for 212 yards and completing 20 of his 42 pass attempts. Mississippi State gained 550 total yards against the Golden Eagle defense – 349 through the air, and 201 on the ground. USM also turned the ball over three times.
Louisiana Tech 16 – Oklahoma (#4) 48
The Sooners scored five times, thrice in the first quarter, before LA Tech got on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs won the fourth quarter, outscoring Oklahoma 13-7, but other than that, it was all OU. LA Tech couldn’t get the run game established, going just 54 yards, but Cody Sokol had a solid game, throwing for 191 yards and a couple of touchdowns, along with a pick. In comparison, the Sooners put up 436 yards of offense on the Dog defense.
FIU 12 – Bethune-Cookman 14
Remember earlier when I said it’d be a problem if Old Dominion had lost to Hampton? Well, the same applied here, but it didn’t work out in CUSA’s favor. For the second year in a row, Bethune-Cookman has handed FIU a loss. The Panthers missed a would be game winning field goal as time expired, and the BCU Wildcats held onto the two point victory. BCU outgained FIU 239-186, and 143 of FIU’s yards came through the air.
MTSU 61 – Savannah State 7
I don’t know why Savannah State does this to themselves, but they got pounded, again, this time by the Blue Raiders. MTSU gained 519 yards of offense, including 291 yards passing with 250 of them coming from the arm of Austin Grammer. Surprisingly, no Blue Raider receiver or rusher cracked 100 yards, but nine players had at least one rush and eight caught at least one pass. MTSU scored three times in the first quarter, twice in the second, thrice again in the third and once in the fourth – all touchdowns, and all but one coming from the running game.
So, a full weekend of CUSA football is in the books. Who were your biggest surprises/disappointments? Let us know either below in the comments or on twitter @WaveTheRedTowel