2015 will only be our third season in CUSA. There’s been lots of turnover but I’m finally feeling comfortable with our neighbors. Also, I’m finally rooting for them in non-conference play.
With Marshall yet to play (Sunday game against Purdue) as of this writing, the conference has performed at a solid A- level. Let us review the happenings with the following caveat in mind: One week doesn’t tell us much of anything
Tally: 7 wins 4 Losses (two moral victories and one great effort) and one to go.
UTSA 32 (22) Arizona 42
UTSA has racked up more moral victories in the last five years than any other CUSA team. You can even put them up with that FCS team that beats up on Iowa every year. Here we have another. UTSA was projected by nearly everyone to be godawful. They’ve proved (much to our chagrin) that they can jump up and bite occasionally. They’ve put a scare into Okie State and Arizona the last couple of years and went to Houston and won on the road last year. It seems the Roadrunner’s kryptonite is merely expectation. When they are underdogs they perform. They out-gained Rich Rod’s high octane offense and Blake Bogenschutz looked good enough to make some other teams wonder if they were wrong about overlooking the guy.
WKU 14 Vandy 12
Beating an SEC team sounds great until you name the team you beat. ‘Bama? Well, that’s going down in program lore. Kentucky or Vanderbilt? Well that’s the kissin’ your sister variety of accomplishment. Western will be asked about the offensive disappearance but a win is a win. Make no mistake, their marketing team is all over the SEC win. Remember how we never heard the end of the praise for beating Indiana (a Big Ten win!)? That’s what is happening there, you guys.
FIU 15 UCF 14
Oh Florida. I can’t really be surprised at anything that happens out there. FIU’s defense and special teams won the game. The D held UCF to only 295 yards, got a goal line stand that saved the day and the special teams blocked the game winning kick in the final minute. UCF went to a bowl last season and had something like a 10-game win streak at home. They didn’t play well but give FIU lots of credit here.
Charlotte 23 Georgia State 20
Charlotte got the program’s first FBS touchdown and win on an oddly timed Friday matchup with awful Georgia State. The stadium was mostly empty to see it, unfortunately. GSU only made it interesting late, by scoring a 53-yard TD with 30 seconds left. Charlotte won’t have a great season but they got a nice start.
ODU 38 EMU 35
ODU had to win this one in the final minute but they pulled it out. This was nothing to be particularly proud of outside of the win, but that’s why we play the games right? For wins?
FAU 44 Tulsa 47 (OT)
Oh Owls! They led 38-28 early in the fourth quarter and just couldn’t do enough to put a struggling Tulsa team away. In OT, they managed to come up just short of scoring six and settled for a FG. By the time Tulsa powered their way through for the winning score, FAU was literally exhausted. They were losing bodies to injuries in the heat as talented freshman after talented freshman were lost.
UTEP 13 (18) Arkansas 48
Both Greg and I thought this game would be won in Arkansas’ favor, but with a smaller margin of victory. UTEP and the Hogs play similar styles and they just don’t have the talent to beat Arkansas at their own game.
MSST 34 Southern Miss 16
A sold out stadium and 311 yards from Nick Mullens weren’t enough to beat “State” as my Mississippi-raised friend calls them. A moral victory will suffice. If the Other SMU plays to this level when they aren’t facing an in-state big-brother school they’ll do some damage this season.
Rice/LaTech/MTSU average of 62.7 Wagner/Jackson St/Southern avg of 15
Beatdowns of teams that should be beaten down. Nothing surprising here.1
Purdue at Marshall (-7.5)
The darlings of CUSA get to defend their home turf against a Big Ten opponent.
- Rice 56 LaTech 62 MTSU 70 Wagner 16 Jackson ST 14 Southern 15 ↩